From Blah to Beautiful, a Basement Gets the Full Treatment and Now Looks Glamorous


Once upon a time, basement renovations consisted mainly of putting in a rec room, complete with ping-pong or pool table. Maybe there was the occasional spare bedroom project or the in-law apartment, but for the most part, basements were reserved for second-tier living spaces, with most of the action taking place on the main levels.

Nowadays, however, homeowners are getting more creative with basement projects, and we see imaginative uses for lower-level spaces. The Clements project entailed one such renovation, resulting in a basement worthy of joining the rest of the home in its beauty and function.

As you’re about to see, this was no ordinary basement renovation project. The homeowners had a virtual laundry list of requirements for transforming their basement into a multi-function living pace — an extension of the main home in every way, from design to quality to function.

The Initial Plan

The Clements wanted a complete and total renovation of their 1000-foot basement. It would have:

  • A new bedroom
  • An enlarged, open laundry room
  • More lighting
  • More storage

To achieve these goals, a whole new layout for the basement would be drawn up. You’ve heard of the open-concept kitchen? Well, these homeowners now have an open-concept laundry room! This entailed removing a wall and installing a load-bearing beam to create a large, open space.

We also planned a total refresh for the three-piece bathroom, a new entry from the garage into a custom mudroom, and new insulation.

The Obstacles

There are no two ways around it: moving plumbing for a new bathroom is always going to add complexity to any project. For the Clements renovation, the biggest challenge was a gigantic concrete slab in the way of installing proper drainage.

The JBC Solution

Accessing the area under the concrete slab called for jackhammers (and earplugs!) so the drainage could be relocated for both the laundry room and the bathroom.

While we were at it and had the plumbing exposed, we performed a piping upgrade for the homeowner, changing the copper waterlines to pex piping. Once the rough stuff was completed, and those obstacles were out of the way, it was on to flooring, cabinetry, walls, and the rest.

The Outcome

The Clements’ basement is now a stunning, functional living space that’s as inviting as the rest of the home. The creative and plentiful use of new lighting, along with the new windows, make you forget all about the fact that you’re in a basement at all. The clean, white color palette reflects the light, and the small hints of blue throughout tie the design elements together and make the entire space feel intentionally designed — glamorous if you can imagine a glamorous basement!

Every grand living space needs a grand entrance, so we decided to install new oak treads on the staircase that leads down to the basement from the upper area of the home. We also installed vinyl plank flooring, which did a lot to remove the “basement” feeling of the new space. The new windows give credence to the fact that this basement is now a prime living space for the Clements — a featured part of their home that they look forward to spending time in when they’re home.

The homeowners aren’t the only ones enjoying the new basement configuration. Their cat is living in luxury with a custom litter box in the new, custom mudroom. Finally, a spot worthy of his majestic existence! The mudroom also has unique, built-in storage cabinetry that’s flush to the wall, which helps fulfill the client’s need for more storage space in their home.

The walls were re-insulated for better R-value, which makes the home more energy-efficient, something we’re always looking to help our homeowner clients with, in every way possible.

Finally, the living area includes a white fireplace, white walls, and a white ceiling with recessed lighting. The custom daybed nook has a lighting scheme, built-in bookshelves, and storage drawers underneath. The new vinyl plank flooring is finished in a light, natural color to enhance the bright, white, crisp color palette.

From the innovative layout to the creative use of bright whites and carefully-placed lighting, it’s hard to remember this was ever a traditional basement. They have gained a spare bedroom (or a reading nook, depending on their needs), a hang-out space complete with a cozy fireplace, more storage, a mudroom, and luxury living quarters for their cat. There is also a new entryway to the garage, plus a nicer stairway up to the main levels. The Clements home is now truly one-of-a-kind, impeccably designed, and beautiful from the ground up.