House Calls: An upscale downstairs

(Leah L. Jones/ For The Washington Post ) - Kathy Stuart’s basement.

(Leah L. Jones/ For The Washington Post ) - Kathy Stuart’s basement.

THE CHALLENGE

Kathy Stuart of Kensington said the narrow staircase to her basement has long prevented her from giving the space a design overhaul. Stuart wants a contemporary and polished look, as well as a separate living space for her daughter, who may move in after college graduation.

(Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post) - Kathy Stuart .

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THE SOLUTION

Designer Ebonee Bachman picks contemporary colors and prints for the basement, and furniture with space constraints in mind. Bachman, of Moonlight Interiors (202-617-6209, moonlightinteriorsdc.com), is based in Washington.

An area rug with a bright pattern helps define the living room space.

For a more subtle sleeping area, use a day bed instead of a standard bed.

A new sectional sofa with back cushions that detach will be easier to fit down the stairs.

Paint the walls, including the paneling, a light blue-gray for a clean look. Try Benjamin Moore’s Blue Springs.

A large canvas print helps camouflage the access door to a crawl space.

For a punch of color, add an accent wall behind the TV. Use Benjamin Moore’s Athenian Blue.

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture: Tillary two-sofa sectional in Lagoon ($1,798), Sedgwick recliner ($749), Parsons media shelf ($280) and Parsons square dining table in chocolate ($254), all from www.westelm.com; Bornova side table in warm gray ($219, www.ballarddesigns.com); Reflections bookcase in espresso ($399) and garden side chair in brushed aluminum ($109), both from www.homedecorators.com.

Accessories: Place du Tertre 48-by-72-inch canvas print ($500, www.art.com); Covington Delfina rug ($509 for 8-by-11-foot rug, www.rugs-direct.com); woven paisley pillow ($30) and jewel-tone Suzanni pillow ($30), both from www.pier1.com; Asymmetry floor lamp ($250, www.lampsplus.com); Scribble curtain in Midnight Blue ($34 per 63-inch panel, www.westelm.com).

SPLURGE . . .

Ryan mirrored chest ($1,279, www.horchow.com).

Parsons daybed in white ($999, www.westelm.com).

. . . OR SAVE

Hayworth chest in silver ($600, www.pier1.com).

Astoria daybed in champagne ($489, www.onewayfurniture.com).

See past room makeovers by local designers at washingtonpost.com/housecalls .

Tell us about your design challenge.

Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to makeover@washpost.com.

 
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