Tag Archives: basement remodel

8 Great Basement Remodeling Ideas

Looking for a way to add space to your home? The answer may be right beneath your feet in the form of a basement remodel!

There is almost no easier place to add functional, livable, and useful space to an existing Portland home than your basement. Key infrastructure like plumbing and electric wiring is generally already in place. Plus, you likely won’t need any additional major construction in your home, saving time and money. 

We’ve collected some of our favorite ideas for Portland basement remodels in this month’s post to give you a sense of all the possibilities for your basement finishing project.


Guest Bedroom Suite

Love hosting friends and family and wish you could not feel cramped while doing so? Consider turning your basement into a guest bedroom suite. 

A guest suite will allow your guests to feel fully comfortable while staying at your home, as they’ll have their own private unit all to themselves. 

All it takes is a few additions (and a little bit of tasteful design) to build a whole new unit in your home.

  • Living Room – Since most guests staying in this suite will be visiting you and spending time upstairs, this does not need to be extravagant. A simple space with a sofa, TV, and coffee table will be perfect for their time spent here.
  • Kitchenette – Similar to the living space, your guests will likely be doing all major cooking and eating in your home’s main kitchen and dining room. A small fridge, sink, microwave, and table are the perfect amount of appliances and furniture for your guest suite’s kitchenette.
  • Bedroom – A small room with a queen bed, bedside table, and a simple dresser are all that is needed.
  • Bathroom – We recommend a full bathroom so your guests will not have to go back and forth upstairs to shower and use the restroom.
  • Make sure to check local codes for egress window requirements for bedrooms. 

Bonus: A guest suite can also be rented out on Airbnb to bring in a little extra money if needed. 


Game Room 

Who doesn’t love a game room? Generally featuring a pool table, foosball table, or other games, this room will provide a fun place to host a game night with friends or family. 

With game rooms, the most important thing is to have a place that will represent you and your family. It’s for your enjoyment, after all! 

Some fun ideas we love for a game room include:

  • Pool table
  • Ping pong or foosball table
  • Bar with high top chairs
  • Fireplace
  • Tastefully wall-mounted TV
  • Sofa or reading chairs


Home Gym

Love working out but can’t seem to find time to make it to the gym regularly? Add a home gym to your basement! 

In addition to saving money on gym membership costs, home gyms allow for a deeper integration of fitness into your lifestyle. You can put the exact machines and weights you prefer in your home gym, and you’ll never have to wait in line to use them. It also will encourage fitness for your whole family! 

Some fun features we’ve seen people put into their home gyms include stereo systems, wall mounted TVs, and juice bars.



Have your children taken over your living room? Hate stepping on legos and toys and want to get back to enjoying your living room? Consider turning your basement into a playroom! 

Playrooms offer a number of benefits, including: 

  • Easy to manage playdates. Playrooms offer a central location where your children and their friends can play. Basements, in particular, offer a great place for playrooms as there is only one exit, which you can keep an eye on from upstairs.
  • A tidier home. Since all toys and gadgets will be kept in this one room (we can dream, right?) and not scattered around your home, it will be easier to keep the rest of your house relatively clutter free. 
  • Better sleep for your children. Now that toys will be in the playroom, their bedroom will be free and clear of distractions at bedtime. This will create an environment encouraging better sleep as now their bedroom is only for sleep. 
  • Encouraging responsibility. A playroom will allow your children to have their own space they must take care of and keep clean, encouraging responsibility and exploration of their interests. 

Bunk Beds

A fun (and functional) addition to your playroom are bunk beds.

Not only can bunks add a cool and funky element to your playroom, but they also provide additional sleeping space for when your children have friends over for sleepovers. It’s also great for when family is staying over or you just need a place for a quiet nap. 


Wine Cellar 

Are you a wine lover? Add a wine cellar to your basement! 

Wine cellars control the heat and humidity of a contained cabinet or room so your wine is kept in an ideal environment for proper aging. Whether you have an existing wine collection you want to keep safe from fluctuating temperatures, or just love wine and want to have some available in pristine condition for yourself or guests, a wine cellar is a perfect addition to any wino’s home. 

Wine cellars can be built as part of another room, such as a game room, or as a stand alone climate controlled room built specifically for aging your wine. You could even add a wine lounge as part of it to have a place to relax, unwind, and drink a glass of your favorite vino!


Home Office 

Do you work from home (whether full or part time) and have trouble getting anything done surrounded by distractions? A home office can give you a space meant for productivity and focus.

With a home office, you can set up your work area as you’ve always dreamed. Your basement is an ideal spot for a home office, as it’s quiet and separated from the rest of your home. It can even provide a place for your children to have a space to do their homework. 

Additional Benefit: Add an elegant futon so your home office can double as an extra bedroom. It will also provide you with a relaxing place to read while working.


