Plan for Our Basement Family Room

Basement Family Room Layout | iHomeRegistry | Classy Glam Living

Now that Summer is over, and Fall is creeping up on us, the Mr. is itching to start with getting our basement entertainment area ready.  I guess he envisions that's where we'll curl up for some weekend movie nights in the winter months.  Love it when he plans ahead!

We asked our builder to finish the basement as our family room, so that we can banish our TV downstairs.  It was the best decision we've made for this house, allowing us to live in peace upstairs without TV distractions, and actually be more productive with our after-dinner activities.

So back to our basement... When the Mr. has the itch to get the basement done, I need to help scratch it by getting the design nailed down.  If you're following me on Instagram, and has seen my IG stories, then you would know that he has already painted the walls in Benjamin Moore's Intense White!

I'm so glad I've recently discovered iHomeRegistry.com as my design helper!  It is an online 3D home designing software.  I've never been professionally trained to use the CAD softwares for interior design, and yet I find iHomeRegistry very easy to navigate.  Best thing was, I can custom size everything, down to each piece of furniture!

Armed with my "drawings", I held a design meeting with the Mr.  (The following drawings were all prepared with iHomeRegistry.)

We wanted to maximize the TV viewing distance in the entertainment area, so naturally, this layout below made the most sense, with the couch and TV setup lengthwise across the space:

Basement Family Room Layout | iHomeRegistry | Classy Glam Living

This is my inspiration of the wrap-around media unit:

One of my pet peeves in decorating is working around the TV unit. However, with this being our entertainment room, I have no choice but to comply with it. Another challenge with this layout is the ducts and vents on the walls, which we can't block in case we need emergency access to them.  

That means we had to change our whole furniture placement to accommodate for these ducts and vents.  So, we moved things around.  Here's the new furniture placement layout, with the view from the stairs:

Basement Family Room Layout | iHomeRegistry | Classy Glam Living

As much as I hate coming down and staring straight at the TV, this layout allows us to accommodate for the wall ducts and vents.  Our couch stays on the left wall, and armchairs are now on the right.  Behind the armchairs, the Mr. will build a storage unit, similar to one at our old home office.  I'm still at a loss as to what should be done at the TV wall. 

Basement Family Room Layout | iHomeRegistry | Classy Glam Living

Here's what reality of this new layout looks like, after the Mr. has painted the walls and moved the furniture pieces around (did I tell you he's a visual person?):

Basement Family Room Layout | iHomeRegistry | Classy Glam Living

On the right side of the storage unit will be our eating/ crafting/ gaming area:  

Basement Family Room Layout | iHomeRegistry | Classy Glam Living

For this all-purpose area, I'm planning to pair the IKEA Ingatorp extendible dining table:

... with the 4 chairs that the Mr. reupholstered last year:

On the left side of the couch, we'll create a bar area:

Basement Family Room Layout | iHomeRegistry | Classy Glam Living

My inspiration of the bar unit with brass and glass shelves is from this pantry at Chicago Restoration Hardware's 3Arts Cafe:

Basement Family Room Layout | iHomeRegistry | Classy Glam Living

It's the first time I'm using iHomeRegistry to play around with layouts, and it's so much fun and so easy to use, I'm hooked!  It's a great communication tool for the Mr. and I, because I can't draw for the life of me to get my design across to him, but he's a visual person who needs to SEE what's in my head ๐Ÿ˜†   This has helped me stop pulling at my hair when we sit down to talk design ๐Ÿ˜‚

So to tally up our new furniture pieces, the Mr. will be building 3 units - the media unit, the built-in bookcase, and the bar cabinets.  I requested that the door fronts be of the same style for all 3 units (with varying widths), so that they have a sense of coherence even though they're far apart.  Now the question is, does he build from scratch again (like he did for our DIY closet) or hack an IKEA cabinet (like our first IKEA hacked dressing room)?

And my question to you is, which one would you like to see? Build from scratch or another IKEA hack?
Please select one:

Living Room Reveal and Styling Tips

Living Room Reveal + Styling Tips | Classy Glam Living

Being in a townhouse, there usually isn't a separate living room so to speak.  Since we had the builder finished the basement as a family room, it freed up space on the main floor (and no TV!).  We also didn't need the builder-designated breakfast area, which is in close proximity to the breakfast bar and dining room (c'mon we're only a family of 3).  That gave rise to the idea of a seating area in place of the breakfast area.

After months of anticipation, we finally (!!!) received the end tables we ordered back in October for the living room/ seating area.ย  I had decor items lined up for its arrival since our purchase, and we can now focus on beautifying our living room.  

