Candice Olson redesigns a basement that suffers from all the basic problems common to most basements.
Pregnant women have been known to crave some very strange things, and for one of my clients it was wallpaper. Every room in the house fell victim to the "Pregnant Plaid-Paperer" including the basement. Excessive pattern aside, this basement had all the basic problems that I see repeatedly in basements:
When designing lighting plans for basements, I place the lights along the perimeter, 12 to 18 inches away from the walls. If you have a small space, you'll be amazed to see how this seems to push your walls outward and make the space seem much larger.
My clients wanted a TV/entertainment area, so the old cabinetry was removed and a new TV platform was built at a 90-degree angle to the corner fireplace. All the furniture in this area was laid out based on this angle.
My clients also wanted to entertain large groups of people in the space, and a long bench with comfy seat and back pillows provided oodles of extra seating. The deep space underneath was handy for storage.
Kids also had to be able to play in the basement without taking it over, so a quarter of the space was designated as their zone by a change in flooring. Their toys were hidden behind wall-to-wall plush chenille curtains hung on a ceiling-mounted drapery rod. These "soft walls" also pull across to provide privacy for overnight guests sleeping on the pull-out sofa bed.
Now my clients are not only enjoying a new family addition but also an additional floor in their house.
(Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of Home & Garden Television's Divine Design. For more ideas and information, visit www.divinedesign.tv.)