The Washington Post

House Calls: Turning the basement into a gym


Newlyweds Ben and Jessica Inman of Alexandria bought their first home in May. “A lot of our first ‘dates’ were at the gym,” wrote Jessica, “and we both like to work out in our spare time.” They want to turn their basement into an energizing yet relaxing gym with dumbbells, a weight bench and space for yoga.


In designer Kirsten Kaplan’s approach, floors and lights are the priority. “The less furniture, the better,” she said.

Decals can spice up a neutral wall. The wall is painted Coronado Cream by Benjamin Moore.

Ben & Jessica Inman. (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Keep a basket in the corner for yoga mats and towels to keep clutter off the floor.

Paint the smallest wall in chalkboard paint. Use it to track workouts and write motivational messages.

Hang floating cabinets to hold water bottles, a stereo and a TV. Potted plants give the windowless room some life.

Replace the carpet with bamboo laminate floors. They are durable, inexpensive and easy to clean.

A wall of mirrors makes the room look larger and helps when monitoring posture during yoga.

Kaplan, of Haus Interior Design (301-785-8065, www.hausinterior
), is based in Rockville.


Flooring: Dream Home St. James Szechuan Ming bamboo laminate ($2 per square foot,

A ccessories: Universal kettlebell kit ($63,; Fitness Gear utility bench ($150,; Yoga Essentials yoga mats ($22 each,; Hide n’ Seek storage shelf ($80,; potted agave ($40), artificial mini succulents ($8 each) and moss rocks bowl filler ($9 each), all from


Nacare Blanco wall tiles (price varies according to size,

Thomas O’Brien Hulton double sconces in polished nickel ($357 each, www.visualcomfort

. . . OR SAVE

Large damask wall mural ($225,

Kichler Quinn Collection high wall sconces ($120 each,

WANTED: Photos of disorganized closets for House Calls makeover. Send photos, dimensions and contact information to

House Calls gallery See past room makeovers by local designers at



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