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Posted by on Jun 4, 2012 | 0 comments

A Multi-Purpose Basement Designed with Style and Fun

A Multi-Purpose Basement Designed with Style and Fun

Basements are a tricky room to decorate, especially when they serve multiple purposes. Too many toys and it’s a romper room, dark paint and furniture and you have an unwelcoming dungeon, the wrong decorating scheme and it pleases one resident but not the other. I was so excited when I first saw Liz and Cameron’s basement because they seem to have found ways to work around all these issues, balancing toy storage, a lack of natural light, and a gender-neutral decorating scheme. Liz and Cameron chose yellow, black and white as the main colors for the room. Yellow and black are natural partners, and white goes with everything. They opted to paint just the bottom half of the walls a chirpy yellow, appropriately named Baby Chick by Benjamin Moore. Painting all the walls yellow would probably be a little overwhelming for such a bold color. They also considered just a yellow accent wall, but decided a half wall around the room would be a fun alternative. Liz says she chose black because it goes...

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Posted by on May 4, 2012 | 1 comment

A Home Tour Worthy Basement Renovation

A Home Tour Worthy Basement Renovation

Barbara’s house was featured on the 2010 Del Ray House and Garden Tour, each room carefully and thoughtfully designed and decorated, like every fabulous home on the bi-annual tour always is. But there was one area of the house that wasn’t on the tour, the basement. Unfinished and unloved, it was not a happy place. Barbara loves to entertain, and she really wanted more space for out-of-town guests to feel at home. She enlisted the help of relatives from New York, who just so happen to be contractors (always great to have a skilled contractor in the family!). They spent several months off and on to meticulously finish the project, making sure the work was done right and done well. And their hard work shows. The finished room has that unbasement-like quality we all want. Even without loads of natural light, you don’t feel like you’re partially underground. The first thing you notice when you head downstairs is Barbara’s choice of color. The sectional from West Elm adds a brilliant...

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Posted by on Jan 12, 2012 | 3 comments

Weekend Project: Turning Empty Space Below the Stairs Into Useable Storage

Weekend Project: Turning Empty Space Below the Stairs Into Useable Storage

For those of us who live in the typical Del Ray rowhouse, we long for ideas to create more storage but not take up more room.  Most of us have basements that boast some sort of hollowed out space below the stairs leading from the main floor to the basement.  I’ve dreamt of turning that space into an office alcove or cutting out the wall and putting in storage like this. But, as life got crazy, sadly I never got around to it.  Have no fear though, my good friend Zach, who has a great rowhouse in Warwick Village, decided to tackle the basement project over the weekend.  Yes you heard right, my overachiever (in a good way) of a friend did this in two days while his wife and cute baby girl were away. Here is a before picture of what the wall looked like before the construction began. After determining the size of the shelves, Zach cut away the drywall, framed up the structure with 2″x 3″ wall studs and covered the...

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Posted by on Nov 22, 2011 | 6 comments

From Unfinished Basement to Music Lover’s Man Cave

From Unfinished Basement to Music Lover’s Man Cave

When I married my husband I also married his expansive music collection, including Lionel Richie and Marvin Gaye, gospel music, country, old school rap, and hair bands.  He, like his father and grandfather, has a deep appreciation of all music genres.  This, coupled with the need to collect things, has led to a LARGE collection of cds. When we moved into our house four years ago we put the cds away in boxes and housed them in our one basement storage closet.  But, as the years passed, and we accumulated toys and new heirlooms, the need for space became a HUGE issue — I mean, when is space not at a premium in our area?! Unfortunately, the cds were not going away and Paul wouldn’t let me get a storage unit so we needed to figure out a solution both of us could agree on.  This is where the man cave discussion came in:  We decided to do a basement renovation to turn an ordinary unfinished basement into a music lover’s, kid-friendly man cave. Now, as easy as this may sound, it actually took all of four...

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