WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/78488

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Page 47 of 211

Basements That Rise Above Another way to add light and the illusion of windows in a basement that has neither is to create faux windows that are standard sill height with opaque and backlit glass. "They're false windows but you'd be sur- prised—they really do create the feel [of actual windows] in the space," says Gray. Gleysteen says the trick to getting a base- ment to feel like it's not a basement is to pull in all the natural light possible. There "Lighting is a huge issue," Newman says. She advises clients to add windows whenever possible, and to remove unsightly ceiling tiles and replace them with recessed lighting for an aesthically pleasing look. Loughran uses cool, sustainable LED lights in the wine room. Hill uses movie theater strips in the media room and on the stairwell. are two ways to do that. One is to create a walkout basement on a house built into a slope. But for those not fortunate enough to have that above-ground space to install a significant amount of glass, a window well is a great option. A window well brings in natural light, creates the feeling of being on the first floor, and is big enough for someone to escape through in the event of a fire. The concrete surface of the well can be covered in fieldstone or stucco. "All you need to pull off the feeling that it's not underground is to have some natural light at one end of the basement. You don't need it everywhere. You just sort of blow in a lot of light in one spot or in a couple spots," says Gleysteen. He also says a rule of thumb is to increase the amount of lighting by 25 percent. Another way to dispel the sort of dark dinginess of a basement when you don't have a lot of natural light is to increase the amount of wattage in the lighting. Finishing Touches Don't forget the opportunities the stairwell presents. An old, narrow staircase may be able to be widened to provide a first floor feel. Newman says that stairs can be used as a design element. Consider open risers or a free-standing staircase that you can walk under. As for the palette, a downstairs suite can be fresh and inviting done in light colors. But don't feel like you need to stick to pastels just because you're down below. Gleysteen, for example, simply increased the light- ing significantly in a gorgeous wood paneled billiard room he designed. 46 WellesleyWeston Magazine | fall 2012 COURTESY OF CARPENTER & MACNEILLE

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