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Square footage in homes today is doubling thanks to the finished lower level on walkout lots. What was once a cold gray storage space is now party central for many families and often includes large recreational areas for entertaining, as well as extra bedroom suites for older children or guests. It can be a challenging puzzle to create rooms around the mechanicals of the house, that’s why a space plan is a critical step in the design process. Design Connection’s on-staff architect has plenty of experience designing something out of nothing, offering homeowners their own indoor playground right at home.

Q: What is a “man cave”?

A: The lower level has become something men get involved in regarding how the space is used. Men seem to love to get away and do activities, so we put in pool tables, café tables and walk-up bar areas. There’s usually a bedroom or two for teens who want more privacy. Every family wants some things different. We think ahead so you get exactly what is right for your family.

Q: What are some ideas for how to use this space?

A: It’s completely flexible. We often divide it into a family room, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. It can become the domain for older kids or a place to entertain. There are usually multiple TVs, a projection TV or home theater. We often install full kitchens and bars and multiple TV areas or a dedicated home theater. If you like wine, we can do a cellar; if you like beer, we can design for beer kegs. We figure all that out in the space planning process. It’s an area where you can dream big, and we can plan for it and phase it in over time if budget is a constraint.

Q: It’s can be so dark and cold downstairs — how can you make it warm and inviting?

A: I use warmer colors, and I don’t recommend using tile unless you put in a heated floor. I like hardwood or premanufactured flooring along with carpeting. We have many tile and countertop selections in our in-studio library, and there will be many options that will suit your style.

Q How can I recoup my investment cost when I sell my house?

A: A finished lower level is for your enjoyment and it should be finished just for your lifestyle. However, it is a huge selling point if you put your house on the market. It will be easier to sell because people don’t want to finish lower levels themselves when they move in.

Q: At what age do the children like to go downstairs? Do I wait to finish this area?

A: If our client’s our asking for the children to primarily use this space it is best to wait tell they are at least 10 to go down on their own. If it is to be used for other purposes and for entertaining it can be finished whenever. I did not finish mine until the kids were older. It was a great space to use for stomp rockets and camp outs!

Design Tip: “The interior design of your home should be based on your own family’s needs. Having a lower level that is just right for your family will add years of enjoyment and wonderful family memories. Make this space a personal statement for your family, lifestyle and make it just yours!”



Let the Award Winning professional interior designers at Design Connection Inc. assist you with your basement design in your Kansas City home. Contact us online, or call 913-210-0511 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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