Brightened Basement & Laundry Remodel

Architect: Sean O’Neill

Location: Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA

Scope: Basement Remodel with Bathroom and Laundry Room

Sustainability: low-VOC paint, 80-90% recycle rate, tankless water heater, Paperstone countertops, water-based window sill and cabinet finishes, LED lighting, EuroPly Plus plywood

The original basement in this Phinney Ridge home was dark and visually dull, but it had a lot of potential to the trained eye. With a new, brighter design from architect Sean O’Neill, we set off to give these basement spaces greater purpose and glow. His design opened up two bedrooms into a single living room, and created a true laundry room in what used to be an unfinished space in the back of the garage. He also changed the layout of the bathroom, which we fully remodeled.

Because the basement is mostly above-ground, it had ample opportunity for natural lighting—something that the architect took advantage of. The new windows let much more light in, and creative lighting in the other spaces brightened up those rooms, too. Neutral, light colors also played a role by reflecting the light. To further make the basement feel like an extension of the home, we added in-floor heating to keep the temperature cozy after the carpet was removed.

The simplicity of the design does not exclude it from having striking details and healthy finishes. Seen throughout all the rooms, Columbia’s Europly PLUS panel assemblies give the window sills and cabinets a beautiful edge with a striped pattern to the grain. The panels have no added urea formaldehyde and can be purchased as FSC certified. The PaperStone countertop in the laundry room is mirrored in the great room, on the built-in desk which extends into storage cabinets. PaperStone countertops are made from 100% recycled paper and a non-petroleum resin, making them a sustainable choice (and most are FSC certified as well!). The murphy bed allows for conversion of the basement into a guest space.

Aside from natural light, LED lighting plays and important role in the design of this basement. All of the ceiling lights are LED, as well as the strip lights installed in the hallway, bathroom mirror, and the small lights inside the murphy bed. On average an LED bulb consumes 80% less energy than its outdated predecessor and lasts 25x longer. Not only is the lighting in this basement unique, it is highly energy-efficient. Now, this bright basement is as eco-friendly as it is functional.

After Photos: Cindy Apple Photography



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