Blog by Beebe Cline

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Basement Becomes a Family-Friendly Lower Level

On the main 
 level of their 1950s ranch house, this family of five was feeling crowded. The room they’d been using as a family room was supposed to be a small study, and they had outgrown it. Expanding their living space into the basement also meant they’d always know where their kids were. “They told me they wanted their house to have the cool hangout space, where the kids and their friends would want to be,” says architect John Conroy of Princeton Design Collaborative. Their wish list for a finished lower level included spaces for game night and movie night (complete with a mini kitchen for fixing snacks and drinks), a space for visiting grandparents and other overnight guests, a separate place for crafting and playing Wii and Ping-Pong, a laundry room and, most important, a place that would serve as the neighborhood headquarters for slumber parties and sleepovers.