With pandemic life maxing out practically every inch of our homes, a lot of Washingtonians are looking downward in search of more square-footage. But while finishing a basement is usually easier than building out or up, it comes with challenges, particularly in an area like Washington, where the ground is wet and the houses often old.
Architects Anthony Wilder and Gary Lofdahl created this multi-functional space for a family of four in the Palisades. Wilder says homeowners should budget at least $100,000 and four months for similar projects—though the work could reach $300,000 and take as long as six months. The basement of this 1950s Colonial was already partially finished, but it was so cramped that even the mom, who’s only five-foot-two, had trouble getting around in some spots. Here’s how Wilder and Lofdahl transformed it.
The owners got rid of as many walls as they could, but the one with the TV is structural, meaning it would have been more difficult and expensive to remove. They gave it purpose by outfitting it with the television, and adding the charcoal-colored herringbone detailing.
Photographs by John Cole Photo