We seek to finish a walk-out basement in a home on outer Cape Cod. The home sits at the top of a stone driveway amongst trees in a wooded private setting. It is a hybrid between a contemporary Cape design and an arts & crafts style bungalow, with two upstairs guest bedrooms connected by a hallway looking down into the great room. The great room has a cathedral ceiling with exposed beams, and a gas fireplace with stone hearth. Windows with natural wood frames look out onto woods and nearby marshes. The great room connects to an open dining room and large kitchen. The main level also includes the master suite, and opens onto a house-length mahogany deck in the back, overlooking the wooded slope behind the house. The floor plan is open.
Existing basement condition
The basement is currently unfinished. Doors and windows are in place (but without the interior frames), and exterior wall insulation is installed. The ceiling is unfinished. The washer and dryer are installed near the fuel oil tank. Plumbing for bathroom septic has been installed in the floor (near the east center), but we’re told it can be re-done depending on the floor plan we go with.
Stairs to the first floor are through a door and the stairway is behind a wall – we envision removing the wall and door to create a more open stairway.
The basement will be a prime entertainment area with access to the outside entertainment areas. It needs to have a food preparation area and a good wet bar to easily support entertaining on the landscaped patios/gardens outside during the summer, or an indoor party in the winter, or a game night with friends and family, or quiet reading on a rainy day. A wood-burning stove is desirable, but we are open to other ideas.
A bathroom is required – preferably a full bath.
We do not need guest bedrooms. However; we would like ideas for extra sleeping spaces, such as a “ship’s berth” under the stairs. We have also considered some sort of hidden pull-down bed on a wall in a section of the basement, perhaps with a “sliding barn door” that can be rolled open or closed to create privacy for guests.
We’d like clever, creative touches that make the home interesting and artistic. For instance, since the east side of the basement is below ground level, perhaps a wine closet to take advantage of the cool temperature? A hidden closet, with enough air flow to prevent dampness, to store valuables and a couple of hunting rifles?
The house is in a beach and art gallery town that also has an active fishing fleet and retains old New England charm and deep historic roots. My family has been there since the 1640s. The area has an interesting blend of art and heritage, and we’d like to capture that local and historical context. We want the design to recall the area’s history without attempting to re-create it.
Later, we will create a landscaped patio area outside the basement that blends with the natural Cape woods.
1. We prefer to work within a budget of $60K, but can go higher if necessary – we want to get it right!
2. Ability for contractor to use the submitted plans
3. Creativity – a clever combination of innovation and functionality
4. Open design
5. Preserve some wall space for furniture and art.
6. A separate laundry/storage area with good soundproofing and cabinet space, and perhaps a couple of pieces of exercise equipment.
7. An area devoted to entertainment with a large flat screen tv (72”?) – but which does not dominate the other uses of the floor.
8. Easy and natural blend to the outdoors entertainment area, which has not yet been designed, but which will complement the natural setting of the mature woods outside.