Michelle and Ruel have been extremely busy of late. A few years ago, the cosmopolitan young couple was enjoying life in their hip, downtown loft. But after the birth of their first child, the duo decided to hike up to the suburbs and buy a big house.
A short time later, they discovered they were pregnant again — with twins — and very soon they were busy in a new home, in a new part of town, with three children under the age of 2! Needless to say, focusing on style in their new house fell to the bottom of their “to-do list.” But they were eager for change, and their basement, the biggest room in the house, was the first room they wanted to tackle. The large bland space was empty, except for dozens of toys, and they wanted to transform it into a grown-up entertainment space that was worlds away from diaper changes and 3 a.m. feedings.
The couple asked if I could create a space that would reflect their backgrounds (Ruel is Indian and Michelle is Indian and Chinese), provide a place to entertain and still be a place where the kids could play. So I gathered my crew and geared up to create a lounge that was adult-savvy and kid-friendly.
While looking through Michelle’s memorabilia, I discovered her sparkly sari collection, which gave me the inspiration for a “Bollywood in the Basement” theme. From this jumping-off point, I decided that Michelle and Ruel’s exotic new Indian lounge would be all about glitz and glam, with lots of detail and style.
I started by dividing the room into three zones, based on function: a television and media area, a lounge area and a space for kids.
In the media zone, I put in a large ebony console that holds a big-screen TV. On either side of the console I put up gorgeous layered drapes consisting of polka-dotted sheers covered with rich velvety panels. I also installed a furniture grouping with a large, creamy L-shaped sectional and two slipper chairs in a gold-and-cream paisley fabric. To give the area some added pizzazz, I covered one wall in black paisley wallpaper with cool metallic accents.
Next to the media zone, I fashioned a lounge zone. In this area, the focus is on a long counter with a gorgeous brushed gold laminate countertop above and ebony storage cabinets and a bar fridge below. On the wall behind the counter, I put up stunning, metallic-backed sisal wallpaper. On the floor from the media zone into the lounge zone, I put down funky black and white carpet tiles that give the whole area the appearance of a checkerboard.
I then created a small zone for kids. It contains bench seating, toy storage and an area rug. The best thing about this area is that it all can be tucked away behind beautiful gold silk drapes when not in use.
The old ceiling lights left a lot to be desired — and a lot of the room unlighted — so I installed some low-voltage track lighting around the room and brightened it further with some beautiful lamps.
After adding exotic accents and accessories, including throw pillows, a wooden screen and small tables, the room was finally transformed from a kids’ play land to adult playground. By ridding the room of toys and filling it with grown-up furniture, exotic accessories and dazzling finishes, all that glitters in this room is now gold — and glamorous. Now that’s divine!
Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Divine Design.” For more ideas or information visit www.divinedesign.tv. Her column is syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service.