Seeing potential in almost any space is a skill that comes easily to Michelle Gage, an interior designer in the Philadelphia, PA area. She works with her clients to unveil what could be in their spaces while utilizing the same budget-savvy eye to make-over her own 1920s colonial home in Havertown, PA. Michelle and her husband, Alex, have been working room by room in their house to make it home. They’ve recently transformed their dated basement into a gorgeous family room.
Michelle and Alex wanted to do this project for less than $1,000 — minus the cost of furniture and accessories — which meant doing the process themselves from start to finish. “The basement was one of the last spaces we tackled. We started by ripping out some of the paneling and a dated ‘church-pew-like’ bench. Alex built a custom cabinet for the TV and décor. We painted the walls a fresh white coat. One hurdle we faced was asbestos tile. We couldn’t rip it up, so we had to layer flooring on top of it,” Michelle says. “This faux-wood floor looks like the real deal, but snaps into place and was super affordable.” The exposed beams were left the same, keeping the richness and charm from the wood in the space. Michelle chose furniture that layers color and texture in a cozy way and utilized eclectic accessories from years of collecting as the focal point in the space. The clean look of the bookshelves, beams and paneling is complemented by the collected feel of the accessories and decor. Through some cosmetic changes, Michelle and Alex have turned a space that they never used into a place that they enjoy every evening. –Lauren
Photography by Kyle Born
Image above: Built-in cabinetry adds a focal point and makes the room feel taller. The white paint on the paneling breaks up the brown tones in the space.