House Calls: Turning a dark, drab basement into an inviting family space


Anne Stancil (pictured with son Tyler, 10) has lived in her Arlington County home for 19 years. Now, she wants to update the dark 26-by-24-foot basement. (Photo by Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)
THE CHALLENGE

Anne Stancil (pictured with son Tyler, 10) has lived in her Arlington County home for 19 years. Now, she wants to update the dark 26-by-24-foot basement. She’d like an inviting room in which the kids can do homework and the family can watch TV.

THE SOLUTION

Using paint to lighten the walls and the furniture, designer Meredith Ericksen makes a drab and dated space shine.

Ericksen, of Tuscan Blue Design (301-620-0500), is based in Frederick.

Dean sectional in Dalen teal ($3,498, www.roomandboard.com); Lind 36-round cocktail ottoman in spice ($700, www.roomandboard.com). (SPLURGE:)

Replace old floor covering with a subtly patterned and stain-resistant wall-to-wall carpet.

Add extra storage shelves and closed cabinets for keeping toys and games tucked away.

A sectional with an easily removable and washable cover is comfy and family-friendly.

Update the dated ceiling with raised-panel ceiling tiles and recessed lighting.

Create a gallery wall with a collection of family photos in black frames with white mattes.

Paint the paneling Sea Urchin and the accent wall Saybrook Sage, both by Benjamin Moore.

Paint the existing shelf and add doors for more closed storage.

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture:

·Hemnes console in white ($225, www.ikea.com)

·Abbeville large five-compartment stacking cabinet with baskets in rubbed white ($500, www.ballarddesigns.com)

·Abbeville double door stacking cabinet in rubbed white ($220,www.ballarddesigns.com)

Lighting:

·Alang floor lamp ($40, www.ikea.com)

·Ihlene table lamp ($200, www.crateandbarrel.com)

Accessories:

·Grass green Anywhere beanbag ($100, www.potterybarnkids.com)

·Single raised panel ceiling tiles (price varies according to style, www.armstrong.com)

·Karastan Sands of Time wall-to-wall carpet in pelican island (price based on size, www.karastan.com)

Do you have a design challenge? Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to makeover@washpost.com.

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