Game On—Design Awards 2015 Gold, Finished Basement

This basement remodel creates an upscale entertainment parlor for watching movies, relaxing with friends, or gathering for family game night

September 25, 2015
2015 Design Awards winner, Gold, AMEK Custom Builders, Minnesota, basement remodel

Finished Basement
AMEK Custom Builders, Bloomington, Minn.
Architect: Firm Two Architecture

Project Goals: The clients wanted an upscale “entertainment parlor” for watching movies, relaxing with friends, and gathering for family game night.

Challenges: The curved staircase and new stair landing  posed challenges in balancing design aesthetics with local code requirements. Turning the landing so it faces into the main area rather than a back hall forced load-bearing portions to be moved and modified.

The ceiling over the game area required extra skill. Carpenters and electricians had to cut holes for wiring through the 4-inch-thick fir beams as well as scribe the beams to the curved soffit. Each stair step was hand-crafted with custom-cut treads, and the underside of each step individually drywalled.

Solutions: The main area is divided into a stonework theater, a custom bar, and a gaming table. The game area was given its own personality with solid Douglas fir ceiling beams, stone wall pillars, and tile flooring. A fitness room, guest bedroom, and bathroom with a walk-in shower are also part of the project. One special feature is a kid-size hideaway under the curved steps. Artwork is featured along the stair wall in small openings with recessed lighting.

A home control system regulates room temperature, in-floor heat, accent lighting, and all electronics. All mechanicals were relocated in the curved walls and ceiling soffits.

What the judges said: “A very clever design … this is a great example of extending the living space to feel more like the ‘lower level,’ not the negative stigma that sometimes comes with a basement.”

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