From Dean Dowd on October 09, 2008 in General Remodel
My father was a talented carpenter and used to make jokes about how he could easily spend all of his pocket money in the hardware store and lumberyard. In their day, he and my mother collaborated on many do-it-yourself projects and remodels.
In the home in which I did most of my growing up, a large suburban brick outside of Chicago, my father did a full basement remodel that still amazes me when I remember it. He divided the huge, cement floored and walled basement into two rooms – the larger side became the entertainment center; the smaller side housed the furnace and became the shop and storage area. This article is about the entertainment center.
In pride of place was a long bar. The bar was designed to house the TV, with a sliding paneled door to cover it when it was not in use. On the backside of the bar were built-in cabinets for bar stock and shelving for glassware and a bartender’s paraphernalia.
One end of the room had a shallow closet covering it, with louvered doors. Inside this closet was a large space to house card tables and folding chairs for my mother’s bridge club, and a poker table for my dad’s Friday night-with-the-boys. There were floor-to-ceiling shelves at one end of the closet, and these held all manner of cards, poker chips, games, puzzles, and more.
In another area of the room was a sewing area for my mother, sisters, and me. There was a long, laminate-covered counter for cutting, and a place for the sewing machine and chair at one end. Above it were shelves for fabrics, threads, and so forth; there was cabinetry to hold more of the same underneath one end of the counter.
The walls of the room and the face side of the bar were paneled in bleached cherry, to give the room a light feeling even though it was in the basement and the only natural light was from a few small windows up near the ceiling. The ceiling was dropped and covered with acoustic panels.
The floor was tiled and then covered with a large area rug that could be rolled out of the way when activities warranted it. For the most part, the rug was in place and flanked by a couple of comfy couches with a big coffee table that invited feet to be up – all the better for TV watching.
Imagine all of this done in very tasteful style, circa the 60’s. It was the scene of many great times and just plain easy family comfort, for adults and kids alike. The elements of that remodel are similar to many basement remodels being done now – classic elements for good times. Let ‘em roll!