Renovations
Oct 1, 2009

Fabulous finished basement

By: Kathleen Dore

Fabulous finished basement Author: Style At Home

Renovations
Oct 1, 2009

Fabulous finished basement

By: Kathleen Dore
finished-basement-before.jpgHow many renovation stories start with “One thing led to another...”? Yes, the old domino effect always thickens the plot, as it did for Style at Home art director Susan Rogers and her husband, Scott, a construction manager. When the two decided to install a second bathroom in the basement of their Toronto home, the project soon expanded to incorporate a new laundry/craft room and TV/guest room. And executing their plans meant digging down to gain headroom. Undaunted, Susan and Scott seized the opportunity to exercise their design savvy and bring their 1930s home into the 21st century with new technology, energy-efficient features and storage solutions. But wait! Don’t skip to the happy ending. As with any great story, the lessons along the way are well worth reading.


finished-basement-lounge.jpg

Sitting area The sectional sofa is a comfy spot to watch TV, and doubles as a pullout bed with hidden storage. A shag rug introduces texture to the tailored decor. Homeowner and Style at Home art director Susan Rogers joined two IKEA rugs with duct tape to create just the right size. Framed vintage streetcar canvases add graphic punch. How fitting that Rogers is at the top of one of them!

 

Susan, who prefers a tailored, uncluttered look, used her professional skill with colour to give the basement a polished look. The three areas flow together thanks to a tight scheme of grey, white, red and black, as well as the repetition of back-painted glass and stainless steel. Pairing classic houndstooth fabric with an Asian-inspired red-and-white linen imparts a contemporary, sophisticated vibe. There are fun touches mixed in, like the Toronto Transit Commission vintage streetcar route roll that was transformed into artwork.

finished-basement-desk.jpg Desk space Susan inherited a vintage desk and chair from her father and had them lacquered to freshen the look. Above, Scott decided to leave the steel I-beam exposed for architectural interest.

 

finished-basement-workspace.jpg Workstation The stainless steel island serves as a crafts and laundry table. The mix of white glass and red lacquered cabinet doors created just the right balance of serenity and vibrancy. Re-covering the bar stool in the same fabric as the ottoman linked the crafts area to the TV room.

 

finished-basement-iron.jpg Everything in its place Boxes are labelled and stacked neatly behind doors. "I guess you could say I take after my father, who was an organized pack rat," says Susan. Covering the ironing board in matching fabric adds a note of beauty where it's least expected.

 

"Anything you do in a basement affects the whole house," says Scott. All the home’s electrical, heating and plumbing systems converge there. He and Susan sketched a floor plan to accommodate three rooms and a hall in a 400 sq. ft. space. "But first we had to dig down 14" in order to gain 7" of headroom," Scott says. Going deeper would have necessitated under pinning the footings to preserve the integrity of the foundation – too time- and cost-prohibitive. The couple replaced their aging furnace and hot water tank with a single compact system – a state-of-the-art wall-hung Munchkin boiler. "They’re 50 to 100% more expensive than conventional systems, but in four to seven years you get full payback in fuel savings," says Steve Goldie of Noble Trade, the dealer Scott worked with. The savings were important to the couple, who recovered some of their costs by participating in an eco-retrofit program and taking advantage of government rebates, grants and tax credits.

finished-basement-bathroom.jpg Bathroom Scott built the vanity from nine-ply furniture-grade Baltic birch plywood because he likes seeing the end grain when he opens the drawers. The hardware on the sliding shower door beautifully echoes the drawer pulls.

 

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What was used
Toto Eco Lloyd toilet, Lloyd mixing valve trim, Kiwami Renesse lavatory and faucet, Noble Trade. Pocket doors, Milette. Paint: Barren Plain 2111-60 (walls), Calm 2111-70 (ceiling), Stone Harbour 2111-50 (pocket doors), Benjamin Moore. Henriksdal bar stool, Dacke island, Staron counters, Rubrik white cabinet doors, Abstrakt red cabinet doors, Kassett storage boxes, Rationell drawer pullouts, Besta Burs black cabinet, Akurum cabinet carcasses, Rationell shelf lighting, Numerar laundry sink, Hovskar faucet, Manstad sofa bed, IKEA. Fabric: Square Pegs in Sterling (sectional), Crystal Lake in Lacquer (ottoman, bar stool, cushions, ironing board cover), Dunborne in Canyon (cushions, desk chair seat), Robert Allen. Upholstery, Princess Perfect. Panasonic Viera flat-screen TV, Panasonic Canada. Thinstall TV wall mount, ChiefMounts Canada. Back-painted glass (shower and bathroom baseboards), backsplash (laundry room), shower door and hardware, Adanac Glass. Windows, exterior door, JELD-WEN Windows and Doors. Concrete floor finishing, Concrete Your Way.

 

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Renovations

Fabulous finished basement