Hi guys! Steffany here – designer at High Point Kitchen & Bath Studio. I thought this would be a good time to walk you through one of my own personal projects – my basement finish! I have found that my own projects teach me so much about design because I learn about what I like/don’t like when it comes to design and functionality. I often use my experiences as talking points when helping a client design their own spaces because I have discovered things that I would change and NEVER do again as well as elements that I believe belong in EVERY space. By knowing these “insider” tips and tricks I can help my clients design a space they will LOVE to use!
The living space in our basement is by far my favorite place in our home. I knew I wanted to create a warm, inviting and cozy space for our family to hang out in so I stuck with warm greys and whites so that the space didn’t feel too dark and dingy. Also, hello?! Am I CRAZY for having a white couch with a toddler!? We purchased this couch from La-Z-Boy and added their stain protection so I know I will be covered if it gets a stain.
I pretty much wanted to ship-lap the whole entire basement but settled on only doing the tray ceilings and fireplace and painted it in Sherwin Williams’ Iron Ore. Cambria’s Roxwell design paired PERFECTLY with that paint color and I am so glad we did a quartz fireplace surround because it brightens that area up and adds a really fun focal point to the tv wall. We ordered unfinished Norcraft Cabinetry and floating shelves and had them painted in Iron Ore. We also had the cabinets “prepped for glass” but opted for black wire mesh knowing that we would be storing electronic devices that needed space to breathe.
The majority of my basement décor came from my signature favorite store – Dwellings in LeClaire. If you haven’t been, I HIGHLY recommend stopping by to check out their home décor. It is located in a quaint house on Cody Road and Mike, the owner, changes out the décor for every season. The Christmas season is magical there!
The bar space was originally intended for a storage room in our blueprints but we knew we HAD to have a bar in our basement! We love hosting our friends and family and wanted the extra gathering space versus having a storage space for useless items to collect dust. Our storage room is behind that built-in shelving area you see next to the bar. It’s a secret door! Our contractor, Dan Ryan with Quality Custom Homes and Carpentry Concepts suggested we do this and it was the best decision ever! It’s so fun showing people that we have a “secret room”.
This bar does NOT disappoint when it comes to storage. Living in our home and using our kitchen for three years I knew what I was missing and what we needed to have in our basement bar. The cabinet to the right of the sink is a pull out garbage can, which I think is a must have for any kitchen and bar. It has two trash cans which is perfect for a bar because you can use one for garbage and one for recycling cans. The corner drawer cabinet was kind of a disaster and something that I need to think about when designing my clients’ homes. We had the hardest time trying to fit that cabinet through our doorways/staircase and I wasn’t even sure that it would make it to the basement! We were finally able to squeeze it through somehow and I’m so glad we did because it provides extra drawer space.
The first thing that people typically notice are the bar countertops because it’s the first thing you see right when you walk down the stairs. These are Cambria quartz countertops in the Annicca design with a matte finish. Having a matte finish here was important to me because I feel that it hides spills and drink rings more than a typical polished finish. The cabinetry we used for the bar is Norcraft Cabinetry in the Slate finish on Oak.
The bathroom is where I really wanted to show some trendier design elements! My design style tends to be more on the classic and neutral side for the simple fact that I know my husband would KILL me if we had to keep remodeling to keep up with the trends. Knowing that this bathroom was such a small space I was able to add some more fun features like the patterned tile and SW Hunt Club paint color knowing that paint can be easily redone and the floors could be covered with Luxury Vinyl Plank or Luxury Vinyl Tile in the future if we ever got sick of them.
Knowing that I was adding some trendy elements to the bathroom – I wanted to keep the shower classic black and white with hexagon and subway tiles because remodeling a shower in the future is not a task that I want to take on! We worked with several other local, small businesses on our basement project so I knew that Steve’s Mirror and Glass would be able to handle my request of making a custom frameless, grid-style shower door. It turned out perfectly!
Another one of my crazy ideas that I had to convince my husband of was turning the under-the-staircase storage area into a playroom for our daughter. She was barely one when the basement finish was completed so I know that we will get quite a few more years of use out of this playroom! When her friends come over, they LOVE playing in there. My husband made the Dutch doors and the barn door at the bottom of the staircase so we can shut it and turn up the surround sound to watch movies and sports without bothering our sleeping babe!
I must say, the playroom doesn’t normally look like this! Usually it looks like a toy factory exploded but it’s perfect because my upstairs living room can stay clutter-free! Our basement carpeting is Karastan and it is uber-soft and has a stain resistant fiber so any spills are easy to clean up. We chalkboard painted one wall and added stick on wall-planks to the remainder of the walls. A favorite thing for kids to do is open and shut those Dutch doors, so needless to say – we are well aware these walls will be taking a beating!
Design is not only my job, but one of my favorite hobbies as well! Working on my basement finish was such a great opportunity to showcase my talents and incorporate some materials into my home that I have been dying to use! If you have any projects coming up – please reach out! I would love to help you design your space or even just chat about your project if you need some advice!
– Steffany Dietz, Kitchen & Bath Designer