The client wanted a place where he and his three teenage children could play. The house had a dry but dark basement that connected via a set of utility stairs through the garage to a narrow strip of lawn off the side of his house. We created a number of different recreation rooms in the basement and then improved the stair so it now provides convenient and direct access to new outdoor living spaces above.
The dry basement allowed us to wrap the space in wood. We used the most casual, least expensive “naily” grade of reclaimed pine on the floor, and vertical grain fir on the walls and soffits. The wood makes the room feel wonderfully warm and cozy, making it easy to forget you are underground. Utility and storage closets are hidden behind doors and walls at either end of the room. A 3/4 bath is down a short corridor and behind the kitchenette.
The home theatre, with its 10’ drop down projection screen, is next to the billiard room. On the other side of the billiard room, an additional opening was cut through a concrete wall to connect the new rooms with an older part of the house. In this area there is a ping pong table, a board game area and a drum set. Glass pocket doors maintain the visual continuity between the billiard room and the other spaces but allow for some acoustical separation.
Equipment for the entertainment system is tucked away in a closet underneath the adjacent stair. Lattice doors conceal the equipment but provide generous ventilation.
The former utility stair was partitioned off from the garage, rebuilt and clad in wood, and now provides a convenient connection between the recreation rooms and the outdoor living rooms.
A new French door opens from the stair to the outdoor living rooms, where there is a spa, a fire pit and a grill as well as sitting and dining areas. These spaces connect in turn to the casual living areas on the first floor of the house: the family room, breakfast area and kitchen. The connectivity between all of these areas makes the play spaces fun and convenient not only for the immediate family but for larger gatherings as well.
The existing kitchen was transformed with a new island, new countertops, a new tile backsplash and new cabinet hardware.
A new fireplace and built-in bookcases were added in an alcove of the existing master bedroom, creating a cozy place to read.
The fixtures in the original long, narrow master bath were too large for the space. New console lavatories and a footed tub are still luxurious but more in scale to the room. Reconfiguring the entry to the master bedroom made it possible to straighten out an angled wall in the bath and create an enormous two-person steam shower. Removing the linen closet and replacing it with a freestanding linen cabinet also makes the room feel more spacious.