Design: Creating a Basement Floorplan for Changing Family Needs

by | Mar 31, 2017 | Holistic Design (Universal Design)

The beauty of working with a design-build firm is the ability to customize each home to family needs. When this family from Clifton, VA came to Sun Design seeking a basement remodel they had very specific requirements for their space.

The Situation: A Multi-Use Basement in Need of Updates

When the homeowners met with us, we learned a lot about their needs.

  • A new pool installation project was planned for the next summer. The entrance/exit to the pool area would be through the basement.
  • As their in-laws visited and stayed over often, the functional (but not luxurious) basement bedroom and bathroom would need to be updated.
  • The wife wanted to create a private space where she could practice yoga, one of her true passions.
  • The family loves entertaining and collecting wine. They needed a space to store their collection from around the globe.

The Inspiration: Discovering Their Passions

The basement space was around 1,500 square feet. While remodeling the basement, we would have to pay close attention to the accent details. To fulfill and exceed their expectations, we wanted to know…

  1. What inspires them?
  2. What are the things they want to highlight in this space?
  3. What’s important to them personally?

We learned that the husband collects valuable movie props, which led us to brainstorm ways to playfully display them. Technology plays an important part in their lives as well. Thanks to smart home technology, the interior lights, temperature, and door lock to the wine cellar could be controlled by the touch of a button. For their entertaining bar, a restaurant-style feel with Chicago bar edge was desired. It would take a truly custom design to give them the detailing they longed for.

The Solution: Incorporating Function & Design Into Thoughtfully Laid Out Spaces

Configuring a basement with several niche areas takes a skilled designer and basement remodeling team. Design details such as coloring, accent pieces, and the placement of certain feature items help carve out distinct spaces in what can initially feel like a single large open space.

In considering the family’s basement remodel, there was an easily identified “room” that could be created behind two load-bearing pillars. With the homeowners’ love of mahogany, a coffered ceiling was created with mahogany wood, pulling the wood down the pillars. This created the gaming area where the pool table and air hockey table could go.

Complex geometry was then used to mimic that pattern on the flooring from the new powder room to the French doors leading out back. Knowing the clients’ love for wood details, we created a unique design in the floor at the future pool entrance using wood-like tiles that could withstand several years of wet feet plodding across the floor. This water-resistant flooring leads to the new powder room for easy bathroom accessibility from the soon-to-come backyard pool.

Separating the game room and lounge area is a double-sided ventless fireplace providing warmth to both spaces. The Chicago-style bar acts as a connection spot, inviting guests from both game play and seated conversation to come over, have a drink and relax. Custom shelving outside of the theater room displays the husband’s collector pieces which now add character to this playful recreation space.

See More Photos of the Transformation

Visit Mahogany Accents under our Basements Portfolio.

Planning a Basement Remodeling Project?

Are you thinking about remodeling your basement? Our basement remodeling experts share their favorite tips:

  1. Think About Your Goals – Who is going to use the space? What purpose(s) do you want the new space to fulfill? How do you envision using the space in 5-10 years? Any other perks you can incorporate, such as added storage? How do you want the space to make you feel? Your guests feel?
  2. Set Priorities – What are your “must-haves” in your new basement? Where are you willing to compromise?
  3. Plan, Plan, Plan – The more up-front planning you do, the happier you’ll be with the results. That’s why we work so closely with our clients before construction begins. By learning about our clients and their goals, we can help make sure the entire project runs smoothly.

Questions to Ask Basement Remodelers

If you’re thinking about hiring a basement remodeler to help with your project, make sure you’re asking the right questions!

  1. Can I see examples of your work? If a potential basement remodeling company can’t (or won’t) show you pictures of projects they’ve worked on, how do you know they’ll do a good job on your project? We encourage you to check out our basement remodeling portfolio.
  2. What’s your process like? A reputable basement remodeler shouldn’t want to dive right into construction. At Sun Design, our basement remodeling process allows us to get to know our clients, create the perfect plans, create 3D models, and much more– all before construction begins.
  3. How involved will I be? You may know some of what you want, but need someone to pull the strings through the design. You may be super busy and want someone who will take care of it all. Regardless, you will be kept up-to-date throughout the remodeling project. At Sun Design, your team will allow you to be as involved as you want to be.

