Female-Friendly Retreat for Dad

Candice Olson turns an outdated basement into a masculine room that the man (and the women) of the house can enjoy.

After: Warm, Welcoming Space For All

I started by getting rid of the carpet and replacing it with walnut-toned hardwood flooring. Then I tore down the popcorn stucco ceiling, removed the room’s bulky brick fireplace hearth and painted the space in a light shade of almond.

Next, I divided the room into two main areas: a functional zone and a comfort zone. In the functional zone, I put in a gorgeous, cream-colored countertop along one wall and installed a mixture of dark wooden cabinetry above and below. I put in a small desk for use as a home office, a variety of cupboards for storage, and a small bar fridge to keep game-time beverages nice and chilly. I also put up exotic pressed leaf wallpaper that adds a punch of color and is beautifully offset by the cream counter.

In the comfort zone, I put in a big, dog-friendly, L-shaped sectional in bark brown, two green leather ottomans, a coffee table made of logs and glass, and a big area rug to bring all of the room’s colors together. Across from the sectional I put up a huge flat-screen television for Neil. I also installed a new gas fireplace flanked from floor to ceiling with sandstone tiles that have the look of rustic wood grain.

To lighten up the dark basement, I installed recessed lighting and put up some sconces behind the sofa for some extra razzle dazzle.

Lastly, I put in a whole host of accessories – a lamp, a few throw pillows, lots of artwork and some family photos – and the room was complete.

Before I got my hands on it, this basement wasn’t fit for man or woman. So I blended masculine textures with feminine touches plus a whole range of gender neutral colors, fabrics and furnishings, and I created a room that is as comfortable as it is stylish. Manly? Yes. But the women like it, too! Now that’s divine!

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