May 21, 2014
Montlake Light and Bright Basement
This young couple was running out of space in their home after the birth of their son. They loved the house and the neighborhood and decided to renovate rather than relocate. The home’s existing basement presented the perfect opportunity to capitalize on an already-existing space. Model Remodel’s in-house designer turned what was an unwelcoming raw space into a playroom for the son, a cozy spot for Mom and Dad to unwind at the end of the day, as well as a private guest suite for visiting friends and family.
The basement began as a dark, unfinished storage space. The floors were concrete and about 6 inches off level, and the foundation and framing were exposed. However, after meeting with a structural engineer, the team was able to rework the footings, beams and columns. The designer relocated the furnace and water heater and added new walls, paint, flooring and a guest bathroom. Very quickly, the basement became functional as a live-in space.
The biggest challenge, though, was transforming the basement into a well-lit, warm, cozy space, where adults and kids alike would want to spend time. The first task was lighting. The designer outlined two sliding glass doors into the basement’s plans. The crew installed a 9-foot door in the rec room and an 8-foot door in the guest bedroom, to connect the basement to the beautiful yard. The natural light changed the entire feeling of the basement. On top of that, the clients provided energy efficient inserts for new can lights throughout. To cozy the space up, the designer hid the foundation of the chimney with an energy efficient gas insert. Last, the couple’s fun taste and love of color really brightened up the basement. The multicolored rug, the green fireplace surround, and the colorful decorations truly transformed the basement from how it began.
Now, the basement is indeed one where the parents go to relax after their son falls asleep and their son goes to spread out with his toys. On top of that, it’s a comfortable spot for guests. Despite the very divergent purposes of the basement, the space is fresh, functional and fun for everyone.