{transforming an unfinished basement into a comfortable living space}

You may have seen the recent article in the Star Tribune about Dan and Bridget Smith’s quest to turn their unfinished basement into a comfortable, stylish living space. You can read the article here, but for a more behind the scenes look at the transformation, keep reading!

Dan shared with us the colors he chose and some insights into the renovation.

Entertainment Room
Dan used AF-375 Rattan (Aura Matte) in the entertainment room. He said the Rattan really changes color in different light.  Sometimes it almost looks olive, and other times very golden brown.

Bar Area
For the bar area, Dan used AF-220 Masada (Aura Matte). He really liked the way the Masada looks with the cherry bar. The bar and cabinets are Cinnamon Stained Cherry.  Doors and trim are Poplar that were stained to match the cabinets.

Exercise Room

Two colors were used in the exercise room area, HC-8 Dorsett Gold  (Natural Eggshell) was used as the primary color and BM2172-30 Mexicana (Natural Eggshell) served as the accent color. Dan said,  “We went for something vibrant for this room as ‘inspiration for perspiration’, without overpowering the rest of the basement.  The Dorsett Gold and Mexicana are very ‘Spicy’ and blend well together without looking too ‘Golden Gopher-ish’.  Both colors were done in Benjamin Moore Natura as a healthy alternative for the room.”

Hallway and Stairway
In the hallway, Dan used HPM 0259 Persian Fable (Platinum Ceramic Matte) and AF-280 Salsa Dancing (Aura Matte) as the stairway accent. HE chose Persian Fable for the hallway as it is very neutral to tie everything together, yet not so light that it comes off as an off-white next to all the other rich colors. Salsa Dancing, on the other hand, is a terrific accent for the cherry and wrought iron bannister.  Even though it is only on one wall, it is the first color your eye is drawn to when coming down the steps from the main level.

Dan was looking for a cool, soothing color to help relax after a workout for the bathroom. So he went with Devine Hosta. It’s not cold, but definitely cool in comparison to the colors in the workout room.

To see more of Dan and Bridget’s before and after pictures, check out the album on Hirshfield’s Facebook page!

{best basement remodels}

In my family, basements used to be referred to as dungeons – dark, musty and old! It was all we knew – both among friends and family.

Then, with the onset of a new century, two kids and a promotion, most of our friends moved from their starter homes to bigger houses with walk-in closets, built-in cabinets AND an unfinished basement.

What opportunity, I thought as I looked around my own unfinished 1,000 square-feet of untapped dreams. The kids were little back then so naturally the space became a playroom — the place for large toys, loud kids and scratches on the wall. But I itched to make it something more; something that beckoned guests to sit a while.

And with the passing of time, my basement transformed from a messy playroom to a gameroom with a pool table, big screen television, a spot for the Wii and a refreshment area complete with a fridge, sink and microwave. And just like the playroom worked with our lifestyle a decade ago, this area is now a welcoming and inviting space for our teenagers to entertain their friends.

But after visiting basements in this year’s Remodeler’s Showcase, I realized that my own basement is lacking in a few areas. If I could do it all over again, these are the elements that I would include for a perfect remodeled basement: Read the rest of this entry »

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