Let’s Talk About Your Project!

If you’re planning a basement remodeling project, we should talk! Contact us online and tell us what you’re imagining. We’ll help you bring your dreams to life.

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We were thrilled with the work performed by Sun Design. We had used a different contractor to build a porch and it was an awful experience with long delays, so we were cautious. The Sun Design team listened to all our needs, presented multiple options to meet those needs at different price points, and delivered on time and on budget for our first floor renovation. They are exceptional at communicating with their clients on what to expect during each stage of the journey and carry our strongest recommendation.

Brendan Mahon



10/10 would highly recommend Sun Design. We found our kitchen layout was too small and wasn't working for us. We told Sun Design what our issues were and what was important to us, and their amazing design team created the kitchen of our dreams. It turned into a whole first floor transformation, moving kitchen, dining room, and living room around to a configuration that worked best for us.

Ashley Norman



I am a HUGE fan of Sun Design! The first time that we worked with them was over 15 years ago. We were ready to have a deck built, but not just any deck, and of course, Jeremy was the designer at that time and I remember how he went about designing it so that it looked like "part of the house" - It is beautiful. We recently refurbished it, and it looks absolutely beautiful!

Josie Zamolyi Caldwell



Sun Design transformed our "cookie cutter" house into a spectacular, unique home. Working with Ericka was a delight - her confidence and fun personality made the process enjoyable. Ours was a complete remodel - kitchen, family room, powder room, upstairs bathrooms, and some primary bedroom work. We loved working with Sun Design so much that we will be working with them again in the future when we are ready for an addition that will add a garage and in-law suite. Highly recommend!

Patti Ahlstrom



SunDesign came up with a creative design for our screened-in porch that beautifully fits into our existing landscape. Project was executed on budget and their craftsmanship is superb. Their responsiveness to a warranty issue we had with the door was immediately addressed. We highly recommend SunDesign — their teams are awesome to work with.

Gisela Ulmschneider



We had a fairly big project to build out part of our house. Sun Design has done a phenomenal job so far. We are getting close to complete. The design process was very collaborative and the execution of the build has gone well so far. Every part of the experience has been top quality and the team we are working with is amazing. The team is expensive but they are able to walk you through where every cent goes and why and they will look at different options to try to help reduce cost. They are well worth every penny. I would want to use Sun Design for any future projects and I highly recommend them.

Jen Navarro



Maryam and Jeff from Sun Design home care department are great to work with. Maryam is very responsive and attentive to all my inquiries. Jeff is my to go guy whenever I need work or maintenance in my property, very professional and thorough with his work. I have been a satisfied customer for 2 years now.

Brigitte Siegall



Sun Design handled the renovation of our large basement several years ago. We finished our laundry room and added two walls of built in cabinets, reconfigured a storage room and run-down kitchen into a guest room and sitting area, and finished a large rec room. Everything was redone - the floors, walls, ceilings, electrical work, etc. Sun Design did a terrific job - the rooms look wonderful. Our house was built in 1962 and we had a number of glitches along the way. But Sun Design made sure that, at the end, everything looked and worked properly. I highly recommend them.

Susan Louis



I have been working with Sun Design for over 15 years. They are a great company to work with, very friendly and professional staff. They are very clean, responsive, respectful of your property and I have nothing but the great things to say about Sun Design.

Goran Zukic



This review is to introduce you to Sun Design services and to recommend them for your next project. We used Sun Design for a deck – sunroom redesign, and the end result exceeded our expectations. Sun Design is easy to work with, thinks creatively, and effectively communicates ideas to enhance projects, and thus Sun Design has my highest endorsement. The staff is knowledgeable, courteous, and friendly. They truly care about every aspect of the projects they do. They arrive on time and leave the place spotless when the work has been completed.

H. Milton Richardson

Our experience with Sun Design has been nothing short of wonderful. From our initial meeting with Craig to working closely with Morgan & Emily, every stage of the design process has been refreshingly easy despite the fact that our kitchen restructure was complex. With thoughtful consideration to our 124-year-old home, Sun Design presented plans that maintained the character of our farmhouse & resolved issues with functionality & form— all while respecting our desired budget & overall objective.

Sarah & Erkan Orman

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