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The basement was right out of a 70s movie set. It came equipped with the classic parquet flooring, dark pine paneled walls, an overpowering floor to ceiling brick fireplace and Spanish-style shelving with the mortar oozing out around the bricks. It even had the quintessential drinks bar. In Nadia's words, "everything had to go." Angelo didn't have a clue where to begin. Nadia didn't have a clue that she was about to get a surprise basement Facelift.
The transformation is absolutely breathtaking. That dark, dated and over-done rec room has been demolished, replaced by a mood that is bright, modern and easy. Smooth creamy white walls cover the heavy brickwork. A series of mirror-backed cube shelving organizes clutter in contemporary style. Silky soft leather sofas, a deep pile shag rug, sleek, custom-cut coffee tables and white plaster fireplace share soothing textures and create an inviting, comfortable escape.
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Faux Slate Benches
Built-in benches delineate the clean, uncluttered look of the room. For continuity, we replicated the solid beauty of the slate hearth on the benches using paint. Light gray colored glaze was rolled on over a dark gray base coat. Sheets of paper that have been crumpled up and then opened flat were pressed down over the wet glaze and removed to reveal a slate-like texture. A small amount of white paint was spattered over the surface with a dry brush for added detail. Always protect your work with two coats of acrylic varnish.
The old brick fireplace was refaced with a lightly textured plaster finish to give it more contemporary lines. The stone mantel and the mortar overflow around the bricks had to be chipped away so that the front face was flat. Then Durabond 90 was plastered over the bricks creating a smooth surface. Next, Spacco (plaster with sand) was skim coated on with a spatula, using cross-hatch strokes to build up textured areas. A very pale umber glaze coat was rubbed over the plaster to highlight and seal.
Shadow Block Floor
Contrasting sheens is the secret behind this stunning floor finish. The old floor was sanded and wiped clean, then base coated with a low sheen, dark gray floor paint. Large squares were mapped out using the original parquet pattern lines (that can still be seen) as a grid. Every other square was then given a coat of high gloss, oil-based varnish.
Clean and Serene
Furnishings were kept to a minimum as we built on a quiet neutral palette of gray and white. We chose spare, understated pieces; white tables, softest baby blue cube wall units, simple gray and white plant pots and vases. But, sensual luxury is not overlooked. Supple leather couches and a soft, deep pile shag carpet finish off our revitalized space with just the right, lovely and light touch.
The staircase was used as the dividing line between living and storage areas. A solid wall was erected on one side of the open staircase to provide the backdrop for a more intimate seating area in front of the fireplace. On the other side of the stairs, 4' x 8 ' sheets of perforated metal were sandwiched between lengths of wood screwed into the floor.
Dazzling Storage Tricks
Walls of built-in storage create clean lines and keep clutter organized and away. It's visually appealing to combine systems of open and closed units. We nailed Masonite panels cut to fit onto the back of the open cube shelving, and adhered mirrored tiles to the back of each cube using double-sided tape and construction glue. For the closed units, we broke the monotony of rows of flat-faced doors with thin, horizontal strips of gray paint spaced 10 inches apart. To complete the built-in look, melamine was cut to fit the area between the armoires and the ceiling.
Mod Coffee Tables
Who would guess these low-slung, jigsaw coffee tables were simply inexpensive louver-size hollow core doors. We cut a rectangle out of the center of one side on both doors. The cut sides of the rectangles were filled with plywood strips. The table tops were painted gloss white and short, brushed steel legs screwed into four corners. This funky, versatile design gives you at least four different ways to set up the tables--like moving around puzzle pieces.
Para Paint #P764-4 - Murmure