When creating a living space, it is important to strike a perfect balance between form and function. The newly developed Hanson residence basement achieves this goal by being both stunning and practical. Not only is the new space a modern rustic masterpiece, but it serves the family’s needs in a number of ways.

The Hansons decided to develop their basement for the same reason most families make that decision – a growing need for functional space. The Elle Cherie team was tasked to design the new basement with a number of goals in mind. These goals included a media room, a bar, a bathroom and a guest bedroom that would double as a dressing room for the woman of the house.

When designing a living space, Elle Cherie focuses on two elements: what the space will be used for, and what the desired style is. In this case, the basement would be used both for entertaining as well as family time, but also as a private area to unwind. The look we chose was a modern rustic feel, accentuated with key pieces of furniture and hardware.

Here is a look at each of the main areas and how we blended functionality with style.


The unquestionable star of the basement is the custom stone feature in this jealousy-inducing bar. We went with onyx because its elegant crystalline structure makes every piece as unique as a snowflake. Backlit with LED, the translucent stone glows warmly and transforms the room with an organic beauty. Glass shelves ensure none of this mas-terpiece is hidden and provides a backdrop for displaying liquor and bar accessories. Custom slanted wine shelves anchor the sides and provide a frame for the stone fea-ture.

For the cabinets we chose a dark stained maple. This selection doesn’t have much wood grain so it lends a clean feeling and doesn’t distract from the stone features. The waterfall counter establishes a visual continuity from the floor to the sit up bar, while showcasing the minimalistic beauty of the wood. The retro bar stools from Restoration Hardware add some fun and interest to the space, while also allowing for a quick swivel to catch the highlights of any sporting events that might be on TV in the adjacent me-dia room.


Any media area that also serves as an entertainment space must have adequate, easy to access storage. The custom two-toned media cabinet not only helps tie in the colour scheme from the bar, but also provides ample space to stow gaming equipment and movies. Keeping the clean, minimalistic look is the concealed wiring and the integrated speaker system. The speakers were chosen in a colour to match the walls so they dis-appear from view.

Faux wood beams on the ceiling draw the eyes up and give the illusion of spaciousness in the otherwise small basement. The rustic modern feel is accentuated with the tan leather sofa, luxury vinyl plank flooring and custom sliding barn door leading into the guest room.


Even the Hanson family will feel like guests in this room. With the barnyard wallpaper feature wall and custom shiplap paneling in the makeup vanity area, it isn’t hard to im-agine oneself in a lakeside boutique hotel. The muted tones in the colour palette cre-ate a soothing environment. Since the woman of the house works night shifts, it was necessary to have a calm relaxing space to unwind without disturbing her family’s sleep.

Besides offering a place to store everything necessary to perform her end-of-day rou-tines, the vanity area also serves another purpose. The location of the electrical panel could not be moved so we custom designed the vanity mirror to allow easy access to the now hidden panel.


In the bathroom we shook things up with a black and white theme. Graphic black and white 2×2 mosaic tiles above the vanity and in the shower add an element of fun to the bathroom, while the bold framed mirror and rich wood cabinets tie into the rustic mod-ern theme of the basement. The natural beauty of porcelain tiling with a marble look in the shower continues the soothing vacation-like feeling present in the guest bedroom.


Whether being enjoyed by the Hanson family or their guests, this newly developed basement rises to the challenge in both style and function, and makes excellent use of the formerly empty space. With plenty of storage, the media and bar area transitions easily from family game nights to entertaining guests. The guest room is a perfect place to unwind after a hard night of work. And through it all, the rustic modern look glows through the backlit onyx and flows into the bedroom oasis.

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