Home Theater 

Movie buff? Maybe you and your family bond over television and you want a place you can all unwind and take in the latest episode every week? Why not add a home theater to your basement? While it may sound like a big project, it’s actually a lot easier than it seems! 

All you need for a movie theatre experience is a projector and screen, tiered seating, and some comfortable couches. You could also add some fun elements like a fridge for drinks and a popcorn machine for a mid-movie snack.


Looking for A Trusted Home Design Team for Your Basement Remodel?

There are so many directions to take your Portland area basement remodel! Make sure you’re in good hands.

We love working on all types of basement remodel projects, and love collaborating with homebuyers on their dream basement finishing projects. 

Contact us at (503) 726-2222 to see what we can do for you. We have over 40 years of combined experience and would love to collaborate with you on your new basement remodel. 

Portland Remodel Ideas to Pay Tribute to the Rose City

indoor bike rack home

reflect portland culture in your home

Photo: Stuart Seeger

Roses that grow like weeds, fiercely loyal sports fans, microbreweries around every corner. Not to mention the gorgeous evergreens and the ever-present Mt. Hood marking our skyline on clear days. There’s no doubt about it, we Portlanders have it pretty good.

If you love the Rose City as much as I do, there’s no reason your home design can’t reflect it. This post will give you some tips for showing your Portlandia pride in your interior design and decor.

But first, let’s see why matching your home’s style to your location is such a good idea in the first place.

Homes Reflect Culture

There’s a reason people don’t usually build cozy log cabins in the middle of downtown Los Angeles or airy beach houses in Fairbanks, Alaska. The best homes embrace their location. Why?

Your location is part of your culture. If you’re like most people, your culture helps define who you are and what you care about. When you showcase the things you love in your home, you’re surrounding yourself with things that make you happy. It’s not just that, though. You’re also telling friends and other guests an important story about who you are and what you stand for.

There are many ways to pay homage to Portland culture in your home. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.


trail blazers cup bobbleheadPortland sure loves its sports. TV rooms, rec rooms, and remodeled basements are all ideal places for your Trail Blazers shrine.

If you’re a Rip City fan, the possibilities are endless. Get the team’s logo painted on your TV room or rec room wall. Or take this opportunity to remodel the basement and make it into a sports room. Frame your old jerseys from seasons past.

Do you have some of those bobbleheads or official Trail Blazer water glasses they sell at games? Put them to good use by showcasing them near the TV or as decorations on bookcase shelves. Want a little inspiration? Take a look at how incorporated a local family’s love of the Trail Blazers into their basement remodel. 

Prefer soccer to basketball? Tack your Timbers scarves up on the wall or drape them over the sofa in your TV room. Frame that autograph you got from your favorite player. Or make a table out of a log slice, like the ones they give to players who score goals or get clean sheets at the end of the game.

Rain Patterns

Don’t walk around downtown with an umbrella unless you want people to think you’re from out of town. Portlanders aren’t afraid of a little rain. In fact, we welcome it after long, hot summers like this one.

Why not incorporate rain into your home next time you do a kitchen or bathroom remodel?

Small mosaic tile patterns — sometimes called “rain patterns” — are popular in backsplash and shower designs. They look great, and they’re a subtle way to show your fondness for Portland’s weather.

rain patterned tile bathroom shower

Photo: Brandon Barré Architectural Interior Photographer

Another option is rain-themed wallpaper — great for kids’ rooms and reading nooks. It’ll make you want to grab some slippers and hot chocolate before you curl up with your favorite book and cup of tea.

rain patterned wallpaper

Photo: Abigail Edwards


Portland is the Rose City after all. Celebrate our most famous flower with a bouquet of roses on the dinner table whenever they’re in season.

Different roses bloom at different times throughout mid spring to fall. Many roses bloom only once in the spring, while others bloom twice a year: once in the spring, and then again in the fall.

roses living room

Photo: Tres McKinney Design

Sadly, roses only last so long once they’ve been cut. You can make long-stem roses last longer by hanging them upside down to dry them as soon as they start to whither. Here’s an easy-to-follow tutorial.

Rose-patterned throw pillows are another alternative to fresh bouquets. They’re guaranteed to stay in bloom all year round.

Recycled Elements

Recycling is a big deal in Portland because so many of the city’s residents care about the environment. If eco-friendliness is important to you, you can do your part by using recycled or reclaimed materials. Reclaimed wood offers a rustic look that’s perfect for the Pacific Northwest. It’s great for flooring, kitchen cabinets, and furniture.

For a fun and easy DIY project, grab some reclaimed wood boards of varying lengths and put together a unique headboard for your bed.

rustic reclaimed wood headboard

Photo: Buckets of Burlap

Creative Bike Racks

If you’re one of more than 17,000 people who bike to and from work every day, you need a place to keep your bike. Don’t feel like you have to stow it in the garage or shed where it’s hard to get to.

