Since the project didn't require plumbing, major electrical work or any relocating of load-bearing walls, we decided to do it in several phases over a six-week period. The project phases were:
To make the studio fit in with the rest of the house, I wanted to keep a mid-century look architecturally and decoratively. While the rest of the home's decor is neutral, the design studio needed a more playful palette that would coordinate with everything else. My branding colors are red-orange and white. For the most part, my home's interiors are dark brown and silver. To make the two schemes work harmoniously, I chose dark brown cabinetry and polished-chrome hardware accented with red-orange, a tone popular in 1960s design.
The bonus room had dark brick walls, which I brightened by painting ultra-white. There was no way I could have gotten any work done in such a bleak space. I added a pair of table lamps and a single pendant light.
Since big-ticket items like built-in cabinetry and a custom sleeping nook could easily eat up most of the budget, I had to mix price points. I stuck with a big-box retailer for all things cabinetry, then splurged on the custom construction and upholstery of the nook. After pricing out ready-made office components, I found the cost to be too high for my budget and the look too "catalog" for my style. The solution? I decided to use ready-made kitchen cabinets and a pre-fab laminate countertop instead. With so many styles and sizes available, it was an excellent way to get a custom look and avoid custom costs.
I learned some lessons in the project. When installing raw, pine planks as flooring, it's imperative to wait a few weeks until the boards swell before painting them. I painted mine the day after installation and had to touch up the swollen areas between each board just a few weeks later as raw wood started to show through. It's best to have cabinet installers see the space in person before getting an estimate via email or over the phone. When the cabinet installers showed up on installation day and learned my walls were brick, the labor costs went up hundreds of dollars.
Many of the design ideas I used have inspired friends to implement them in their own homes. When I started looking for a house, my main goal was to find a place where I could work from home to avoid commuting. Now that the basement room has become a full-fledged design studio, my commute simply involves walking down the stairs and making a right.
A theater designer turns a dingy closet in his guest bedroom into a flashy, multipurpose space where he can work on his laptop, store his clothes and display his collection of cool pop culture goodies.
Designer Brian Patrick Flynn adds mid-century modern flair to his dull, cramped bonus room to create an exciting new space.
Projects by Professionals(at Pro Galleries)
Projects by People Like You (at Rate My Remodel)