This relaxing space flooded with natural light once had a car parked in it.

This relaxing space flooded with natural light once had a car parked in it.

A split-level mid-century modern home in Webster Groves, MO had a basement that multi-tasked as a one-car garage, recreation area and laundry room, with access to the backyard.  The family wanted this high-traffic space to be a more functional and beautiful lower level, something that matched the aesthetic of the rest of their home, and would be a graceful transition from the upper-level family room to the outdoors.

BEFORE: The exterior of the lower level garage before the remodel.

BEFORE: The exterior of the lower level garage before the remodel.

AFTER: The overhead garage door becomes a window. A reconfigured driveway also creates raised flower beds. The new detached garage can be seen in the background.

AFTER: The overhead garage door becomes a window. A reconfigured driveway also creates raised flower beds. The new detached garage can be seen in the background.

Mosby Building Arts devised a plan to convert the tiny garage into livable space, thus allowing the entire lower level to be reconfigured as an open-plan space with a family room, dining, kitchenette and mudroom. In addition, the family gains a new detached, 2-car garage with plentiful storage in the rear of the home.

BEFORE: The garage had just enough room for one car, work benches and storage.

BEFORE: The garage had just enough room for one car, work benches and storage.

AFTER: That same view is now a family room with artful details like soffit design and reclaimed barn wood shelving.

AFTER: That same view is now a family room with artful details like soffit design and reclaimed barn wood shelving.

By removing some walls and adding new windows, a light-filled family room took shape. Mosby was inspired by homeowner’s eclectic tastes and came up with some unique features. How to deal with ceiling ductwork is always an issue, but here it is turned into a design feature by adding purely decorative wells into the drywall soffit that match the proportions of the new windows. It’s a detail the family gets a big kick out of.

The lounge area gracefully flows into a dining area with kitchenette, and heads out the door into the courtyard created by the detached garage.

The lounge area gracefully flows into a dining area with kitchenette, and heads out the door into the courtyard created by the detached garage.

Converting the garage to a livable space provided the opportunity to add good insulation (and an integrated sound system in the ceiling!) before installing the drywall and new flooring. Soft carpeting is underfoot for the lounge area; engineered hardwood planks cover the rest of the space that take more outdoor traffic so it’s easier to clean.

BEFORE: This is the original view of the stairs from the main level of the home into the basement. The space to the right was recreation space, which is now.

BEFORE: This is the original view of the stairs from the main level of the home into the basement. The space to the right was recreation space, which is now.

AFTER: Reclaimed barn wood wall paneling and a custom wrought iron handrail make a beautiful entrance to the lower level. A kitchenette with an underlit onyx countertop and wine cooler tailors the space for family and entertaining needs.

AFTER: Reclaimed barn wood wall paneling and a custom wrought iron handrail make a beautiful entrance to the lower level. A kitchenette with an underlit onyx countertop and wine cooler tailors the space for family and entertaining needs.

More character was added by using reclaimed barn wood for the stairwell accent wall – which looks amazing with the custom-forged wrought iron handrail – and a set of diagonal wall shelves. They even had a bar-height dining table custom-built of the same barn wood to carry that theme throughout the space.

The kitchen melds into a mudroom area, with storage for coats, shoes and satchels. It’s conveniently located next to the door that accesses the courtyard a new detached garage.

The kitchen melds into a mudroom area, with storage for coats, shoes and satchels. It’s conveniently located next to the door that accesses the courtyard a new detached garage.

The back half of the remodeled lower level combines many functions in one open space. A kitchenette is perfect for snacking and entertaining. Across the room is a bar-height dining table made of the same reclaimed barn wood used elsewhere. With the new garage out back, the rear door has become the family’s main entry point to the house, so a mudroom – or drop zone – melds with the kitchenette to keep the space clutter-free.

BEFORE: The side and back yards had plenty of room to be reconfigure for an extended driveway and 2-car detached garage.

BEFORE: The side and back yards had plenty of room to be reconfigure for an extended driveway and 2-car detached garage.

AFTER: The rear entrance now has a stylish overhang. A stone paver retaining wall holds stairs for screen porch access. The garage is designed to echo the look of the home.

AFTER: The rear entrance now has a stylish overhang. A stone paver retaining wall holds stairs for screen porch access. The garage is designed to echo the look of the home.

The detached 2-car garage has design elements and brick that matches the home, and has room for the parents’ cars plus plenty of room for storage and work benches. The elongated driveway creates room for more cars as the children reach driving age.

The family now spends most of their time in the crisp and comfortable basement because of its casual ease and beauty. The easy access to the outside makes it a natural gathering spot as they come and go. The transformation from dank garage to lively lower level is the kind of high quality trade-in value they were looking for!

This home is one of the stops on the STL Living Modern Home Tour and Tasting, an event showcasing five Mosby Building Arts remodeling projects. See more photos of this project here. To reimagine your home, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.