13 January, 2021

Sophisticated Lower Level: Project Reveal


A lower level hang out doesn’t have to feel cave-like! Check out this sophisticated lower level we designed as part of a larger project. Keep reading for more about the details of this project and keep scrolling for the project reveal photos at the end!

The background story

This client’s basement was finished, but not in keeping with the rest of the home. It had painted walls and carpet, and a hodge-podge of furniture but that’s about it. It was a space dedicated to kids play. The family wanted to transform the space into one that looked finished and polished like the rest of the house. At the same time, they wanted all furnishings and finishes to be durable for kid use and entertaining.

The Space Plan

The lower level architecture divided the space into three areas: the family room, the bar area an office. The office was super small, so we did some built ins and a floating desk facing out of the room so it doesn’t feel like you are trapped in a tiny room. The bar area features built in cabinetry with sink and mini fridge. Pretty basic, but the high gloss blue on the cabinets makes the space feel really special. The family room has the oh-so-necessary sectional. We also added two adorable flower shaped ottomans for extra seating. The coffee table has a durable top so there is no need to police drink coaster usage.
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The design problem

The house is pretty small for a new construction home, so every space has to be used to the fullest. The lower level didn’t have room for separate kid and adult spaces. Everything has to do double duty- be appropriate for kid use while still looking sophisticated and polished.

The design direction

The client wanted the overall shell of the space be light to make the space feel gracious. But she also wanted some drama and contrast. Blues are the client’s color of choice. But for the lower level, we took the color palette established throughout the rest of the house and made it deeper.

The final design solution

We selected furnishings that are durable for kid use. Washable fabrics for all upholstery pieces. Heavy reading lamps so they can’t be knocked over by a flying nerf ball. We chose a light color for the walls to complement the white trim and cabinetry. And we also chose a deep, rich blue in a high gloss finish in the bar area for drama and contrast. The furniture finishes are a mix of mid tone brown stains with pops of painted finishes.
We pulled colors out of our “Magic Fabric” to create the color palette. It is nuanced, featuring duck egg blue, teal and spruce-y greens with touches of gold.
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The Reveal

We love how this lower level family room turned out! It’s multi-functional and beautiful. See, it’s like we said, a basement doesn’t have to be cave-like!
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Want to see and read more?
Check out or Pinterest page for tons for inspiration.
Or check out some of our other project reveals: here and here.

Comments on Sophisticated Lower Level: Project Reveal
  1. Janet R Lorusso says:

    This turned out so perfectly – your lucky clients must be thrilled! I particularly love the flower shaped ottomans and the blue cabinetry on the bar area…so fabulous!

  2. Leslie Carothers says:

    I love the way you used trim in that home office space to make it feel elegant and gracious, Lisa, and what a major difference this must be for your client and her children. It came out beautifully!

  3. Sheri Bruneau says:

    What a wonderful walkthrough of this project, Lisa. Those flower shaped ottomans add such a gorgeous touch!

  4. Amy Wax says:

    Love this design, so elegant! I also love the color palette you chose and chairs to match the cabinets, well done!

  5. Anne says:

    Oh-that sophisticated color palette would be stunning in any room. I love it! Nice post.

  6. Mary Ann Benoit says:

    Looks amazing! Love your blue cabinets and the fabric you chose for the chairs. I bet they love it!

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