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 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 😆   This has helped me stop pulling at my hair when we sit down to talk design 😂

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:

Master Bedroom Chandelier Straight from the Fairytales

Seems like we're always pushing projects for the master bedroom until the rest of the house is done up. As we near the end of winter (hopefully) and putting its darkness behind us, I guess it's only fitting that it's about time we bring back some light for our master bedroom.  What happened to our light?  Read on...

It all began with an unplanned trip to a lighting store, with no expectations in mind, just to check out some lighting styles and prices.  And you know how it is, you always end up walking out with something when you weren't looking to make any purchases. 

We walked to the chandeliers section of the store, and how can you not be drawn in by all that bling?  Mind over matter, mind over… wow, that looks gorgeous! Is that a red tag? Matter won. 

Out of the hundreds of lights and chandeliers at the store, this Schonbek (and the red tag) won us over. Its intricate crystals trimmings are absolutely stunning. Each piece of crystal dangling off of it is carefully positioned for maximum oomph factor. We both knew we've found THE ONE... cue heavenly angels "ah~~~".

Here's a photo of it without the silk shade.

via  Schonbek

The grandeur of its style and size is exactly what I wished for as the focal point of our master bedroom as we walk through that long alley that separates the dressing nook and the ensuite.  At about 2-ft all around, it's the perfect size and proportion for our bedroom (see design board).  

I just checked my Instagram photo of this chandelier, and it was 45 weeks ago that we bought this light. It's been sitting in its box for that long. We've moved in for more than 5 months now, but as you know, the Mr. has been busy with building our dressing room.

Master bedroom chandelier | Close up Schonbek 2995 | Classy Glam Living

It's not that he hasn't attempted to put this chandelier up. One day while installing other lights around our new house, he thought he "might as well" put up this Schonbek. He removed the builder's boob light in our room, wires hanging out from the light box and all. He opened the Schonbek, shuffled around the box, cursed, and closed it.  

I looked at him "what the?!" as he put the wire nuts on the wires and shoved them back up in the light box. He said the arms of the Schonbek are not wired to the body.  Being busy with the closet and the side projects (this and this) I've thrown at him, he didn't want to deal with this yet.  Totally understandable...

And that was how we've had no ceiling fixture in our bedroom ever since (thank goodness for our bedside table lamps). 

Master bedroom chandelier | Schonbek 2995 closeup | Classy Glam Living

But that was until this past weekend, when the spring-like temperature reminded me of the longer days, and my mind jumps like it does, I (ie. The Mr.) NEED TO PUT UP THAT SCHONBEK!

I opened up that box that was collecting dust, shuffled around, cursed… AND then checked the almighty YouTube in the hopes to find some kind of assembly instructions.   

Found it!   I was entrusted by the Mr. to wire each arm of the chandelier to the centre column.  We've never had to do this with the other chandeliers in our house, so it was a first for us, and for me!  But it wasn't hard at all, I followed the video to a T.

And here it is, in all its naked glory.  My photos don't do it justice, it's hard to capture the spectral colours reflected by the crystals.  Our eyes just naturally get drawn to its beauty and spectrum of light.

Master bedroom chandelier | Schonbek 2995 | Classy Glam Living

This is the view as you walk in to the bedroom area from the alley.  The right side of the room will eventually be the seating area.

The opulence of the chandelier also complements our sumptuous tufted headboard like they belong together.  Those side tables were the ones the Mr. refinished with love while we were still waiting at our rental to move into this house.

Master bedroom chandelier | Schonbek 2995 Tufted headboard mirror trim | Classy Glam Living
Master bedroom chandelier | Schonbek 2995 Tufted headboard mirror trim | Classy Glam Living

We also got the silk shade for the chandelier to visually increase the size.  Its soft oyster colour can complement any decor or future wall colour we may use, and it doesn't cover too much of the crystal trimmings at the bottom of the chandelier.  

Master bedroom chandelier | Schonbek 2995 with silk shade | Classy Glam Living

The drapes are an integral part of this whole package.  They're gathered like ball gowns to act as a dramatic backdrop for the chandelier as seen from down the hall.  

6 shade wall to wall.png
Master bedroom chandelier | Schonbek 2995 with silk shade.  Turfted headboard with mirror trim | Classy Glam Living
Master bedroom chandelier | Schonbek 2995 with silk shade | Classy Glam Living
Master bedroom chandelier | Schonbek 2995 with silk shade | Classy Glam Living

We'll eventually give this room a fresh coat of paint (and maybe some wainscoting) and set up the seating area on the opposite wall.  Until then, we'll be happily mesmerized by our newly installed chandelier, straight from the fairytales.

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.  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.