Welcome to "A Taste for Design"/Basement Project 1

Old basements present unique design challenges. I know because I have one. Mine dates back to 1917, although the main room was updated in the 1950’s to function as a “rec room”.  My basement has small windows, low ceilings, asbestos floor tile, tongue and groove knotty pine paneling (a common wall finish in the 50’s), and foundation walls that continually slough off fine sand and dust particles that permeate everything.

As a designer/homeowner this old basement represents a unique but intriguing challenge; an opportunity to create inviting basements that better utilize and stretch our living space. Our basement wish list includes a workout room and a comfortable television viewing area. We also want a more functional bathroom/laundry space, and additional storage. Areas dedicated to plant care, pet grooming, and wine storage are also part of the overall plan.

An important goal in this project is to experiment with new materials and practice “green” design whenever possible. 

If you have a home built in the teens, 20’s or 30’s perhaps you have also been stumped about how to transform your basement space so it is a beautiful and functional extension of your home. Maybe you even have a visceral reaction, like I do, when you descend the stairs into a dark and somewhat creepy basement…make your way to the laundry room over clammy-feeling floors…and look warily around for spiders that might be lurking.

If so, we are kindred spirits and I invite you to follow my basement transformation project. It might give you the courage to tackle your own basement – with the added benefit of learning from my experience. Even if you are not considering a full basement remodel but just want to make some aesthetic and/or “green” changes, you will find lots to relate to in my unfolding story. It is full of trials and tribulations, humor, inspiration and discovery.

Over the next several months I will present a series of basement design challenges and my solutions. As the blog evolves I’ll also be sharing kitchen and bath design tips and projects; inspirations from the worlds of art, ideas, and nature; new design discoveries; travel stories; and event updates. Of course, recipes and cooking stories will also play a part – as they are important in my life, and in the life of my family. Follow along and write to me (Debbie@celadondesigns.com) if you have questions or want to offer advice gained from your own experiences.


  1. A big fan of Thompson family living spaces, I'm so glad to follow your blog. xx, Catherine P.

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