By Charlotte Safavi

Published on August 26, 2015

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Photography by Raquel Bianca

Seri and her husband have two small children. She needed a place for them to play and stash their toys, as well as a designated storage space for her burgeoning business props. The couple also wanted to have overnight guest quarters.

“We simply shopped the home for unused square footage,” says Lisa, forgoing the notion of a costly addition. “By thinking creatively, we came up with a whole new floor by simply looking beneath the existing house.”

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Absorbing half of a two-car garage (the family only keeps one car) and renovating the entire below-grade basement, Lisa designed a fresh, clean-lined, multipurpose space to meet the young family’s needs.

“Seri definitely didn’t want a typical recreation room vibe,” adds Lisa, continuing, “We compartmentalized the floor plan to create different open and closed niches, and then decorated them all in a sleek contemporary style, with a fun casual feel.”

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Photography by Raquel Bianca FLOOR TILE Volcano (Nero)  www.nemotile.com [linkbuilder id="179" text="subway tile"] Metro (Ultra-white)www.nemotile.com CEILING PAINT BM 2120-10 (Jet Black) VANITY Early 20th century mercantile vanity with white Carrera top www.rh.com GLASS CHESTPharmacy Bath Tall Cabinet in black www.rh.com SCONCES Edison caged single sconce in gunmetal www.rh.com
There’s ample storage in the black-and-white guest bathroom. Keeping the grout black on the tiled walls makes for easy maintenance and lends further high-contrast to the design.

 

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Photography by Raquel Bianca FLOOR TILE Volcano (Bianco)  www.nemotile.com STOOLS Tolix-style barstools custom-painted in BM 2071-30 (Mystical Grape) www.etsy.com LIGHT FIXTURESTom Dixon Beat Light Tall www.ylighting.com SHELVING custom-made in Black Walnut www.abacainteriors.com

The same subway tile, as used in the bathroom, defines the open kitchen and wet bar. Open shelves keep dishwares handy and don’t clutter up the visual space with upper cabinets.

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“By using few materials, we kept product and labor costs way down, releasing more money to invest in custom-designed cabinetry,”—says Lisa

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Photography by Raquel Bianca KID TABLE AND CHAIRS www.ikea.com HALF WALL PAINT Chalkboard Paint (308), Black, BM; CEILING WOOD FINISH Woodhaven Ceiling Planks in Ash www.armstrong.com

Painting the half wall in chalkboard to one side gives a place for the kid’s to draw and for the adults to display menus or write shopping lists.

 

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Photography by Raquel Bianca SIDE TABLE Waldorf Side Table www.westelm.com CHAIR Cleo chair www.grandinroad.com BED homeowners BEDDING Peyton duvet cover and shams www.pbteen.com CARPET Frontier www.surya.com PENDANTS Candlestick www.cb2.com PAINT (throughout) BM Super White (PM-1) MIRROR Vintage PILLOW zebra www.dwell.com

The guestroom occupies a former garage (single car spot.) Wainscoting creates a beach cottage look, while emerald-green and canary-yellow accent the edgier black-and-white palette.

 

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Photography by Raquel Bianca CHEST Wearstler for Worlds Away (trade only) FLOORING Northern White Oak in Mystic Taupe  www.armstrong.com  PAIR OF LAMPS ON CHEST Vintage

A chest of drawers holds visiting guest gear, as well as spare sheets. Its top is styled like a chic sideboard with lamps and objects.

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Photography by Raquel Bianca CARPETS Lappljung Ruta and stripe Stockholm www.ikea.com YELLOW COFFEE TABLE Urban Green www.allmodern.com KID CHAIR AND GREEN TABLE www.ikea.com

The half wall works with existing structural posts, separating the playroom from the open kitchen area. Along the left wall are seamless custom built-ins for toy storage.

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In the old basement, there’s now a kids’ playroom; an open kitchen and wet bar, where the adults like to hang out; and a full bathroom and dedicated guestroom.

“For economy, we used limited materials (ceramic wall and floor tiles; wood floor and ceiling finishes) and a very basic palette,” says Lisa, who primarily worked with white, black and grey.

“The half wall works around the structural pillars. The kids can play or watch TV, and the adults can sit comfortably at the wet bar for a drink, while keeping an eye on the little ones,” says Seri.

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Photography by Raquel Bianca SOFA Comfort Square Arm Slipcovered sofa bed www.potterybarn.com ART www.surfaceview.com LIZARD PILLOW www.calypsostbarth.com RUG vintage COFFEE TABLE vintage Moroccan tea table WICKER CHAIR  www.ikea.com PARSON’S DESK www.westelm.com CORKBOARD [linkbuilder id="180" text="emily and merritt"] Scallop memo board www.pbteen.com GOLD SIDE TABLE Martini table www.westelm.com
When the kids’ playroom moved into the basement, Seri was able to repurpose the space as an office and small sitting room, with a spare sofa bed.

 

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Photography by Raquel Bianca
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Photography by Raquel Bianca

The result is a user-friendly, multifunctional space, with great storage, that has added more than 1000 square feet to the house—all without the hassle or expense of new construction.

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