Winnetka basement

Basement Renovation for All Ages

We recently wrapped up a basement renovation that was designed to cater to different age groups in the family, a part of which are young children who use the dedicated art space we described in May.

The kids also enjoy a reading nook we built under the basement stairs,

Half doors are good for under-stair uses, among others

and for the adults, a 90-bottle wine storage closet makes efficient use of the space under the stairs.

Remember all that stuff I said about creating more living space in the basement? There are some important storage exceptions :)

Like the wine closet, most of the basement storage and mechanicals are primarily dedicated to specific closets and rooms that are closed off from the main living areas,  

Mechanicals are concealed in their own room, behind a 2-hour fire door, sprinkler, and special louvers that automatically shut under combustion to deprive any fire of oxygen.    

and open storage in the kids' playroom displays a fun pattern.  

A plush carpet keeps it soft and warm in the playroom. Elsewhere in the basement, we used porcelain tile that looks like wood planks for durability and ease of cleaning.  

After upgrading the water service to the house, we installed an ejector pit and new bathroom for the adjacent bedroom.

We've seen a few basement showers that are drab and tiny. Not this one.

The Kohler Tresham toilet complements the wainscot and the vanity with a Grafton faucet and Chalet knobs. 

The basement bedroom closets are accessed by custom barn doors made in Utah. 

A close-up view of the quarter sawn wood grain and barn door pull, a 10" steel beauty. We adore them.

All of these details culminated in a highly functional and livable basement. It was a thrill working on this basement for a beautiful family!

For Young Artists & Students

Small areas of a home invite purpose-specific uses. Mudrooms and laundry rooms are typical examples. Other small areas fade into the background. Around 50 SF or less, these are usually found in overlooked areas such as basements, attics, oddly configured bedrooms, wide corridors, and so on. Occasionally, the owner thinks "we really should do something with this, but exactly what?" 

In this instance, the owners asked us to finish a basement that would serve different age groups in the family. This corner alcove provided a good opportunity for art projects. It measured approximately 7' x 6' with two exterior walls meeting at the corner in the picture below. Only the window existed when we began this part of the project.  

A desk with a quartz top offers storage and durability to resist paint, markers, and glue. Wall-mounted organizers keep art supplies contained above the work surface. Dual outlets with 4 USB ports accommodate electronic devices and, in the future, the space can be converted to a homework station.

Wall-mounted racks have magnetic locks to hang dry art projects. A chalk-board wall completes the 42 square foot space.

Wall-mounted racks have magnetic locks to hang dry art projects. A chalk-board wall completes the 42 square foot space.

The default option for basements is usually "more storage", but we think it should be "more living space" instead. A finished basement can, and frequently should, be more than just a storage facility. Using the basement as a genuine living space is a worthy goal because owners can "recapture" under-valued square feet, both for their own enjoyment now and resale value in the future. We'll follow up with the other parts of this basements soon.   


Remodeling and Home Design