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What do you do with a dark, unfinished basement used only as a storage spot for household overflow? An Oakton couple wanted this uninviting space to become a place for family movie nights and entertaining family and friends.  They also wanted to relax in the space and not worry about the maintenance and durability of the materials under heavy use from their children and visitors. With the assistance of Gruver Cooley's Interior Designer, Cathleen Gruver, this formerly unwelcoming space was transformed into a visually inviting and multi-functional retreat for the home's residents and their guests.


The overall feel of the finished project is cozy and slightly rustic with some traditional elements which tie to the home's upstairs.  Light and bright colors were used. Durable luxury vinyl tile in a light color with hints of dark brown brightens the space and coordinates with the darker colored cabinets. The ductwork was embraced to create higher tray ceilings which delineate zones for activities like dining or ping pong. The partially open staircase's curving flair at the bottom is copied in the ceiling above to open up the space and invite guests in. Other curving design elements, like the bar, help lead the eye through the room.


A 75" TV is carefully integrated into the design, as is a customized audiovisual system. The TV is set on a stone wall, which features a fireplace, accent lighting and floating shelves, so it does not to become the focal point of the room. A kitchen with refrigerator, sink, dishwasher and microwave provides a gathering and entertainment spot. Furniture quality cabinetry warms the room, and drawers with matte black accents coordinate with door handles. A low maintenance light-colored quartz countertop keeps the space bright and functional. A spa bath with sauna and heated floors completes the feeling of an in-home retreat, while a traditional/rustic runner creates a harmonious transition to the upstairs.


Basement Build-Out


Oakton, VA



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