Project Description

An unfinished Capitol Hill basement is transformed by mixing old and new


When the owners of this early 1900’s craftsman style home asked for a space that was able to transform from a large open family room to a closed guest room and separate media room, we got really excited! They were open to mixing old and new, and we saw that an opportunity to explore some unusual design ideas.

As with many basement projects, before we began the design, we took care of some infrastructure issues.  We installed a drainage system to ensure the basement stays dry (it does), relocated an electrical panel, and replaced an aging gas boiler in a new location (getting rid of a lot of unnecessary overhead pipes in the process).  After our client was sure the basement would remain dry, we then worked together to design a series of sliding glass panels, which were custom made by a local metal fabricator. The panels can be locked in various positions to divide the space or fully enclose a guest room.  For the flooring, we kept the original concrete slab floor, but stained it a rich color.  The ceiling height was adequate, but not great, so we took advantage of the space between the joists for a large portion of the space by refinishing the existing fir joists and extending the drywall up to the subfloor above.  This visually makes the room feel larger and helps to define the space.

Project Info & Tips

  • We kept the original concrete slab and stained it a rich color. The staining reveals where new concrete was installed at the new powder room, revealing the history of the space
  • Installing drywall on the ceiling in the hallway and a portion of the basement allowed us to conceal pipes and wires, and allowed the ceiling of an adjacent