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Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 | 4 comments

Matt and Angela’s Howell Avenue Taphouse

Matt and Angela’s Howell Avenue Taphouse

Matt and Angela’s home-brew operations keep getting better and better. Matt’s been brewing beer for several years now — everything from pale ales to cider to mead — and last year he added fresh hops from the garden to his brew. Now, they’ve made it easier to enjoy their beer by renovating their basement to include a 3-tap kegerator and lounge area, which they are calling their “Howell Avenue Taphouse.” When they bought their house, the basement was not a place you’d want to hang out — old linoleum floors, drop tiled ceiling, drafty windows and poor lighting. They hired MW Construction Services to help them with the reno. One of the main issues was the ceiling — because of the pipes and ducts and the ceiling built around these, Matt (who is well over 6 feet tall) had a difficult time accessing the basement. They decided to remove the ceiling all together, going for an exposed industrial look, with the joists and pipes painted a dark grey. The...

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Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 | 7 comments

Mark and Sally’s Modern Basement Makeover

Mark and Sally’s Modern Basement Makeover

When Sally and Mark moved into their Del Ray rowhouse a few years ago, lucky for them, the main level of their house had already been updated (we showed you their unique kitchen layout here). But the one thing they wanted to change was the basement. The previous owners used the roughly finished basement as a music studio, installing several layers of drywall on the walls and ceiling to make it soundproof. While that set-up worked well for the previous owners, it wasn’t what Mark and Sally needed. They hired a contractor to gut the basement and add a full bathroom, creating a more usable living space for the couple and their guests. As you can see, that’s exactly what they received! Sally picked an off white paint for the walls, black leather sectional, a soft and fuzzy rug and lots of wood tones. They found the TV console at the Crate and Barrel outlet in Old Town. The sleek modern railing on the stairs was a custom creation...

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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 23, 2012 | 1 comment

A Stylish Makeover by a Home Improvement-Loving Couple

A Stylish Makeover by a Home Improvement-Loving Couple

Brian and Sarah bought their duplex three years ago.  At the time, the house was considered inhabitable and scared away potential buyers. Brian and Sarah were eager to own their first home and weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. But first, they had to do something about the smell. The previous owner, who had been there 40 plus years,  was an avid indoor smoker. The ceilings and walls in the house had considerable smoke damage and required several time-consuming treatments as well as at least two coats of paint on every surface. On top of that, the house immediately needed a new roof — the ceiling was collapsing in the guest room. They also had to take care of some critter issues and address the desperate kitchen and unfinished basement. So what did it look like? Here is the living room at the time they bought the house. Ok, doesn’t look too bad, but you can’t smell over the Internet. After lots and lots of cleaning, priming, and painting, here is the stunning transformation. Sarah and Brian...

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