Your bike is an important part of your daily routine. You may have spent quite a bit of money on it. Maybe you even love you bike the way some people love their cars. Why not let it be part of your home’s decor? Try a creative and functional bike rack like this one:

indoor bike rack home

Photo: Matthew Williams

Homebrew in the Basement

This one is a bit of a larger project, but it’s more than worth it for true craft beer lovers. Wouldn’t it be great to take your guests down to your newly remodeled basement and serve them your own homebrewed beer?

If you have enough space, you could even include a bar, like this basement:

basement brewery bar

Photo: Kal Wallner

Live With What You Love

If you’re a true Portlander at heart, chances are there are other things you love about Stumptown too. Are you a coffee expert? Invest in a fancy coffee machine for your kitchen. Are you an expert on Bridge City? Get some Portland bridge art from Etsy to hang on the wall.

The goal is to bring more of what you love into your home and, of course, show off your Portland pride.

Did I miss anything? What other famous Portland things would you love to have in your house?


Other photo sources: William Beutler, eric molina

Home Remodeling Projects You’ll Have to See to Believe

1920s Arts & Craft Home in Portland

We would like to show you some of our recent remodeling projects, including a gorgeous 1920’s Arts and Crafts home, as well as a mid-century kitchen and an industrial chic basement. But we’re not just going to show you the finished product, we’re going to look at how things were before the remodeling work began.

Keep reading and I hope you’ll find inspiration for your next remodeling project.

Period Glamor in Portland, Oregon

1920s Arts & Craft Home in Portland

Results of a 1920’s Arts & Crafts home remodel in Portland.

Let’s start with that 1920’s Arts and Crafts house I mentioned. It’s loaded with historic charm and period glamor.

The house, located near Portland’s beautiful Washington Park, was purchased by a family of 4 who relocated from Phoenix Arizona.

This home remodeling project started with the outdated kitchen and powder bathroom. They weren’t a good fit for their lifestyle and didn’t match the home’s true character. All of the original windows needed to be reworked, lighting fixtures replaced and windows dressed up.

1920 before and after kitchen final

Before/After kitchen comparison.

The kitchen, last remodeled in the 1980’s, had modern white cabinets with slab door fronts, a Saltillo tile floor and a layout that lacked sufficient counter space.

By removing walls and widening the entry to the kitchen, we captured all of the previously wasted space in the new design.

Polished nickel plumbing fixtures and extra-wide Shaws apron sink fit beautifully into this classic kitchen. A cozy window seat was built into the kitchen that provides a hangout space for reading and homework right next to the desk.1920s Period Glamor Style

Each custom painted cabinet was designed with a specific need in mind to keep this busy family well organized. Charging drawers for each family member are hidden in the butler’s pantry.

Polished nickel was used throughout for all of the lighting, plumbing and hardware because of the inherent elegance and warmth it gives off. The new layout boasts a Carrara marble island with matching table at the far end.

We worked to achieve a glamorous yet classically elegant style for our client’s home. We stayed true to the home’s original details while infusing the owner’s’ style into every nook and cranny.

Now the family cooks, bakes and entertains in style.

So Chic You Won’t Believe It’s a Basement

Industrial Chic Basement Before and After

Before/After Comparison of an industrial chic basement remodel.

A 1970’s basement turned into an industrial chic basement with a transformation you’ll have to see to believe.

The homeowners, two busy doctors, needed extra space for their soon to be teenaged children. Dark wood paneling, an unused fireplace, a maze of hallways, low ceilings and a cramped, outdated bathroom added up to one unused, unappealing space.

Enter Mosaik Design and Remodeling

In addition to livability and function, our goal was to create a space that reflects the people who live there. We began collecting memorabilia, artwork, old photos, and other sentimental items that help tell their story.

Nostalgia and a Love of Sports

We started with a baseball glove that belonged to the homeowner’s father, who passed away during the project construction. She said it brought back wonderful memories of attending Mariners games together. It now holds a place of honor in a custom, locally-made display case above the kitchenette.

The family’s love of the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Mariners shines through in the new ping pong room. A life-sized poster of Clyde Drexler, with a reclaimed fir frame, takes center stage along with custom-framed kid’s artwork, signed by Mariners legend Ichiro Suzuki.

A foosball table rounds out the game room experience. Stadium lighting, locally produced sustainable furniture, and pops of red against the blue-grey and white walls, give this space a fun, contemporary industrial vibe.

Kitchenette & Bathroom

Layers of lighting, the perfect yellow paint and an open shower with glass mosaics and a pebble floor took the bathroom to a whole new level. Vintage fixtures from Schoolhouse Electric add a bit of whimsy along with towel “hooks” sourced at a local salvage store, Old Portland Hardware and Architectural.

