Subterranean Transmogrification

One expects transformation with a remodel.  The results of this particular basement remodel are so dramatic that I’m calling it “transmogrification.”  The beautiful space below . . .

used to look like this:

BEFORE: Basement room at bottom of stairs

Since I’m not an engineer or an architect, I called upon Wade Freitag at Craftsman Design and Renovation to help with the construction design for this very large basement remodel, and he did not disappoint. Since I had worked with the clients before, I wanted to choose the finish materials, and determine where to put the furnishings the homeowners inherited from their family, along with new furnishings provided by my trade-only sources.  It was a happy collaboration.  Wade’s first task was figuring out how to get the monster furnace out of the basement:

BEFORE: The “octopus” furnace from 1922 sent hot water to radiators throughout the residence.

Once the giant furnace was replaced with a much smaller, more efficient one, it was possible to carve out a wine cellar, a reading nook, a large TV viewing area, a home office, a laundry room, and a very large storage room. What was once a dark, cluttered, chaotic jumble of cast-off items, knob-and-tube wiring, and exposed pipes became an oasis of calm.

AFTER: New Wine Cellar

AFTER: New Home Office

AFTER: New Reading Nook and door to Wine Cellar

View from the egress window wall, looking toward the wine cellar:


Doing laundry in the old laundry room, with it’s original knob-and-tube wiring, fluorescent lighting and exposed plumbing pipes, could be scary!

BEFORE: Laundry Room

The new laundry room includes beautiful cabinets with a sink, a counter, a place to hang laundry, and a drop-down ironing board.  There is also an area for sewing and crafts.  It’s not obvious, but the only things that did NOT change were the the washer and dryer.

AFTER: New laundry room and craft/sewing area.

One last view of the room at the bottom of the stairs as we leave this inviting and functional space .  .  .

My deepest thanks to the clients who entrusted this project to Emery & Associates, and much appreciation to Craftsman Design and Renovation for their dedication to historically sensitive remodels, as well as their high standards of quality.

Give Emery & Associates a call if you need design inspiration.  We love helping clients achieve the comfortable and inviting spaces they dream about.

(Photo credits:  Eckert and Eckert Architectural Photography)

There are 6 Comments to "Subterranean Transmogrification"

  • Beth Warner says:


    It’s beautiful! What I wouldn’t give to be able to have you come in and redo my entire house including my basement. You do such amazing work.


  • Donna Pizzi says:

    Great use of space, Kathia! As always, beautiful work.

  • Mary Klein says:

    What a beautiful recreation. I can’t remember seeing a basement transformed into such a warm, truly residential feeling space. Wonderful, Kathia.

  • Judi Cleghorn says:

    What an incredible transformation. Now the owners have spaces that are bright, cheerful, and usable, instead of the old dark, dingy basement full of tubes and monsters! Fabulous collaboration, Kathia!

  • Susan Winthrop says:

    Wow … gorgeous! What an amazing transformation. With the fabulous wine cellar and cozy reading nook, I’d be tempted to never leave this “basement.”

  • Jerri-Jo Idarius says:

    Great work. It’s fabulous to know that out triad loves their work and is pursuing the creative.

Write a Comment

houzz interior design ideas