Total Basement Overhaul

Living in their 1930’s home for several years gave our clients plenty of time to think about what they really needed from their home. The team was tasked with figuring out how to give the family of 4 all the space they were looking for without building an addition that would detract from the coveted yard space. Our designers proposed a total basement overhaul, adding over 600 sq. ft. of finished space to the home, satisfying our clients’ primary spatial needs, including:

  •  A new bedroom suite
  • A workout zone
  • A secondary living room
  • Plenty of storage


Even though our clients were looking to repurpose the underutilized basement, they still needed plenty of storage for their family. The new design would need to balance both for the new plan to work.
In the upcoming scheme, this basement room would be repurposed into a storage area without the built-in fireplace. 

Working Through Challenges

The design needed to take into account some important limitations imposed by the existing lower level structure. Primary challenges to the design scheme included:

  • Locating an egress window with considerations for the property lines
  • Maintaining enough storage space in the basement
  • Using only full height doors despite dropped ceiling heights
  • Working around mechanical locations, structural posts, wiring/plumbing locations, and low soffits


Miscellaneous plumbing and HVAC equipment seen here posed a challenge to designers looking to provide a cozy and welcoming environment for the remodeled basement.
Removing existing HVAC equipment and ducts can be an unnecessary cost when remodeling, but the lower ceiling heights require creative and thoughtful spatial planning on our part!
To make this basement a family-focused destination, the team will eventually provide soffits over existing mechanical ductwork and add both insulation and sheetrock to the walls. The cement block shown here won't make an appearance in the final design scheme!

From Unfinished to Thoughtfully Planned

The existing basement was largely one open, unfinished space. Though the owners were able to use the space for storage, they needed much more from their home than the current configuration permitted. In the new layout proposal, the family would have generous recreational space within a family lounge and workout nook as well as enclosed storage, a laundry area, and a new bedroom suite. With some creative maneuvering, our team segmented the unfinished basement into both public and appropriately scaled private zones, like the bedroom, bath, and laundry areas. The suggested changes would give the entire family room to gather or hang out with friends.


Even though the existing home wasn't as functional as the family hoped, the open space actually provided an ideal place for all the new spaces the family wanted in the remodel. The new design balanced the need for private spaces like bedrooms and mechanical rooms against the request for a large, family room.
Take a sneak peek at one of our renderings for the new basement plan! We're brightening the entire basement with an open and welcoming living room just off the stairs with a private bedroom just beyond.

Up Next…Look inside our process for redesigning the entire basement of this 1930’s South Minneapolis home.