It's been more than a year since I wrote about our living room design board, and this was what I had in mind for our living room in that post:

New House Living Room Design Board Christmas Decor | Classy Glam Living

Deals come and go, and so our furniture choices differ from our design board.  We incorporated pieces that we love, while still staying true to our decorating style.  Here is how our living room actually turned out:

Living room reveal + styling tips | Actual design | Classy Glam Living

First to set the stage is of course an elegant and comfy sofa.  We've scoured through stores, but none other than the Nicole sofa by Sarah Richardson was our one true love.  The curvy sides and arms add the touch of uniqueness that distinguishes it from traditional sofas.  Plus, I love its large fluffy seat cushion, so nobody would be sitting on cushion gaps.  

Natalie Hodgins, who managed our furniture order seamlessly at Sarah Richardson Design, suggested we also include the back cushions.  We're so glad we went with her suggestion, the back cushions up the comfy factor of a tight back sofa.

With the statement art piece above the sofa as the focal point, we decided to go with a pair of end tables with acrylic legs.  The tables almost seem to disappear into the surrounding, but the chrome accents and mirror bottom shelf bring out the gleam in them.  

Furniture placement | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

Its hard lines are a nice contrast to the curvy marble coffee table and delicate arms on the sofa.  We also love how the mirrored bottom shelf reflects the light from the table lamps and creates depth for whatever decor placed on it. 

Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living
Acrylic end tables | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

Instead of using large armchairs on either side of the sofa, as in my original design board, we opted to use a pair of cane back dining armchairs from Restoration Hardware.  It was one of those decisions that was prompted by a deal, and worked out great in the end.   We already had one from our old house's home office, and saw the second one at the RH Outlet while it was running a 30% off lowest ticket price campaign.  It was a no brainer to grab it!  

Their narrow footprint streamlined the seating area, so that the living room appears less crowded than if we had used chunky armchairs. 

Furniture placement | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

With our living and dining areas being next to each other, we used a silvery blue as a transition colour between the two areas.  The silvery blue tone can be found in the animal print rug, the kitchen stools, and the dining room console.  

Furniture placement | Transitional colour | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

It's All in the Details

Now that we have our essential pieces down, it's time to beautify and liven up the seating area with accessories!  This is a stark contrast to the year at our rental, which I never bothered to decorate.  It was a boring place to stay at, lacking in character without something beautiful to look at.  

Since moving in at our new house, I've purged through our old home decor accessories and curated items that we love.  I don't really work with a theme, other than a seasonal one.  However, the objects still look coherent, because they all represent us.

With a prominent piece of artwork above the sofa, we picked out neutral tones for the throw pillows.  Pulling a darker tone from the art, in this case the navy, for a contrasting pillow colour helps to ground the space that would otherwise appear washed out.

Furniture placement | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

We didn't want too many accessories to crowd up the small seating area.  Afterall, if I didn't exercise control, I could easily pile up the coffee and end tables with everything I love ;-)  

In keeping with the spirit of less-is-more for this small space, instead of filling up the coffee table with books, I decided to give it some breathing space by corralling simple accessories on a tray.

Coffee table styling with mirror tray | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

I used metallics throughout to balance the strong copperish gold tone of the frame.  It helps to avoid washing out the rest of the seating area against the strong piece of art.  

Here on the pale marble coffee table, I used a mirror tray with bronze frame and an antiqued gold lantern:

Coffee table styling acrylic end tables | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

And at the end table here, with the gold resin shell bowl and beige-gold toned capiz shells tray.  I love how the gold Jonathan Adler Carnaby Zebra dish echoes the animal print rug to subtly tie in the accessories.  

Acrylic end tables styling | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living
Jonathan Adler Zebra Carnaby dish | Living room reveal + styling tips | Classy Glam Living

Just in case you're wondering, no, the seating area is not considered done until the Mr. installs the full-panel wainscoting as in my design board.  He gave me the "I've got a lot on my plate" look when I reminded him about it the other night.  I brought it up, just because...  I'll leave him alone for now, as he's still finishing up with our dressing room.   =)

It was exciting to envision this builder-designated breakfast area to be a seating area when I first saw the floor plan.  Even more fun was the design process, and now furnishing and personalizing it to suit our living style.  

We love how it is neutral enough to not fight with the artwork, and yet everything works in harmony.  This is the first room that we see when we walk into the living area, and it should naturally feel welcoming.  We wanted it to be a focal point without being too formal (ie. realistically livable with a kid).  

I think with the speed the little man dashes to the couch after coming home, we've at least managed the livable part =)

P.S.:  The wainscoting should be a piece of cake for the Mr., since he's done the wainscoting with the chair rail for our old house's living/ dining room.

