Basement Den/Guest Room with Off-Center Fireplace

I was originally tasked with making this a comfortable basement den/TV watching space that also doubled as a guest room for long term visitors.


The requirements were:

  • keep the TV, wall color & coffee table trunk (far right corner)
  • include a sleeper sofa
  • include comfortable seating for TV viewing
  • include storage for clothing and other guest items
  • include some sort of wall art gallery to display the grandkids’ artwork

This is a big list for such a small space but it served as a checklist which made the solution relatively easy.  Once I had sourced all of the required elements, I just needed to arrange them in the space:


  • the coffee table trunk provides storage for blankets, linens, etc.
  • a contemporary sleeper sofa converts to a bed for guests
  • end tables with storage double as nightstands for guests
  • recliners provide comfortable seating for TV viewing
  • a wardrobe provides extra storage for long term guests
  • a wall art gallery over the sofa creates a unique focal point where he grandkids’ art can be displayed

This was approved but as I proceeded with drawing the 3D model of the room, I realized that the project was not as simple as I initially thought.  If you look again at the “before” picture, you’ll see that the TV is centered on the wall but the fireplace is not – and per the clients – this wasn’t going to change.  What would change however, would be the style of the fireplace; they were looking to add a wood surround with marble tile, and built-ins on either side. I was then asked if I could help them visualize this.

Here’s my proposed solution:


I made the entire TV/fireplace area one large rectangle and balanced the TV with built-ins on the right, and the fireplace with built-ins on the left.  Per the clients’ request, I replaced the red brick with marble tile, and added a modern wood mantel.

Once I had the space drawn, 2 recliners felt too crowded, so I removed one – otherwise the design remained the same. I kept their soft gray/green color on the walls, added panels in a neutral gray to frame the windows and give them more presence, anchored the seating area with a rug, and included a little bit of greenery to make the space feel more cozy (i.e. less basement-y).

I love the modern look of this fireplace, and how what was originally a design dilemma became a unique feature in this space.




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