Finished basement ideal for entertaining guests, teenagers

Billie Walters said she and her husband don’t go looking for fixer uppers. The fixer uppers just tend to find them.

Billie and her husband, John, and their family moved into the house at 3132 Warrenwood Wynd about nine years ago with a goal in mind to finish the basement. The space would be perfect for growing boys, as the Walters’ had three young sons.

A handful of mandatory home repairs got in the way, though. The Walters’ had to replace things like the home’s HVAC systems, roof and gutters.

“(Recently), everything was able to line up and we took the leap to do it and do it exactly how we wanted do it,” Billie said. “With our house being a little older, it does not have wide open floor plan. When we finished the basement, we wanted a wide open recreational space.”

When the Walters’ moved to their home, they’d viewed a variety of houses, some in the country, many downtown. This home just seemed to fit. The previous owners remodeled many areas of the home, which was built in the early 1980s. The home boasts a French country kitchen, spacious rooms and a luxurious upstairs bathroom with large walk-in shower and a TV across from a freestanding bathtub. The Walters put up wallpaper, repainted each room and tiled their sunroom, to name a few.

The basement was completely unfinished, except for a bathroom, so they started from scratch with Lexington-based BACK Construction, whom Billie said was a family-oriented business she felt she could trust in her home with her children and animals.

“(They were) easy to work with and they listen to what you want. We were familiar with some of their work, and we felt like we were going to get a quality job. We were drawn to the fact that all of their subcontractors are insured.”

Billie worked closely with BACK Construction’s interior designer, Nicole McDonough, in choosing everything for the space, from the lighting to the granite to cabinets and flooring as well as paint and carpet color and tile design in the bathroom.

The basement transformed into a space with a TV area, a pool table, a video game area, a fireplace area and a kitchenette area with a bar.

“It’s a nice area to entertain or relax and watch a movie,” Billie said. “My husband’s going to say the TV area is his favorite part. We didn’t have a great area upstairs to watch TV, and he was able to design the sectional sofa sitting area in front of the giant TV (in the basement). My favorite part is probably the kitchenette/bar area. I just like the way it turned out. We did a really cool backsplash. A lot of it is traditional Lexington (style), but we threw in some very different looks in the bathroom.”

Metallic tiles behind the backsplash in the kitchen area and industrial-inspired light fixtures give the space a contemporary feel, but Billie said the area is a mix of traditional and contemporary.

“We like a little bit of an eclectic look,” Billie said. “It’s probably a little more eclectic in the basement because it’s a recreational space. The rest of the house leans a little more traditional.”

Her favorite features in the basement are the sliding barn doors that cover the storage area. The doors came from a barn in Midway, she said, and they lead to an area that houses the Walters’ extensive collection of Christmas decorations. She said once she realized the area was conducive for sliding barn doors, she immediately requested it from BACK Construction, whose subcontractors made it happen.

Now that the Walters’ sons are teenagers, Billie said she feels like they now have enough living space.

“When you add the friends of three teenagers in the mix, you need more space,” she said. “This way all could have friends over and each have their own area of the house to be in. We really wanted one big wide open space where we could entertain. We love to have people over to watch games and we have a yearly Christmas party. We host parties for our children for their school functions. (The project) helps us to enjoy our living space more.”

The basement is now filled with warm light, impressive décor and carefully chosen furniture. Billie said she worked closely with Arhaus Furniture and selected pieces from several Lexington shops to fill the space.

“A lot of the furniture we had on the main floor ended up in basement. We had to redecorate the family room upstairs,” she said.

Along with adding cedar shutters for a southern traditional look on the outside of their home, copper gutters and beadboard on the ceiling of their front porch, the Walters’ plan to start on an outdoor patio project next.

“I think it’s worth it to see the end product, so I don’t mind living in a house that’s being remodeled. It’s worth the end result,” she said.

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