From Hotel to Home
Mt. Lookout homeowner recreates favorite hotels in lower level getaway
While most people enjoy traveling, one Mt. Lookout homeowner pulled double duty for two-and-a-half years—vacationing and collecting design ideas for her lower level construction project.
“Every time we vacationed, I took pictures of lobbies,” the homeowner explains of her design inspiration. “I love hotels—from the grand elements like wood and tile, to the lush details of fabric and light fixtures.”
From file to foundation
The homeowner collected quite a file folder, or drawer, of ideas—pictures, magazine tear sheets and notes—in the two-and-a-half years between the time her family bought their home and the time they were ready to begin construction on their lower level.
“I wanted something comfortable, but more contemporary,” the homeowner says of the entertainment area she hoped to create.
The homeowner looked at three houses while shopping for a home with her husband in the Mt. Lookout area. The C.D. Brandenburg Custom Homes spec house that would ultimately become the place where their family expanded to include two children was built into a hill. Because of its situation on the hill, the lower level had to be constructed as a bi-level with twelve-foot ceilings in some areas.
“The lower level really sold me on the house,” the homeowner explains. “I knew I had a project on my hands, and I couldn’t wait to get to work.”
Hart of the details
When the homeowners were finally ready to begin building their lower level, they knew exactly who to call. “Tim Hart did two of our best friends’ homes, and I was really impressed with his work,” the homeowner says.
The bi-level floor plan of the lower level lent itself to creating the perfect entertainment area and hotel lobby vibe that the homeowner wanted to create. At the base of the staircase from the main level of the home, guests can choose to turn left or right.
Through the doorway to the left, children can enjoy a “kids-only zone” where parents don’t have to worry about their little ones getting into anything undesirable. Toys and books can be pulled off the custom shelves, designed and built by Hart, and the mayhem is contained to its own space if the homeowners are too busy to clean up in the middle of a get-together.
While the children are safely enjoying their playroom, the adults are only steps away in a sunken bar/pub area. Contemporary, white bar stools and pendant lights pop against the rich, dark cabinetry and wood trim. The pub is deceiving, because behind the bar sits a full kitchen complete with a microwave, dishwasher, sink and full-sized refrigerator.
From the bar area, guests can decide if they would like to play a game of pool up a small flight of stairs or watch a movie in the home theatre/living room down the hall. A bathroom and a complete home gym round out the family’s lower level.
“We have a huge family,” the homeowner says of some of her usual party guests. “My husband’s side of the family was here for Thanksgiving this year, and the space downstairs was great.”
The floor plan of the lower level is conducive to entertaining. A circular path is created around the staircase, so people can easily mingle at the bar and enjoy a game of pool while keeping an eye on the kids. If people want to escape to a quiet place, the theatre/living room is removed a bit by a partial wall—yet still accessible through a large, arched opening.
The comfortable, curved couch is the perfect place for quiet conversation or a cozy, family movie night. “We watch all of our movies downstairs,” the homeowner explains.
Whether the family is entertaining for the holidays or enjoying a quiet family night alone, they are sure to be taking pleasure in their cozy, contemporary lower level. Who says you have to leave home to take a vacation?
Architect: Randy Travis, RLT Design; Builder: Todd Brandenburg, C.D. Brandenburg & Son Custom Builders; Contractor: Tim Hart; Flooring: Italian marble, McCall’s Flooring; Lighting: Bellacor, Universal Lighting; Furniture: Macy’s, Z Gallerie; Pool table, bar stools: Watson’s