The kitchenette houses a microwave drawer, an under-counter fridge and even a garbage disposal. All are must-haves for messy kids and their friends. The colorful glass backsplash brings everything together and the hardworking quartz countertop ties in with the blue-grey cabinetry and custom sofa.

A Family Room with Global Flair

The family’s love of travel brightened up the family room. A large, colorful wall map is the focal point and shows the children’s love of new people and places with stickers of their choosing.

A recent trip to Spain served as the inspiration for the incredible local collage-style paintings of each child. A collection of vintage globes evoke both memories of places visited and excitement for the next journey.

Vibrant colors play off the artwork and map. Global fabrics for pillows and poufs, a blue Eames chair, FLOR tile squares and beautiful blue-grey cabinetry are all balanced with a super comfortable, low maintenance, grey sofa. Locally made of course! Behind the cabinet doors are custom partitions for 150+ DVD’s, board games, gaming storage and AV components.
Can you believe this:

Industrial Chic Basement Before


Turned into this:


Basement Remodel by Mosaik Design and Fig Studio


The homeowner’s complete trust in us as a design and remodeling company was refreshing. And we loved how the kids were really involved with the project, sitting in on many presentations and helping with the DVD storage and pouf selections.

I think they were having as much fun as we were! They spend most of their time in their newly remodeled space and show it off to their friends as often as they can.

Read more about this amazing basement transformation over at Houzz.

Mid-Century Makeovers

These photos show how we remodeled the first floor of this Mid Century ranch. The outdated and cramped kitchen, bathroom and hallway now shine through with a modern feel that suits the young homeowners to a tee.

Mid Century Kitchen Before & After

Before/After comparison of Mid-Century kitchen remodel.


Mid-Century Bathroom Before & After

Before/After comparison of Mid-Century bathroom remodel.


Mid Century Hallway Before & After

Before/After comparison of Mid-Century hallway remodel.

More of Our Favorite Transformations

We’re not the only ones with great before and after photos of home renovations and restorations. Here’s a few more of our favorites:

And finally, an amazing kitchen remodel video:



Considering a Remodeling Project of Your Own?

There’s nothing more exciting than planning and executing an amazing remodeling project, breathing new life into your home.

Let’s talk about any upcoming projects you’re thinking about starting. And I’d love to see pictures of any projects you’ve recently completed, too!

2013 Tour of Remodeled Homes: Capturing Space without Adding on

basement before remodel   Basement Remodel by Mosaik Design and Fig Studio

How often these days we hear the buzz words, reduce your footprint.

It’s a term that refers to sustainable living; a hot topic here in Portland, where many people are committed to taking up less space, not more. An increasingly popular remodeling idea, many homeowners are excited to learn they can capture unused spaces – basements, attics, garages and ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) to increase sq footage and add character and functionality to a home.

We were honored to be invited to participate in Portland’s annual Tour of Remodeled Homes, which included a total of 14 homes around the city and a wonderful variety of remodeling projects.  For our showcase project, we transformed a dingy basement to increase living space… without actually adding on.  The basement – 1700 sq. feet of unused and virtually forgotten space – was a diamond in the rough just waiting to be re-purposed!

More than 200 people dropped by our Tour home to see how we transformed the narrow, maze-like basement (empty for 16 years) into a bright, fun and practical living space. This re-purposed space increased the value of the home and, even more importantly, provides a wonderful area for relaxing, entertaining, and enjoying family and friends.

Click to see a short recap of the show, including a video glimpse of our basement transformation (near the end of the short, 2 minute clip) – you won’t believe your eyes!  Check it out and be inspired!  2013 Tour of Remodeled Homes – Transforming Basement Space




Energy Efficiency and the EPS Score


Basement Remodel

This basement remodel, featured on the 2013 Tour of Remodeled Homes,  had a Home Performance Test conducted on it before the remodel began so we knew how to improving it’s energy efficiency.   After adding  (2) new high-efficiency furnaces, all new windows, all new ductwork, sealing all cracks, and adding extra insulation and soundproofing in the entire basement, we had the home tested again.  Now we can see, in the form of a score, what a huge difference these upgrades made:  The EPS or Energy Performance Score.

What is an EPS? 

This year, Energy Trust of Oregon has really begin to  promote this enery scoring system.  All new and existing homes are eligible to receive an EPS.  This new tool according to Energy Trust of Oregon “provides a standardized estimate of a homes energy use and associated carbon emissions.  The score also allows for comparisons of one home’s energy use to another, without the influence of varying occupant behavior. Homeowners can also use the tool to compare the typical energy use of the house in its current state versus what it could be like after energy upgrades”.

We believe this will become a vital tool for homeowners to decide whether to purchase a home or not based on the EPS.  Also, it is a standardized, tangible method that offers results in writing.  Most importantly, it is another way to feel good about improving your home’s energy efficiency and value.