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Welcome to our basement family room, what may very well be the most challenging design project in this house. This space is large and oddly shaped with tons of character. There are plenty of opportunities to design intentional areas for our family to hang out, host, and make memories.

Let’s dive into our design plans for this space!

Why we want to update the design of the basement family room

We didn’t use the basement very much in the first year we lived here. It sort of became a dumping ground for stuff rather than a place we felt drawn to spend time. We did hang a TV and create a sitting area around it, although we’ve rarely found ourselves making use of the space. This part of our home has quite a large footprint and we want to turn it into a space we’re actually utilizing.

Our goals for this project

Joe and I began the design process recently by intentionally thinking about the primary purposes we want this space to serve for our family. Here’s what we came up with.

  1. One of our biggest design goals is to make this dark space feel lighter and brighter.
  2. We want to create a really relaxing space where we can have a movie night, watch sports, and let the kids truly go wild—build forts, play with nerf guns, etc. Right now our green family room serves this purpose upstairs, but it’s not exactly intended to be a place the kids can really let loose and have fun. To an extent, the basement family area already meets this goal, but we want to explore layout and furniture options that will really help maximize this purpose.
  3. We want this to be a really comfortable space where extended family members can stay when they come over. We already have a small kitchenette and a bathroom in the basement, and we may look into adding another sleeping option (on top of our existing pull-out sofa bed).
  4. We also love wine and entertaining so we want to consider ways to make more use of the adjacent wine room.

Here’s what we’ve updated so far

  • Painted part of the brick white (You can see this area in the photo below.)
  • Painted the walls in the family room area white (Previously, the walls were a tan color.)
  • Added a small kitchenette in early 2021, which has served us well (especially during the upstairs kitchen remodel)
  • Sorted through the aforementioned stuff and made numerous Goodwill donation trips

These are the additional updates we plan to make

Make the space lighter and brighter. Here’s what we’ll do to achieve this:

  • Paint the woodwork white
  • Paint the ceiling white (We’ll likely leave the beams on the ceiling their natural wood color.)
  • Paint the remainder of the brick white
  • Paint over the wall tile in the kitchenette hallway (You can see this area in this blog post.)
  • Potentially add wallpaper

Decide on a layout

I’ll start by creating a general floor plan (I use floorplanner.com) to help figure out a layout that will work better for our needs. This will include ideas for better storage and ideas for how to make the best use of the “nook” areas next to the closets. The layout will also inform what size furniture pieces will work best in the space.

Decide on design finishes and furniture

I’ll create mood boards that will help us make decisions about design pieces like rugs, tables, seating options, and furniture that can provide storage solutions. We’ll also look into whether we want to swap out the overhead lighting for something different.

The estimated timeline for these updates

  • Paint: January/February 2022
  • Layout/mood boards: January/February 2022
  • Wallpaper: Spring 2022
  • Furniture: Summer 2022 (Fingers crossed, depending on shipping timelines!)
  • Lighting: Summer 2022

Stay tuned for more details!

Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.

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