Design & Home

This Bleak Basement Transformed Into a Bright, Vacation-Style Escape

Two lawyers figured out how to vacation—without taking time off.
This Bleak Basement Transformed Into a Bright, Vacation-Style Escape

The two attorneys who share this house in American University Park initially imagined buying a vacation property—until the reality of their demanding jobs set in and they realized they’d never find the time to use it. So they hired Kube Architecture to transform their little-used, dark basement into a light-filled, vacation-style escape. Starting with the exterior, architect Janet Bloomberg designed a pavilion framed with stainless steel and topped with a teak-slatted “ceiling” that continues inside to form a seamless indoor/outdoor connection. A teak storage wall and sculptural mahogany stair line each side of the interior to create a minimalist box shape. Only glass—in the form of a frosted wall that hides a bathroom and the accordion-style patio door—cuts across the airy space.

The backyard and basement space before KUBE Architecture transformed the space into the ultimate stay-cation space. Photograph courtesy of KUBE Architecture.
Floating glass treads were added to extend the stairs after the basement floor was dug out an extra two feet. Photograph by Greg Powers.
A frosted glass wall hides the bathroom from plain view. Photograph by Greg Powers.
Photographs by Greg Powers.
Photograph by Greg Powers.
LED lights above the interior teak slats give an ambient glow. Photograph by Greg Powers.
The floor has radiant heat to keep the slate tile from getting too cold. Photograph by Greg Powers.

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