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about the room

With low ceilings, poor lighting and old furniture, the basement in Darelynn Fung and Bret Goldstein's Berwyn Heights, Md., home leaves much to be desired.

To jazz things up, Lisa Adams, principal designer for Washington, D.C.-based design firm Adams Design Inc., suggests removing the existing carpet. Wall paneling is dated, adds Adams, and common of homes built in the 1960s. To modernize, she recommends replacing it with drywall and painting it blue, which will allow for more light and provide a more open appearance.

A dropped ceiling is the basement's biggest problem, says Adams, because it makes the room feel closed in. To remedy this, she says, it's best to remove it and replace it with more drywall. This will raise the ceiling, providing more headroom. Adams suggests replacing the current ceiling tiles with smaller, more modern ones as a less expensive alternative.

The couple wanted to keep their existing couch, which has a contemporary look. As a result, Adams chose supporting pieces with a similar appearance. To add space-efficient storage, she suggests a rolling coffee table and nesting cube tables that can be easily placed around the room. The furniture's clean lines help modernize the space while keeping it simple.

Adams opted for a muted color palette that relies on shades of black and brown. Accents of blue and red will offset the darker tones, she adds, giving Fung and Goldstein the entertainment area they desire.

audio from the designer


Designer Lisa Adams shares her ideas to help spruce up this basement.

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chat with the designer

Adams shares ideas for brightening up your home on Friday, February 23 at noon ET.

the layout

Designer Solutions - Products

Designer Solutions - by Lisa Adams

the series


Lisa Adams, principal designer for Washington, D.C.-based design firm Adams Design Inc., gives this outdated basement a contemporary makeover.

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