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Render to Reality | Egypt Valley Lower Level

A blank canvas with loads of space was just begging to be finished so this family could take full advantage of the extra level in their home...and this was BC (before Covid).


A finished lower level can double the square footage of a home, can serve as a retreat or overflow or as a space for kid items, leaving the main floor with less clutter. We were so excited to work with this fun couple who knew what they wanted to incorporate into the space, but unfortunately were left abandoned with a bad taste in their mouth from their first designer. We were sad to hear that they experienced this but were honored that they trusted us and our design services for their project. We knew we could help them once again be excited about the process and love their design again.


Hearing their collective thoughts on the space, what they wanted out of it, how they intended to use it and that this space wasn't just for kids had our detailed minds running ramped with ideas. Mom has quite the creative job herself as the owner of Cloth + Cabin. If you haven't already, you have to check out her online store or her local store (in downtown Rockford) because she simply has the dang cutest clothing, home décor and gifts! We are both proud owners of her iconic 'homegirl' sweater and it's safe to say it is a staple in our wardrobes. She also just launched her own line of pillows! Cool mom status for sure!

One might think that a blank canvas is easy-peasy, however when dealing with concrete, barely any electrical, and putting together the zones to execute a really good design plan can be just as big of a challenge as a space that requires major demo. Each challenge simply makes us stop and ask the question "does this solve the issue?". We've said it a million times and we will say it again: the puzzle is the best part of the challenge! Listening to her vision for the finished space as well as the amenities and flow is alwasys a big part of the design process. As the designer we take oodles of notes and interpret those to incorporate the details into a space.

Their wish list consisted of:

  • creating a living space for movie nights with the family

  • incorporating a bar with a sink and storage that also accommodated a place to have snacks

  • a game table

  • display that could double as decorative and functional to hide games

  • taking advantage of the space under the stairs

  • making something out of the structural posts and beams

  • keeping the finish materials complimentary to the rest of their home

  • creating a space that can be flexible when entertaining

  • cleaning up the visual of the HVAC trunk lines

The proposed design gave a solution to all of those wish list items and we cannot tell you how giddy we get when we get to check...check...check our list off! We are going to own that quirk with pride!


The homeowners knew they would be tackling most of the project themselves (insert round of applause for this duo). They made a few changes to the design plan while it was in production and that is part of the construction process that we always encourage homeowners to embrace as there are so many factors to bringing a space together. We are so proud of them for tackling this project on their own and even those small changes still honor their goals and doesn't change the functionality of the space. A job well done!


Feast your eyes textured filled, fun addition to their home that gets lots of daily use and is love by all! While measuring the space, we noticed a sweet white fireplace surround that she loved but wasn't sure how to use or if it could be. Challenge accepted! We always see the potential to incorporate and reuse items when it works. And going with a moody v-groove ship lap has us melting over the drama it added! Also, can we just all take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous stair carpet...LOVE!


The space now is full of checked off wish list items and tons of personality!

  • texture that ties upstairs to this new space...check

  • zoned spaces that are flexible...check

  • a bar with an amazing amount of storage...check, check, check

  • display space...check

  • living room for movie nights...check and we give the design a bonus check for incorporating her fireplace surround. Blending it in with a tone on tone gives the classic look a little edge and we are here for it!

  • adding layers of lighting...check

  • storage for kid stuff under the stairs...check...SO MUCH SPACE!

  • after photos don't do it justice but the HVAC lines are hidden by the ceiling height which is different on each side of the main beam but not noticeable to the naked eye unless pointed out...check!

.We wish this lovely family all the joy of many fun times spent together in your new space and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for trusting us to provide you with creative solutions in your home. It was our pleasure!


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