07 January, 2020

Sophisticated Lower Level: Peek at a Project


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.

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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Comments on Sophisticated Lower Level: Peek at a Project
  1. Laurence Carr says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I truly enjoyed reading the different steps if the project and all the graphics. Great article!
    Thank you ,

  2. Mary Ann Benoit says:

    Great color palette and fabrics!

  3. Janet Lorusso says:

    I’m loving these colors!! What a fun peek at the thought process – it’s going to be fabulous!

  4. Leslie Carothers says:

    Such a fun look at the design process and I love how you present the fabrics in a tray. Smart idea! Good luck with this one!

  5. Sheri Bruneau says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I love the way you walk us through the space, the challenges, and the solutions. This is going to look really beautiful. Can’t wait to see the final pictures!

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