Basement

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

Bright and colourful basement Author: Virginia Macdonald

Basement

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

Style at Home editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin reimagines her dim and dysfunctional basement games room as a bright multi-purpose space with Scandi flair.

 

Dark. Dated. Dungeon-like.

Just a few of the adjectives that come to mind when looking at the shocking “before” photo of Style at Home editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin’s now-admirable Toronto basement. Low ceilings and black-stained hardwood flooring made the 600-square-foot space feel oppressive – and the hefty pool table, oversized oil paintings and orange-painted millwork didn’t help. “It screamed ’80s pool hall, but worse yet, it was pretty much unusable,” she says. “It needed a total overhaul.”

To the untrained eye, making something of the narrow, windowless space would have seemed like a wasted effort. But as the proud owner of a century home, Erin is no reno rookie and had a clear vision of an airy, functional family room.

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Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

Before: Basement

Erin's basement before its bright and inviting renovation.

Image by: Style at Home By: Mary Levitski Source: Virginia Macdonald

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

White storage cabinets

At the far end of the family room, blend-into-the-wall white storage cabinets offer function without adding visual weight for a bright, airy space. Classics like Breakfast at Tiffany’s grace the TV screen on frequent family movie nights.

Image by: Style at Home By: Mary Levitski Source: Virginia Macdonald

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

Dining nook

An existing large alcove was the natural choice for the dining nook. Grey paint defines it and balances out the stone-clad fireplace across the room.

Image by: Style at Home By: Mary Levitski Source: Virginia Macdonald

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

White-painted wood walls

The next big thing to windows that open to the outside? A pair of radiant nature photographs paired with newly installed pot lights. The wall treatment of white-painted wood boards lends the room a Scandi-chic vibe.

Image by: Style at Home By: Mary Levitski Source: Virginia Macdonald

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

Mauve accents

To sustain the airness of the space, Erin chose a palette of soft greys and taupes with mauve accents.

Image by: Style at Home By: Mary Levitski Source: Virginia Macdonald

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

High-gloss storage

Erin opted for a touch-latch mechanism in place of door pulls on the high-gloss flat-panelled storage unit (made from prefab IKEA cabinetry) for a totally streamlined look.

Image by: Style at Home By: Mary Levitski Source: Virginia Macdonald

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

Storage units

A light push in the right spot on the white storage units reveals the family’s extended collection of classic flicks and literature.

Image by: Style at Home By: Mary Levitski Source: Virginia Macdonald

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room

Wall-hung radiator

Seating options abound in the new family-friendly space. Even Cloudy, homeowner Style at Home editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin’s Siamese cat, gets a stylish perch of his very own in an unused corner. The inconspicuous wall-hung radiator was a practical addition in the circa-1920s room.

Image by: Style at Home By: Mary Levitski Source: Virginia Macdonald

 

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Basement

Basement renovation: Bright multi-purpose family room