Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sarah 101: Episode 11 Clutter Free Basement

This Tuesday the 11th episode of Sarah 101 aired on HGTV, which means the series will soon be drawing to a close. I will definitely miss my Tuesday night highlight!! But not to worry, there are two more episodes before it's a wrap! Tonight Sarah and Tommy tackled an 60 foot long open plan basement, converting the space from chaotic and disorganized to clutter free and multifunctional. The plan was to create a division of space which could accommodate several functions: storage, laundry, lounging and play.

Tommy and Sarah started at the fabric store, selecting a red scheme which would add charm and personality to the basement. A bold ikat fabric, an embroidered trellis pattern, a red & white stripe and a bold brush stroke print would all combine to create a lively colour story.

The basic building blocks of the room were purely neutral - a fresh coat of cream paint on the walls and bulkheads, durable broadloom on the floors throughout, a light oak finish on the storage cabinets, and a linen slipcover on the sectional sofa.

With duct work running through basements, bulkheads are a necessary evil resulting in a combination of high and low ceilings, making it difficult to use standard storage cabinets. Sarah decided that kitchen cabinetry would be the most versatile option, combining base and upper cabinets with pantry cabinets, creating an abundance of storage space.

In the secluded laundry area, a butcher block island with drawers and shelves provides even more storage while serving as a folding station and pickup zone.

In addition to the built in cabinets, Sarah & Tommy chose several key pieces to adequately furnish the lounge area: a sectional couch, an upholstered chair, a media unit, two vintage side tables, a coffee table, and a console table. Sarah's advice: Buy only what you need - more furniture would have crowded this space.

When using curtains to section off an area such as this kids playroom, use cup mounts on either end and a short center support. Fewer gaps around the edges and along the top make the curtain feel more like a room divider.

More sage Sarah Richardson advice: Use full height drapery on small basement windows. This creates the illusion of being in above ground room, especially when the drapes are closed. Family photos matted in "really red" and professionally framed provide affordable art.

What did you think of this clutter free basement?

All photos courtesy of HGTV Canada.


  1. I liked it. I'm not the biggest fan of the wood chosen for the cabinets, but I think they made it an inviting and functional space. My fave fabric was the one used on the curtain for the play room and I like the idea of the full-length curtains on tiny basement windows.

  2. I'm not keen on the cabinet colour either, but the red is gorgeous!

  3. I like those curtains too and I think that was such good tips to do full length curtains to trick our minds of being in the basement.

    I do like the storage solution (maybe not the same color) but I love how S+T maxed out the storage by combining different depth and sizes of kitchen cabinetry at a limited budget. That's probably the reason why they weren't sprayed as well.

    I'm not too sure about the carpet not running underneath the units though. it made sense in someway but then wouldn't the carpet comes out after awhile if they are just sort of "sitting" there?

    Not too sure about the ikat fabrics for the kid's curtains but I do love the red leafy print. I had used that myself on pillows before!

  4. Love it. Love that those of us in the US who CANT see Sarah 101 weekly can see it here. Thank you !

    Robyn Smyles

  5. Does anyone know what the red brushstroke fabric is?

  6. Love the colour scheme and the fabrics that Tommy & Sarah chose - my favourite is the fabric on the chair Sarah saved from the garbage! Who knew it would come out looking so good! I think they really laid out the space wisely, and I'm sure the homeowners love having all that storage space!

  7. Yeah i love these fabrics and colors especially kitchen cabinets .

  8. Wow, inspiring ideas you have in this blog. amazing color combination is attractive, I like your wonderful designs.

  9. Found this blog on Pinterst and I really like it. Here in Louisville we have not gotten this show on HGTV because I have watched all her other shows. Love the red.

  10. Where did you get your curtains in the last photo? Thanks!


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