Table Tennis, Pool and Pizza Parties in a Boutique Hotel Style Basement

About the author: Becky Harris is a writer for Brunswick has teamed up with Houzz to provide tips on how to make your home a more active place.

Though their home is located in a historic town outside of Boston where traditional style reigns, this family of five wanted to go edgier indoors, particularly in their large basement. “Table tennis, pool, movies, pizza parties, entertaining and just a comfortable place to relax on the weekends were all on their list,” interior designer Tiffany LeBlanc says. “Creating different zones was important.” The final space has an alluring boutique hotel vibe that’s comfortable yet chic thanks to warm colors and finishes, a range of textures and an easy layout.


After photo by Eric Roth, original photo on Houzz

Basement at a Glance
What happens here: Wine selection, unwinding, playing pool and table tennis, watching movies and entertaining
Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts
Size: About 1,000 square feet (93 square meters)
Designer: Tiffany LeBlanc of LeBlanc Design

At the bottom of the stairs, LeBlanc transformed a dead hallway space into a serving and wine cellar area. The reclaimed-wood backsplash nods to oak barrels, while the LED-backlit quartzite countertops glow. The glass wine area to the left is refrigerated and has stone walls. The wine rack wall is backlit with LED lights with colors that can be changed depending on the mood the homeowners want to create.

Before Photo, original photo on Houzz

BEFORE: The home was new construction that was built on spec. The basement had been finished but was a whole lot of white on white, which gave LeBlanc a blank slate to infuse it with warm colors and interesting textures. The designer kept the tiered ceiling the same, which conceals the ductwork and other mechanicals, as well as the recessed lighting.

Eric Roth, original photo on Houzz

LeBlanc cozied up the TV lounge and game room with warm textures and a well-planned lighting scheme. She helped designate zones via the area rug and the lighting, which includes three pendants over the bar behind the sofa, sconces around the smaller TV, backlighting behind the main TV and a new pool table light. “Everything is on dimmers,” LeBlanc says. “Dimmers are imperative for changing the mood.”

An inviting leather sofa cozied up with loads of throw pillows is the best TV-viewing spot. Two swanky armchairs complete the seating area, while a chevron rug grounds the space. The flooring is cork. Across the room is the game table zone.

The pool table serves dual purposes — it has a top that turns it into a table tennis platform. Behind it, LeBlanc had the high-top tulip table custom painted with a chess board.

Eric Roth, original photo on Houzz

The wallcovering is blue grasscloth with gold rivets, and LeBlanc had the ceiling painted in a golden hue that picks up on the rivets. “Often in a basement, you want to go with a white ceiling so that light reflecting off it makes it seem higher,” LeBlanc says. “But down here I chose gold to make it cozier and feel encapsulated.” She matched the paint on the trim and doors to the blue on the wallpaper. “This makes them recede rather than standing out as architectural features,” she says.

Behind the TV is a series of backlit walnut panels in differing widths. “The homeowners were interested in doing something edgier than built-in shelves around the TV,” LeBlanc says. A famed “wanted” poster adds a quirky playful touch.


Before photo, original photo on Houzz

BEFORE: The full bathroom was finished, but the spec decor was a snore.


After photo by Eric Roth, original photo on Houzz

Now patterns and textures are also at play in the bathroom in a more subtle palette. LeBlanc replaced the stock vanity with a beautiful, more substantial walnut piece with ring pulls. “The tones in the wood tie it back to the rest of the basement,” she says. The wallpaper pulls in the colors from the veining on the counter. It’s vinyl, which can stand up to steam and splashes. Because the basement has this full bath, it could potentially serve as an in-law apartment one day if needed.

More from Houzz:

Find Ideas for Your Own Home Bar

Equip Your Basement Bar With a Wine Rack

Learn More About Grasscloth Wallpaper

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