Basement
Feb 25, 2016

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

By: Brittany Devenyi
Basement renovation: Vibrant multi-purpose space

A vibrant and versatile basement makeover Author: Donna Griffith

Basement
Feb 25, 2016

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

By: Brittany Devenyi

A dreary and dysfunctional basement is converted into a clever multi-use space that takes advantage of every nook and cranny – no matter how small.


For six years, Toronto couple Shannon Cummins and Kevin Ramsey lived with an unfinished basement devoid of brightness and purpose – unless you count a makeshift laundry area illuminated by a tiny emergency light. But Shannon, a designer at home decor fabric store Tonic Living, had a vision. In 2014, the style-savvy homeowner transformed their 600-square-foot basement into the antithesis of its former self: a vibrant and versatile space packed with smart storage solutions. “We decided to renovate to make up for what we were lacking in the rest of the house,” says Shannon, who used every square inch to accommodate a kitchen-meets-office nook, a laundry area, a media zone, a bathroom and storage space. Here’s how the pair manages to keep their modern, multi-purpose lower level clean and clutter-free.

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Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

Problem: A dark, dingy basement

After six years with an unfinished basement devoid of brightness and purpose, a Toronto couple is ready for a drastic transformation.

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

Solution: A serious makeover to brighten the space

The 600-square-foot basement took on a major renovation packed with smart storage solutions.

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

After: A vibrant and versatile media room

This bright and colourful basement is now a vibrant and versatile space. The new media room is the perfect space to host friends and family.

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

Media room

The family spends most of their downtime in the basement’s colourful media zone. “We were in desperate need of a family room,” says Shannon, pointing out that their upstairs living area is especially tiny. “I love that everyone can finally be together in our small house.”

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

DIY storage

To hide unsightly electronics, Shannon scored a beautiful Mid-Century Modern sideboard from a local vintage shop. she purchased the piece for its doors, which cleverly slide open to reveal devices like a cable box and game console. The homeowners also dug the floor down two feet to increase the ceiling height and make the space brighter and airier. “It doesn’t feel like a basement anymore,” says Shannon. “Almost everyone who comes down here says the same thing.”

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

Kitchenette & workspace

A mini-fridge helps delineate the kitchenette and workspace from the laundry area.

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

Smart storage

One cabinet drawer is reserved for bar essentials while the remainder conceal art and school supplies, which the couple’s six-year-old son, Max, often uses while stationed at the peninsula – he even painted the colourful piece on display beside the computer. It’s a talent Max likely inherited from his mother, who also paints here and created much of the artwork seen throughout the basement.

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

Laundry area

Shannon initially envisioned a closed-off laundry room, but after considering a few different layouts, she decided it wasn’t the best use of space. Instead, she installed a stacked washer and dryer in the basement’s kitchenette. “It opened up the room, resulting in the biggest living area possible,” says Shannon. The design choice also allowed for additional cabinetry to minimize clutter. “I love having the counter space to fold clothes,” she says.

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

Storage space

Aside from a few hooks and one small cupboard, the semi-detached home lacks front hall storage. Now, thanks to the complete basement overhaul, the family conceals shoes and other off-season items in two large cabinets. “It’s important to edit what you have,” says Shannon. “I don’t keep extra stuff lying around because we just don’t have the space for it.”

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

Bathroom

Before the basement reno, there was only one bathroom in the house. “Having a second bathroom is life changing,” says Shannon. While the chartreuse floral shower curtain and glossy marble tiles lend texture and elegance, the marble-topped vanity delivers beauty as well as function.

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

Functional necessities

“In the end, I chose a vanity that offers maximum storage space,” she says, highlighting the fact that each of the wide drawers actually opens. They’re perfect for stowing everything from toilet paper to hairbrushes and corralling smaller items like cotton swabs in clear plastic containers.

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home

Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space

Meet the owner

Homeowner Shannon Cummins spends time in her basement’s workspace, which is positioned next to the media room – an ideal place for hosting friends and family.

By: Brittany Devenyi Source: Donna Griffith; styling by Stacy Begg Credits: Style at Home
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Basement renovation: Vibrant and versatile multi-purpose space