Designer Spaces Home & Decor

Designer Space: A Perfect Getaway


An unfinished basement becomes the perfect play area for children and adults alike.

Michelle and Kris Plotzke, a young couple with an eight year old daughter and a son aged six, have lived in their west Toronto home for three years. They needed designated play areas for their children — and the adults — in their unfinished basement. “We wanted a warm, comfortable area that everyone could enjoy and that was a departure from the standard basement,” Kris notes.

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“I created a floor plan with specific activity zones where more than one activity could be going on without imposing on another,” designer Christine Da Costa comments. “Understanding how you will use your basement will help you map out the floor plan.”

Fabric is a way to tell stories about homeowners and rooms. Christine used a theme of green and blue in the basement’s fabrics to connect the spaces together. “That fabulous fabric was the common element we used on the cushions, windows in the lounge area, playroom and future craft room,” Christine notes. Personality, texture, and proportion help fabric communicate about a family and the room’s function.


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The ‘family area’ suits everyone’s needs. “We wanted a space where the family could curl up on the couch together. It was key that it feel warm, cozy, and comfortable,” Kris comments. “We said give us some colour. Make it fun.” Christine remembers: “The feature wall was created to add texture. The fireplace was installed to add ambiance.” The couch’s blue leather is fun, durable, and creative. The rug’s bold baroque curls match the room’s fun theme.

The wet bar is a focal point with ample storage space for drinks and food. “Crisp white cabinetry, quartz counter tops and stainless steel hardware gave it a modern sleek look, which is what they were looking for,” Christine states.


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Another play area for adults is found in the ‘martini lounge.’ “Fashion, chit-chat, and martinis were the inspiration. It’s all about my wife and her girlfriends,” Kris notes. Christine’s accessorizing captured Kris and Michelle’s personalities. “We wanted a fashion focus. Hence the glamorous grey tub chairs with nail head detail that looks like jewellery. Glittery silver cushions amp up the glam factor,” Christine comments. “I incorporated shoes, books on fashion and a fashion art wall to create Michelle’s happy place.”

“We envisioned a place where the kids could hang out with their friends and do homework,” Kris states. The barn door hides the children’s playroom giving the adults privacy while watching TV. “I love barn doors. They add character and texture. This door is from a northern Ontario barn,” Christine notes. The grey of the wood is picked up in the fabric of the tub chairs as well as in the metallics throughout the rooms.

Design puts the fun in functional. Families can have both a creative lifestyle that is also practical. Choosing the right fabrics and materials is key.

“We have received many compliments — everyone seems to love it.” Kris notes. “We are so happy, and just in awe of what Christine put together. It took some time, but it was worth it.”

Text by J.Lynn Fraser, Photography by Stephani Buchman, Produced by Canadian Home Trends Magazine


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