Basement
Nov 12, 2014

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

By: Rosemary Counter
Basement renovation: Stunner down under

A lack luster basement gets a chic update. Author: Ashley Capp

Basement
Nov 12, 2014

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

By: Rosemary Counter

Who says basements have to be afterthoughts? Sure, they can be cold and lack light, but that didn’t hold back design blogger Christine Dovey. Here’s how she made her lowest level one of the top attractions in her home.

With two small children, a baby on the way and a teenager heading off to university, Christine Dovey had to do some serious shuffling last year to create a space in her Oakville, Ont., home that would work for the whole family. “I really needed an adult-friendly common area that could also offer storage for toys and serve as a crash pad for my eldest daughter, Natasha, when she’s home from school (and doesn’t want to see her mom before noon),” says the design blogger.

The only answer was the basement, a dark and dingy storage space-slash-makeshift playroom where “the kids would go, but no grown-up would ever spend time,” says Christine. The 1,000-square-foot basement had ancient wall-to-wall stained beige carpeting, a bathroom with a plastic shower and a laundry “hole” (as Christine puts it) concealed behind a curtain.

 “I wanted it to feel clean and glamorous, but still accessible; put together, but not stuffy. And thus our small flooring project snowballed into a full reno to create a basement that’s modern, urban and main-floor worthy.”

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Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Before

The 1,000-square-foot basement desperately required a makeover, with its ancient wall-to-wall stained beige carpeting and a bathroom with a plastic shower and a laundry “hole” (as Christine puts it) concealed behind a curtain.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Family room

The family room’s low off-white wool sectional is durable and comfortable: perfect for watching TV together as a family or for Christine’s eldest daughter, Natasha, to host sleepovers when she’s home from university.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Oversized artwork

A dramatic oversized print of Adolf Ulrik Wertmuller’s 1785 painting Queen Marie Antoinette of France and Two of Her Children Walking in the Park of Trianon adds a grand, almost palatial, element to homeowner Christine Dovey’s basement family room; it also adds an antiquated foil to all the sleek modern furniture.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

First-floor worthy

The key to making a lower-level space first-floor worthy is to decorate with pieces from your principal rooms. One such example here is the original Platner armchair–scored many years ago on eBay for a bargain – which was relocated from the upstairs living room.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Modern elements

The modern high-gloss floating console is actually kitchen cabinetry from IKEA . Christine had it mounted on the wall to keep the hallway feeling open and airy, and topped it with a quartz countertop. A floating shelf displays artwork and family photos.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Laundry room

In the laundry alcove, Christine made the most of a tiny space: Floating shelves allow for a pretty display, while the addition of a butcher-block countertop provides room for a small sink as well as a place to fold clothes.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Sliding doors

Unable to move the laundry nook, Christine got creative and hid the area behind sliding doors. Originally from Romania and painted blue and white, the set of four antique doors was made over with glossy black paint and frosted glass (with the words “laundry room” cheekily etched on) and attached to a track.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Subway wall tiles

Artwork and subway tiles make for a great statement on this laundry room wall.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Basement bedroom

In Natasha’s bedroom, wall-to-wall painted silk drapery helps disguise the diminutive basement window. The low profile bed frame, with its built-in shelves, suits the small space. The palette, inspired by the colourful rug, is tied together by the oversized artwork painted by Christine.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Walk-in shower

A custom walk-in shower (a style selected because of the small space bathroom) features a simple but modern design: one large sheet of glass with a grid of powder-coated steel rods that makes it look like a set of windows. Christine says it’s also a dream to clean.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Black and white palette

In her go-to black and white palette, Christine created a bathroom that feels at once modern and old-world. “I wanted it to really feel like a subway station in Paris,” she says. So she chose marble basket-weave tiles for the floor and white ceramic subway tiles with dark grout for the walls.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Stunner down under

Glamorous expanded bathroom

The expanded bathroom – now twice as big as before – does double-duty as an ensuite for Natasha and a guest bathroom, since there’s no powder room on the main floor.

By: Rosemary Counter Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

 

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Basement

Basement renovation: Stunner down under