Fabulous Basement Family Room

Candice Olson turns this off-limits basement into a functioning family room.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThis dingy basement family room is such an embarrassment to the homeowners, they declare it "off-limits" to guests.
Jeannine, Patrick and their two young sons have lived in the same big, beautiful home for more than five years. The house's many rooms were tastefully decorated in a traditional style, with one glaring exception: a dingy basement family room that was such an embarrassment they declared it "off limits" to guests.

The room's troubles included sadly outdated furniture, minimal storage space and a Liberace-inspired fireplace that was too flamboyant for its drab surroundings.

The couple wanted an elegant family room to match the rest of their house, but they also wanted a casual space where they could entertain, play, watch TV and move around without tripping over books and toys. So I made the forbidden trip down the basement steps and geared up to combine elegant and casual in one large, multifunctional space.