With two sons and a third on the way last fall, Tim and Lauren Oliphant knew they needed more family-friendly living space — and a place to get away — in their Olathe home.
The tech-savvy young couple happened upon a contest called Purple-to-Perfect, and one classy, well-edited video submission later, they were the recipients of a $25,000 makeover prize to turn their unfinished basement into a media room.
National Gypsum held the contest to showcase its Purple XP drywall.
The company teamed up with Kansas City contractor Total Home Construction and Anitra Mecadon, star of DIY Network’s “Mega Dens,” to complete the project.
Designing in raw space such as a basement allows for infinite design possibilities, Mecadon says. She immediately divided the dimensions into three open sections: a media area, kids area and multiuse space.
Storage space is still included but is stylishly hidden behind a custom sliding barn door.
For the walls, Mecadon used Purple SoundBreak XP to reduce the amount of noise heard between rooms and floors, an important factor for this family.
“I like to watch movies in the dark, with the sound all the way up,” Tim says.
The drywall also prevents moisture, mold and mildew.
For the design of the Oliphants’ basement, Mecadon took cues from their upstairs living space, which has a light and airy Hamptons style.
“Life is so chaotic, I like my house to feel fresh,” Lauren says.
Mecadon specified an easy-clean, faux-wood vinyl atop the concrete floor, then selected four paint colors to visually separate zones.
“I used rugs and light to anchor each space,” she adds.
“I love that things coordinate but aren’t matching,” Lauren says. “There are lots of different layers, and it’s more interesting that way.”
Mecadon added to the homey feel by incorporating a few of the Oliphants’ family pieces, such as a child’s rocking chair painted bright green, as well as photos and framed kids artwork on the walls.
Even working remotely, Mecadon understood the Oliphants’ desires for a high-tech, family-friendly space that looks clean and feels comfortable.
A big TV with surround sound along with a cushy sectional can be used for the whole family of five or just for a date night. A dedicated play area keeps toys relatively in one area, and this is where Mecadon’s well-known rock ’n’ roll style jumps out with a pop of Calypso Blue. “It draws the eye to the back corner that would otherwise be forgotten,” Mecadon says.
Another of her design tricks is to create flex space in each project that can evolve with the family.
“I believe in leaving room to grow,” Mecadon says of the free space in the center of the Oliphants’ basement. “It’s all about flow, and these kids are going to be on wheels soon.”
The Oliphants are, naturally, thrilled with the upgraded space that will be a source of family togetherness for the next generation.
“It doesn’t feel like a basement anymore, just a nice living space,” Lauren says.