 

Basement Family Room Inspirations

The Mr. has been working endlessly on reupholstering the French chairs, but he joked that I pulled out my DIY whip at him after we came back from our vacation.  That was so not the case!  Being the eager beaver himself, perhaps he felt elated that he had worked out the kinks on the first chair, and just couldn't wait to get his hands on the other 3.  

I have to give kudos to the Mr. for his first attempt at reupholstering.  The chairs are turning out nicely, matching the overall decor scheme of our basement family room.

Our basement family room came about as we decided to have our builder finish the basement for our media/ lounge area.  It's not a huge space, but will be a cozy area comprising of these on our wish list:

Cozy Lounging Area

Basements don't need to feel like a dungeon.  We want the family room to be a style extension of our main floor's transitional decor, and a welcoming spot where we can comfortably put up our legs.   This photo below has all the right elements, down to the blue and white decor that we love.  An oversized ottoman as a coffee table is as inviting as it gets to putting up your legs.  This elegant and serene space is just the decorating style we're after.

Media Centre with Multiple Storage Duties

One can never have enough storage in their lives.   Since we're not planning to have a home office this time around, items that resided there at the old house need to go somewhere.  Where else would be a better place to park these items than a large media centre?  We need our media centre to handle multiple storage duties beyond media hardware and accessories.

We originally wanted one end of the family room to house full height storage, similar to our office built-in at the old house.  However, at our pre-dry wall appointment, we noticed the ceiling is partially dropped where we intended to have the built-in unit.  Instead of having full height built-in storage, having some low storage would suit our space better. I'm loving this series of low storage:

Another view of the same room:

Low storage doesn't take up the wall space above the unit, making that space more airy.  I also love how the lights installed close to the edge of the wall reinforces that roomier feel as the light bounces off the walls.  

Rather than filling up full-height shelves with knick-knacks, we can still style the top of the low storage unit with some statement pieces.  We won't have a fireplace as the focal point for our family room, instead that would be where our TV sits, and we would have the low storage continue across the length of the wall. 

Game/ Craft/ Eating Table

Now that little man has taken on an interest in board games, we occasionally spread out his monopoly set on the floor here at the rental.  We can technically play on the dining table, but half of it is in a constant state of disarray as the dumpster of miscellaneous items.  I'm not a huge fan of sitting on the floor for long, back issues and all.  And this is when the idea of having a separate table in the family room came up.  It'll also be a great spot for wrapping presents, building models (one of The Mr.'s favourite past time when he had no DIY projects), and other family crafts (my wish).  I also imagine us using the table as a pizza servery for our movie nights!  

Whatever the purpose may be, I think I found a table that fits our style and space.  This one from IKEA is a bang-for-the-buck choice!  Even better yet, it's extendible, which is excellent for those rare occasions when we may need a larger table.

And then come the chairs...  as mentioned in this post, we got these vintage French round back chairs at an awesome deal.  After lots of elbow grease, the Mr. has repainted and reupholstered them.  I think they'll pair perfectly with the IKEA table above.

Reupholstered French Chairs | Classy Glam Living

Stylish Bar Area

The Mr. and I love to wind down the day with beer or some wine, and having a bar area in the family room would be a fitting addition.  Our basement isn't humongous, so we would only allocate a small space for this dry bar.  With a smallish space to work with, traditional kitchen upper cabinets would feel too stuffy, not to mention it's too predictable.  

These chic dry bar nooks below demonstrate that we don't need a large bar area to be functional.  Installing open shelves keep the bar essentials readily accessible, while the mirror back opens up the space by reflecting light.  An under-counter beverage centre keeps the drinks fresh and cool, completing the stylish nook.

Source Unknown

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Powder Room

Don't we all dread the need for a bathroom break in the middle of an action-packed sequence?  Be it game night or movie night, to make that necessary yet annoying trip as short as possible, having at least a powder room in our basement is a must. Instead of a full bathroom, we opted to have a powder room so that we're not wasting valuable space for our basement family room.  We'd rather let our lifestyle dictate our use of space than wasting the bathroom space just to have a higher resale value down the road. 

Since it's a powder room, no doubt the builder would just drop in a white pedestal sink in there.  We would eventually like to swap that with a bathroom vanity with storage.  This powder room needs to have its own inventory of linens and tissue papers, because the last thing I want to do is to go up and down the stairs just to refill supply!  This vanity here has drawers storage that I love.  Those dresser legs lift it high off the ground, giving the small powder room a more spacious feel.

Just a bit more than a month to go, and we'll be in our new house!  It can't come soon enough!  I think I will be overwhelmed with emotions when we finally get to use this basement family room for the first time.