Chic Downtown Basement

Can the right colors turn a dated suburban basement into a chic contemporary den? A young couple choose strong contrasting colors and grounding neutrals for a classic makeover.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionSteve and Sheri choose a warm terra cotta for the walls to blend with the existing wood tones and brick colors.
Before the walls are painted, though, the stippling is scraped off and the walls are primed. For contrast with the dark floors and vibrant walls, the wainscoting is painted cream after the knotty pine is sealed with stain-suppressant primer so that the knots won't show through the paint. Beside the fireplace, the cabinet doors are replaced with new cream doors that match the wainscoting. Next, the shiny brass fireplace insert is painted with heat-resistant black paint.

New neutral beige sofas replace the outdated ones, and blue accents add punches of color. Three pendant lights with blue glass globes add separation between the bar and the rest of the room, and a large mirror behind the bar reflects light in the dark corner. To give the illusion of higher ceilings, sconces (up-lighting) are installed around the room. The final result is a classic contemporary family room with both strong contrast and grounding neutrals.

Did You Know? Orange stimulates conversation and enthusiasm, so it's ideal for a family room and for entertaining.

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