Multiple National Award-winning Basement
This project won one regional and four national awards for best finished basement: Chrysalis, Qualified Remodeler magazine Master Design Award, Professional Remodeler magazine Best of the Best Platinum, and Qualified Remodeler magazine Janus Award. We wish we had entered the bath to win an award in its own right. The owners selected Cabinetry & Construction, Inc., to renovate the basement of this home on Richmond's historic Monument Avenue. The space included the original maid's quarters as well as a 1970s era rec room. The owners indicated that they wanted to create a contemporary, urban space with a "loft feel" to help offset the very formal, Georgian character of the rest of the house. Initially, they wanted to capture that unused space as a place to relax and entertain. Eventually, their plan is to make the room into a media room with a large screen TV and audio equipment. We accomplished the homeowners' goals through several approaches: 1. We opened up the space by removing almost all of the former interior walls. The only interior walls left were those to separate the living area from the storage/laundry room and a downstairs bath. Two steel I-beams provide the rest of the support for the main room. Those were painted black to make them less noticeable. 2. A bar area was created in one corner with stylized, narrow, vertically-oriented, natural maple cabinets and stained concrete counter tops. An attractive tile face on the bar is illuminated with down lighted halogen hockey puck lights. 3. The tile on the bar works in harmony with the fireplace surround, which uses complementary tile to create depth and interest. 4. The walls were power washed to remove most of the old paint, but some was left to create a distressed, exposed brick look. 5. The floor was acid stained to add warmth and harmonize with the color scheme, which is driven by contemporary warm oranges and cool greens. 6. A focal point of the room is a unique ceiling treatment designed by the homeowners and executed by us. Using a trapezoidal form composed of two contrasting colored triangles, the "bow-tie" element seems to float on the soft charcoal ceiling, while also housing recessed lights for illuminating the conversation area. 7. The whole space is affectionately called The Tiki Room for its theme of mid-twentieth century Polynesian artifacts, complete with large wooden statues and lamps. The homeowners' collection of smaller tiki objects is housed in a built-in niche with glass shelves, lighted with stylish stainless steel track lighting, which is repeated in several other places in the room. 8. In contrast to the vivacious spirit of the main space, the bath strikes a mood of Asian, Zen-like calm. Its geometric angles in keeping with the contemporary nature of the space are offset by a soothing neutral palette accented by pebble flooring and heavily chiseled wall title. 9. The steps leading up to the rest of the house were trimmed with clean mouldings to accent that area and give it presence. It is almost as if it is the room's "front door," as opposed to just a stairwell. Architectural drawings provided by Carpenter & Chen Architects, Richmond, Virginia.