An unfinished basement gave John Cronly of Hampden Hill Custom Building a wide-open space in which to create family room with play space, a sleeping area for guests, a full bath, a laundry room with storage, and a mudroom. His challenge was to make the basement appear a continuation of the rest of the house. He and the homeowners chose custom-turned newel posts, curved handrails, doors, interior trim and hallway tiles to match upstairs details in the Kensington Avenue home. “We tried to make it feel like you were not walking into a basement, but walking from the second floor to the first floor,” Cronly says.
Inexpensive IKEA cabinets were dressed with custom trim to produce a built-in look. A radiator presented an opportunity to create a mudroom bench for drying wet shoes and boots. A space-saving Murphy bed had to be disassembled and reassembled to make the trip down the exterior stairs for installation in the basement.
To keep the humidity consistent in the basement, Cronly built in a dehumidification system; a combination boiler and water heater bolsters the home’s energy efficiency.