After years of this single father being on his own, his basement turned into a dumping ground for unloved furniture and old toys. However, if he and his kids started making plans for his fiancée to maneuver in, it was time to revamp the space to accommodate movie nights, board games and other family activities.
The fashion-forward couple was looking for something more than the typical contemporary basement. Despite having a small space to work with, the family stuck by their desire for a big sectional that everybody could cozy up on together and watch TV or warm by the fireplace. This basically dictated the layout and forced designers Ammar Steven Alshash and Bethany Gale to get creative with smartly chosen furniture, contrasting textures and scales, and layout tricks which made the space feel bigger. He topped the basement with new, classy decor that’s subtle industrial touches to get a contemporary yet comfortable feel.
Basement at a Glance
Location: Edina, Minnesota (suburb of Minneapolis)
Size: 400 square feet
Budget: Around$10,000 for furniture and $10,000 for finishes (carpet, tile etc.)
AFTER: A large sectional sofa was the family’s number-one, nonnegotiable request. “They wanted to cozy up on a sectional, which needed to fit everyone and permit them the choice to choose TV or the fireplace without even shifting,” Alshash says.
Sectional: habit, Della Robbia; carpeting: Specific Carpets; floor lamps: Global Views; end tables: Arteriors; cloths during: Osborne & Little, Romo and Garret Leather
The customers wanted to eliminate any sign of the basement as it was. “They were tired of their basement being a dumping ground, and they were hoping to utilize the space to bring everybody together,” says Alshash.
The area wasn’t a good use of space.
AFTER: Alshash used the stairs as an chance to put in a strong textural contrast via this metallic wall covering, which looks like galvanized aluminum.
“The background just lays out that industrial vibe, in a sense creating a small fantasy for a contemporary way of life, without overwhelming the distance,” he says.
Seat: habit, Dwelling Designs; wall covering: Romo
“The couple discovered an art piece from CB2 and stated they wanted something like it, but on steroids,” Alshash says. He tracked down the artist of this CB2 piece, Jordan Carlyle, and commissioned him to put this edgy work for the space.
“My group and I always attempted to fool the eye with various overscale pieces which were blended in height,” Alshash says. “The sectional and floor lamps, by way of instance, have big footprints but sit low, which makes the space seem bigger than it is.”
BEFORE: The fireplace didn’t have much presence in the old basement.
AFTER: It got a big facelift with a brand new ceramic tile surround and tall sculptures which give it a bigger, more contemporary presence. Its scale stands up to that of the TV display that is adjacent.
A poured concrete countertop furthers what Alshash dubs “a subconscious industrial atmosphere.” The long horizontal line it generates also helps deceive the eye into believing the distance is bigger.
Bar stools: Calligaris; sconces: Jonathan Adler
BEFORE: This small area off the primary space was the ideal size to get a banquette.
AFTER: For an extra gathering option, the customers wanted the family friendliness of a booth at T.G.I. Friday’s but with a more complicated style. This area serves as a good spot for board games.
Fitting in everything the customers desired and producing the stripes and scales work was quite rewarding for Alshash. “At the end I was in love with the layout and how it all came together. I am a better designer today after working with these customers,” he says.