Finished Basement

Gold Winner: Crowdus Custom Homes and Remodeling, Ballwin, Mo.
Project location: Kirkwood, Mo.
Sq. ft. before: 682
Sq. ft. after: 1,460
Project cost: $218,000

The assignment was to create a new entertainment space to accommodate a large network of friends and family. The existing lower level finished basement space was too small and too basic for the clients’ taste.

They wanted to open up the space and create a larger finished area that would reflect their personalities and entertainment objectives. The dropped ceiling would be eliminated and additional spaces would be created to include a gym; a “Cheers” sports bar; dry and steam sauna; workout area; a sitting and movie viewing area; a game niche; and a billiards area.

The clients also owned a condo in Telluride, Colo., and expressed an interest in duplicating the look and feel of a ski lodge, complete with a stone fireplace.

One problem was the elimination of two columns in order to open up the space. A structural engineer was called in and eventually two steel beams were replaced with larger beams capable of spanning the family room without the support of columns.

The client wanted to hide the public bathroom from view of the main flow of the lower level yet allow easy access. It was decided that the dry sauna would be better suited off the gym, while the steam shower would be designed into the bathroom.

The bathroom location along the stair meant the bar could not go into the adjacent space and left the bar invisible to the family room and billiards area. In addition, the area was too small for the gym, and putting the gym there would have meant going through the gym to get to the bathroom. By the process of elimination, the gaming niche was located just outside the bathroom and adjacent to the stairs. It also provided a private sitting lounge when gaming was not desired.

The central location for the bar was the obvious alternative, leaving the rear, more private, bay space for the gym and dry sauna.

The fireplace utilized an existing window for its direct vent discharge, and the billiards area lost its windows because they made the area feel like a basement. Two other windows remained for natural light and to satisfy minimum code requirements.

The clients are delighted with their new multifunction space. It has performed beautifully for gatherings as well as for personal relaxation.

Specified Products

Appliances: Sub-Zero
Bar foot rail: Florissant Ornamental Iron
Cabinetry: Wood-Mode
Cultured stone: Centurion Stone
Door hardware: Schlage
Dry Sauna: Finlandia
Fireplace: Heat ‘n’ Glow
Interior doors: Simpson
Plumbing fixtures: Kohler
Stair parts: Coffman
Steam Shower: Mr. Steam

Silver Winner:
Team entry: Moss Building & Design, Chantilly, Va. and Synergy Design & Consulting, Reston, Va.

Bronze Winner:
CSI Kitchen + Bath Studio, Norcross, Ga.

Honorable mention:
Aesthetic Renovations, Bedford, N.Y.

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