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RISMEDIA, July 7, 2010—Home buyers are looking for a home that utilizes space to the max. Found space—underutilized areas such as basements, attics, garages—can be repurposed into functional and stylish rooms.

Kids always seem to gravitate to one house in a neighborhood. With three under the age of 15, the parents of this family like their kids to be home with friends where they can keep a close eye on them. As with many families, they use their basement as a playroom but want the space to blend with the rest of their décor. “We helped make the basement kid-friendly and gave it style by turning it into a cozy media room where everyone can be comfortable,” says Lowe’s Creative Ideas Style Editor Allison Banks.

Designer Solutions
Small changes make a big difference.

1. Make an impact. Banks created a faux wall to accommodate the flat-screen TV. The wall hides the wiring while still allowing access.

2. Clear clutter with storage solutions. The family’s games and DVDs needed organizing. The sturdy shelves, which flank either side of the faux wall, were the perfect solution. They each hold an additional TV (the kids are thrilled to have a total of three TVs for simultaneous gaming and other activities). Bins on lower shelves store TV remotes, controllers, games, and DVDs. A central bookcase, under the flat-screen TV, grounds the space.

3. Use neutral colors to balance bright white walls. Banks painted the back wall in the media area a dark beige. This contrast makes it feel cozier (and hides children’s fingerprints). “I love white, but there can be too much of it,” Banks says. “The slightly darker beige helps warm things up.”

4. Use fashionable accents to reinforce the cozy feeling. Accent lighting and an area rug are flexible and attractive accessories in this space. Laminate flooring covers the 12 x 16 concrete area in front of the media center. The rest of the floor is painted tan.

Find a list of materials and step-by-step instructions for building the faux wall on

From Lowes Creative Ideas for Home and Garden®, July/August 2010.