Creating a modern basement
In our new home, we had a lot to do to create a modern playroom and functional home office. The result is amazing – and I hope it can inspire you too!
I love colour, but I wanted to try something different and edgy in my basement. Creating this space has shown me the power of a minimal palette of black and white. The way to keep things interesting is to vary your patterns but all within the black and white palette. Think stripes, geometric prints, painterly lines and high contrast cabinetry.
Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry is my secret weapon in playrooms. Putting in floor-to-ceiling cabinetry allows you to hide all the visual clutter and chaos that comes with toys, books, cards and all that fun stuff behind beautiful, closed storage. You literally get to close the door on visual clutter and it is a big reason why I love spending time in this room.
I worked with Tailored Living on this space. They make it so convenient for you to achieve organization and order by bringing all the samples to you during an in-home consultation, taking all the required measurements, working with you on a 3D design, installing the cabinets quickly and simply and really just getting you where you need to go in regards to your organizational goals. With franchises across the US and Canada, there’s a solution waiting for you.
I wanted high contrast in the cabinetry so I chose white modern shaker cabinets on the perimeter of the room, and dark drawer fronts on this generous island that allows my kids ample room to spread out and get messy. The combination of drawers and tall cabinets is an important strategy — the tall upper cabinets are great for books and board games, the deeper lower cabinets are fabulous for large bins for toys and and shallow drawers are great for art supplies, paper, Shopkins and Lego. We used laminate for its durability as well as its accessible price point. To add a bit of sparkle to the space, I added pulls by Shayne Fox Hardware. I love the handmade, rustic element these bring to this cabinetry.
I chose to put a sink in this space as it’s so practical with my seven little kids. In keeping with my monochromatic palette, I chose Delta’s new black matte Esque faucet with its sleek pull-down design and modern innovations like the ShieldSpray technology that dispenses water in an unique pattern to clean up dirty dishes while containing mess and splatter.
And I kept the matte black going with the wall paint colour which makes me so happy. I don’t think I would have been as bold to do this if I did not have so much natural light in this space, but I’m so happy with how this Wrought Iron colour by Benjamin Moore turned out. And whenever I use dark shades, I like using it in a matte finish. It’s rich and lush and I love its modern look.
The large-scale artwork might be my favourite element in my playroom. We had individual portraits of our children blown up to fit these inexpensive frames. We hung them around our TV about three inches apart and it creates a graphic element that makes me smile every time I enter the room. Keeping things black and white helps the TV to not feel like a major focal point of the room, and instead sort of blend in to the composition.
Sometimes mom and dad need a moment, but still need to keep an eye on the little ones, so we created a home office space. We actually put a wall up ourselves, including these beautiful doors from Metrie, which I painted blue. I love how the clear glass gives us the option to still peek in and see what is going on with our children.
We put the electric fireplace/media unit by Dimplex and I just love how it creates instant cozy with the press of a button. You can put an electric fireplace virtually anywhere you can run the correct power, and the results are fast, stylish, cozy and so comfortable. There is something about a fireplace that promotes instant comfort and relaxation at home, don’t you think? And that’s what a modern basement should be about.
By Lisa Canning
Blueprints for a Beautiful Life
Lisa Canning is a parenting, interior design and lifestyle expert in Toronto where she lives with her husband and seven children, ages nine and under.