Basement Remodeling and Finishing in Swansea, IL

An Unused Basement Becomes a Family-Friendly Space For Play and Entertainment

Project Summary: Basement Remodeling and Finishing

A once unfinished basement is now remodeled and finished to be a modern, multi-functional living area, perfect for the entire family and for entertaining.

The Vision

The young family living in this Swansea, IL home hired us to create a more vibrant and fun basement for play and entertaining, while retaining some unfinished storage space. The home’s basement was completely undeveloped, meaning the design team had a blank canvas to work with which to work. The finished basement has been transformed to include a game area, full kitchen, exercise room, dry bar, and a bathroom with a custom tile shower fit for a hotel.

The Challenge

Giving a sense of design to the basement ceiling and making sure the finished basement felt less like an afterthought and more like an extension of the existing home.

The Transformation

Before the construction work for this Swansea, IL project began, a radon mitigation system needed to be installed as the gas is prevalent in the area, and safety is always top of mind for our team. One of the biggest challenges in remodeling a basement is creating the illusion of a taller space. Since the main level of the home had a sunken living room, the basement ceiling beneath it needed some soffit work to give the ceiling a more aesthetically pleasing look. The soffits also concealed previously installed plumbing and electrical conduits.

The soffit we used above the shower allowed us to keep the main ceiling at 96 inches. A large soffit in the workout room was constructed to conceal ductwork, but since we were able to keep it all to one side, there was no major stumbling blocks to the family’s use of the room. Finally, due to the sunken living room overhead, we used a lower soffit in the living area. Because of the deeper pour, however, the soffit was not intrusive.

The homeowners’ use of deep, rich color cabinets, dark wood-like tiling and gorgeous countertops really set this basement remodel apart. The light walls made good use of natural and artificial lighting. All in all, it’s hard to believe this was once an underutilized basement.

The Details

It was very important to the homeowners to have a finished basement that fully integrated with the existing home’s style, so we included some touches that aren’t always found in basement remodels:

  • A large, custom built-in shelf unit was designed to create an attractive focal point in the room. It houses a new wall-mounted television as well as all the necessary audio/visual equipment.
  • A mix of hard surface and soft flooring was used throughout. The stairs leading to the living area are carpeted, while the kitchen and bathroom have Marazzi porcelain tile with a wood-like appearance. The home-gym floor is made from a rubber material specifically designed for high-impact workouts.
  • All the countertops throughout the basement, including the bathroom, kitchen, and dry bar area, were finished with Cambria quartz.
  • There’s a large walk-in shower in the bathroom that, except for the accent strip, also uses the Marazzi tile.
  • Except for the entertainment built-ins, all cabinetry is by Medallion Cabinetry.
  • The electrical panel and internet service are concealed by two wall-mounted cabinet doors in the game area. The doors match the cabinets in the kitchen and dry bar.
  • To avoid a too-large shower and to keep the shower entry as far away from the toilet as possible, we built a custom niche behind it which holds towels and decorative accessories.

The homeowners went to Pottery Barn for both the pendant lighting that’s hung over the island, and the bathroom sconces.