A finished basement is not always the same thing as a designed basement. Sometimes, the basement begins with the basics: walls, a ceiling, lights, and a floor. Gwen Hefner and husband Micah wanted to turn their tiny, airless basement space into a comfortable mancave. They had the basics to start with. The next step, Gwen says, would be a true test to her design skills.
Family rooms are great for getting everyone together to watch movies. They’re not so great when you want to relax with your book or get some work done and everyone else wants to watch TV. Transforming your underused dining room into a sitting room or home office is a great way to boost the form and function of your home without spending a ton of cash. Just remember to make sure you have the right lighting and proper electrical setup in place.

When the homeowners removed the structure's dropped ceilings and drywall, they discovered dramatic roof beams and charming beadboard. In the dining room, and throughout the residence, they sanded the pine floors and stained them a rich ebony. Here, they sit in midcentury Woodard chairs. A friend crafted the dining table out of wood salvaged from a bowling lane. The oversize light formerly illuminated a factory. The walls are painted High-Gloss White by Behr.
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