This loftlike cellar was not always bright and airy; it’d oppressive, low ceilings and has been utilized as a dumping ground for odds and ends around the house. But architect and builder Bruce Wentworth saw possible in the cellar and envisioned it as a fun family room with a more laid-back texture than the home’s upper floors. Together with all the homeowners, Wentworth and his staff made a space which houses the press space, a little home office plus a sunny play area.
“The remainder of the house is very much in accord with their conventional Colonial Revival architecture. But they’re big fans of Scandinavian interiors and furniture and have been open to investigating a more modern approach for the cellar,” says Wentworth.
The open floor plan and exposed joists provide the feeling of additional height. Wood strip-clad inside columns hide support beam, ducts, pipes and wires.
“Rather than attempting to fuse the look of the basement together with the conventional design of the upper floors, we opted for a simpler layout that reflected their existing taste and lifestyle,” Wentworth says.
BEFORE: The basement’s low ceiling prevented the family from spending much time in the space.
AFTER: Wentworth solved the issue of irregular floor slabs in the cellar by pouring a liquid leveler prior to installing large-scale porcelain tiles. The tiles withstand stains and moisture and are easy to clean, which makes them a great selection for a basement family room and play room.
“There are two young kids in the house, so the basement is used as a playroom for the kids, a TV and press room for the adults and a lounge that feels more modern and cozy,” says Wentworth.
When funds were unlimited, Wentworth says, his clients would go in the path of a full house overhaul. “But in the meantime, it’s fine for them to possess this refreshing shift in the cellar”
Cabinets on this level give the family more storage and business options for toys and loose items.
Wentworth created a cozy home office desk from walnut veneer plywood in a little corner by the entrance. Built-in shelves and a floating desk provide the clients plenty of space beneath.
“it is a tiny sanctuary for the husband to research, learn new languages — all while the kids are still within plain view,” says Wentworth.
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