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Space of the Week: A Seriously Bold Basement Hangout

Two words: Tiger wallpaper.

Photos by Jenn Verrier.

This week’s space: A Chevy Chase DC basement becomes a seriously bold teenage hangout.

The designer: Annie Elliott, of Annie Elliott Design.

Who lives in the home: Two dads, two teenage boys, two cats.

Scope of the project: “This is an older home my clients purchased as it was being renovated top to bottom. They lived just a few blocks away, so they had their eye on it,” says Elliott. They tasked the designer with creating a space for their teenage sons.

The problem:¬†The clients wanted a room where their sons could hang out with friends. “Parents are acutely aware that their children won’t be living at home forever,” says Elliott. “So we created a fun space where my clients’ kids and their friends can relax, talk, and play non-electronic games. It’s kind of nostalgic, actually!”

What Elliott did:¬†Within a single large room, she created three intimate spaces: one for playing board games and talking (with a giant, pillow-filled sectional); one for playing pool; and one for watching pool and playing wall Scrabble. “But what makes it fabulous is the tiger wallpaper by Clarence House. It’s fun, but not juvenile,” says Elliott.

Her biggest challenge: Deciding how many zones the room could handle and what would happen in each one. “We had a hard time deciding between foosball and wall Scrabble for one zone,” she says. “But in the end, Scrabble won.”

Her favorite part: “The wallpaper is my favorite part, of course! That and knowing that the boys love this room. That’s the whole point.”

If you’re an interior designer or architect with a space in the Washington area that you’d like us to spotlight, please submit it to mkashino@washingtonian.com.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a possible wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.