The Washington Post

Updating a basement into a TV room

HVAC upgrades have created an awkward layout in the basement of the rowhouse owned by Dianne Chambers and her husband, Christopher. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Dianne Chambers and her husband, Christopher, have a 112-year-old D.C. rowhouse with lots of vintage charm. The basement is another story: HVAC upgrades have created an awkward layout, and the single window isn’t enough to brighten the room. They would like a comfortable, modern place to watch TV and house overnight guests.


Designer Paula Tranfaglia capitalizes on the layout, turning an oddly shaped nook into a cozy spot to curl up and watch TV.

Tranfaglia, of Decorating Den/PT Designs (301-253-2606), is based in Laytonsville.

Paint the walls a warm but neutral green, such as Benjamin Moore’s Agave.

A TV console with plenty of storage space will come in handy when guests are in town.

Dianne Chambers and her husband, Christopher, have a 112-year-old D.C. rowhouse with lots of vintage charm. But the basement is a problem area. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

With the right size sofa bed, an alcove goes from awkward to cozy.

The vinyl plank flooring is a smart choice in a flood-prone basement. The wood grain provides warmth and texture.

Repeat a color throughout the room to tie the design together. White accents and moldings soften the room.

A chest of drawers and mirror at the basement’s entrance (not shown) welcome visitors and add storage.


Furniture: Sruvsta swivel chair in Idhult white ($149), Besta shelf unit with doors in white and high-gloss white ($279) and Karlstad sofa bed in Isunda gray ($899), all from; Peekaboo clear coffee table ($279,; Martini side table in white ($149,; Rialto faux leather chair in Rust ($157,; Concerto three-drawer chest ($800,

Accessories: Agatha ceramic vases ($87 for set of three,; Multi Ribbon pillow ($25,; Lack shelves in high-gloss white ($17,; hand-painted tile sculpture ($90) and white oval Olivia carved mirror ($140), both from; Addie pendant light in Celadon ($189,; Soho gourd lamps in white ($132,

Flooring: Allure Ultra resilient vinyl plank flooring in Sawcut Dakota ($3 per square foot,


Peekaboo clear console desk ($379,

Laguna wool area rug in Prairie and Melon ($1,897 for 8-by-11-foot rug,

. . . OR SAVE

Deluxe steel-framed glass-top desk and bookcase ($190,

Soho wool area rug in brown ($424 for 8-by-8-foot rug,

See past room makeovers by local designers.

Tell us about your design challenge.

Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to .

Kendra Nichols is the editor of Local Living.
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