a friend of mine jokes that i should call it the "lower level" because it doesn't really feel basement-y. he's totally right - we have full size windows and a glass door down there so it really feels like another room. and if we didn't have this space i think i'd go crazy. it's been such a saving grace for the boys. i wanted to step it up a notch though and make it somewhere that adults want to be too. so we added it to the project list last fall and designed some awesome built ins. i also had the whole space painted white, put up wallpaper on one wall, and added roman shades. it feels fresh and fun now!
*photos by kate renyi of KER Photography*
and from another angle...
as you can tell we have wall to wall carpeting down here which is great for playing but not so great for making defined spaces. i used a couple of area rugs to create different areas in the space and visually it splits up the space perfectly.
the built in design was heavily influenced by a snap i saw on instagram (have i professed my love for IG lately?!). the only real change we made was to add doors to the lower section - the original was all drawers which looks awesome but wasn't as practical in real life. i chose kendall charcoal by benjamin moore for the built ins and love the way the dark color pops. we moved our old tv from the family room down here and it works well in the new space. definitely feels more integrated!
we added the soffit above the right hand section since the ceiling is a little funky and has that step down/up in the middle. the soffit looks like it's always been there.
on the wall to the left of the built ins (where the zebra is in photo above and below) i made a grid of oversized clothespins that are hung with command strips - quite possibly my favorite product ever - to show off the boys artwork. it's fun (and easy) to rotate all of their masterpieces and they love that their work is on display!
on the opposite side of the built ins is a play table for the boys and their friends with a ton of ikea storage. thank goodness for ikea right? also i used the same pattern for the roman shades as for the wallpaper. i think it helps unify the space.
we're a truck family, can you tell? :) above this wall of bookcases is a blown up picture of the boys running around that we took last summer on nantucket. in black and white it's a pretty good photo! you can just see the bottom corner but i need to snap a pic of it. the wallpaper was another great way to define this space as separate. i don't know what this space will morph into in the future - i could foresee a ping pong table (ah!).
when you first come down the stairs and before you get into this whole space there is a little spot that i've carved out for my samples. it's cute - it could be better. one thing i love is that art from pencil and paper co.
just to the left of this spot above is a full bath which was on the list for redo but fell off when the budget got tight. it's yellow and ugly but one day it will be cute. i have many ideas for it. also not pictured is the boys kitchen which again - thank the lord for that kitchen - but not photo-worthy! anyway that's all for today!
wall color: simply white, benjamin moore
built in color: kendall charcoal, benjamin moore
built in hardware: pottery barn boulevard collection (i think sadly it's sold out)
sectional: old pottery barn
wallpaper and roman shade fabric: serena & lily
zebra: dwell studio
sofa pillows: see my IG post here - all sources are tagged and all of them are shops i found through instagram :)
oversize clothespins: see my post here and you will also get a peek at the "before"