The Washington Post

House Calls: Bringing the beach to a beige basement


When Sandra Moore moved into her Arlington home last year, she was thrilled to have a finished basement. But the 19-by-13-foot space — with ivory walls, beige carpet and no windows — is a challenge. She’d like the space to feel more inviting. A coastal look is welcome.


Designer Christine Hecht Payne suggests mirrors to give the illusion of windows. Nautical accents make the room feel less like a basement and more like a beach.

Payne (202-364-5211) is based in the District.

Shuttered mirrors make the room feel brighter. Even though there aren’t windows, mirrors reflect light.

Paint the walls a sunny orange. The color is Electric Orange by Benjamin Moore. Faux coral accents give the room a beachy feel.

Sandy Moore (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Incorporate natural materials such as a wicker sofa, rope lamps and faux stone veneer for the fireplace.

Blue and white accent chairs stand out against the orange palette. Face them toward the couch to encourage conversation.

Designate a seating area. Anchor it with a bold orange and white area rug.

Cover the fireplace with stone or stone veneer. Hang the TV above it so there’s room for a desk and office chair.


Furniture: Armless upholstered slipper chair in abstract blue floral ($120) and Andres II side chair ($150), both from; beadboard small desk ($249,; Ananda serving table ($429), Spool side table ($219) and Courbe storage ottoman in Hayley blue ($371), all from; Grant outdoor orange rug ($330 for 5-by-7-foot rug,

Lighting: Patch woodpecker lamp ($60,; Tasseau table lamp ($119,

Accessories: Window mirror ($60 each,; Prairie Grass fireplace screen ($179,; Vintage Seahorse prints I and II ($45 each,; faux coral ($8 each, Eldorado faux stone ($8 per square foot,


Outback Living Solana wicker sofa in antique beige Sunbrella canvas ($1,260,

. . . OR SAVE

Strathwood Griffen all-weather wicker sofa in natural ($430,

See past room makeovers by local designers.

Tell us about your design challenge.

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