My in laws had been living in a downstairs section of our house for a few years. They just moved out and we are planning on making one of the room into our TV/living room.
The room itself is about 20x15.6 This room is in the lower level of our house and that level is about 1/2 way into the ground. It is NOT a basement. You have to walk UP one step to get into my front door from outside. Once inside the front door you have 6 steps to go upstairs or six steps to go downstairs. I'd say the downstairs is about 3' below ground. The ceiling is only about 7.5' and the room gets very minimal natural light. It doesn't have recessed lighting but I would like to install some.
Anyway, we pretty much have a blank slate here. We'd like new wall colors, new furniture and new flooring and we are probably steering towards a laminate.
I do plan to look at some of the rooms on here but I wanted to get opinions on my situation first. Can we go with a darker laminate floor or should we go lighter? We are open to anything. What about the walls and furniture colors?
Jun 26, 2012, 05:42 PM
Hi cm, my house is exactly the way you have described your's. My downstairs windows are directly in line with the ground outside. I have a big family room downstairs, utility room, and my bedroom and bathroom. My downstairs family room is carpeted (light carpet) with a light green on the walls. In the family room, there are only two overhead lights and two potlights showcasing the fireplace. It is still dark down there as it doesn't get a lot of natural light, especially in winter (I live in Alaska). Your room would be perfect for your TV viewing. If you want dark floors and furniture, go for it but just plan on it being cozy but if you can install a few more overhead lights, you should have plenty of lights. When those lights go off though, it will be dark - perfect for watching tv!
Jun 26, 2012, 07:05 PM
Around here the style of home you have is called a bi-level. Also called a raised ranch in some areas.
My suggestions on decorating are to always to make the choices you like the best. If you like darker flooring go for it. There are always pros and cons to every decision but your preferences are the most important consideration. Also keep in mind the choices you have made in the rest of the house because I think it's best if there is some consistency throughout. It's not easy to start decorating without some plan or an inspiration piece so take some time to do/find that. Once you have more firm ideas on your choices there will be lots of good advice here.
Can you please post a picture so that we get better idea
Jun 27, 2012, 09:07 AM
In my area your home is typically called a split-level. I tend toward thinking light, light and more light in a room that is normally dark and would opt for a light bamboo colored floor instead of a dark one. I would install as many recessed lights as my pocketbook would allow. From there you can incorporate darker colors if you'd like into the mix -- even black, and the room should not seem dark at all. Good luck with your new family room.
Jun 27, 2012, 02:15 PM
Hi, cm -- What a wonderful opportunity you have. I don't have a basement, but if I did and it had features like yours, I would turn to Candice Olson for inspiration. She is the queen of basement renos. See more here: http://www.hgtv.com/specialty-.../pictures/index.html
Jun 27, 2012, 02:29 PM
How exciting. Re. flooring, factor in the amount of natural light you do have and what color furnishings and walls are your personal preference. There should be a degree of contrast going on. Do increase artifical lighting via can lights in ceiling, up lighting (to create the illusion of higher ceilings) and table top lighting.
Re. what to do w/ this found space, factor in your families' needs and lifestyle. You can divide the space into zones if a multi functional room is prefered. Layout of furniture and/or rugs will help define the zones. A flow of scheme and feel will unify the space.
Back to walls and furniture colors, you need not follow the flow of your public space scheme. The fabrics you pick will help you to establish the palette. The walls should be a backdrop to your furnishings and not so dark for the limited natural light this space receives. The wall color will be pulled from your inspirational print(s), but hue value can vary once the family of color is found in the room's lighting.
Jun 27, 2012, 03:22 PM
I'll post some pictures that I have already. These were all taken a few months ago when my inlaws were still there.
This picture is taken from one of the last steps before entering the room in question. To the left is a short hallway leading to 2 bedrooms, a bath and our washer/dryer. If you look to the left in the picture then you can make out the metal backing of our stacked washer/dryer. Also, pay attention to location of the mirror in the middle of the picture with all the pictures on it. Behind the mirror is a fridge which you'll see later.
The following picture was taken from the back right corner of the first picture I gave above. The fridge, counters, stove and more are being removed so that this room is a living room. All of the kitchen stuff will be removed. We also plan to move the washer/dryer to another room so that the duct is not visible from the living room. We plan to move our existing fish tank to that area or upgrade to a larger tank to put there. In any case, some sort of larger fish tank is going there. You will see a divider in the ceiling running from the above the fridge coming towards me. This is just a support for the top floor and it's about 1'x1'x1'. To the left of this room is another similar size room. We are combing the 2 rooms. From where the picture was taken to the wall behind the fridge is about 15.6" From the windows on the right of the picture to the windows on the opposite wall is about 20'.
Here's another shot from a different location. I still have a few more feet behind me until I hit the corner. You can see the table which seats 6 people. then there is about 5' of walking space until you hit the corner of the room behind me.
These are the best pictures I can post right now. The windows above the counter face easterly and there's a 20x10' deck above the windows so they don't let much light in. This is the back of the house. There are windows on the opposite wall which is the front of the house which faces westerly. We have some plantings in front of the windows and also our driveway so it also doesn't let much light in there. The bottom of the windows in that room sit about 2" above ground level. This room is NOT a basement but a large portion of it is below ground. I think I said this, but the ceiling is about 7.6' I hope you can make sense of it all! lolThis message has been edited. Last edited by: cm11599ps,
Jun 29, 2012, 01:47 PM
I just went downstairs and took some video of the room. Hopefully it gives you a better understanding of the room.
There are two bedrooms over by the washer/dryer. They currently have a different floor, but it's still laminate. I like that color a lot better then the one in the room in question. I wouldn't mind if the entire downstairs was done on the same laminate as the one bedroom, but the only downside is that the laminate in the bedroom runs front to back and the laminate in the laminate I want to replace in the old kitchen runs left right.