Utah Style and Design

Photo Friday: When the Floor Below is a Level Above

August 23, 2019

There was a time when a Utah basement consisted of a rumpus room and a couple of kids’ rooms, and the upper level starred as the entertainment space and hosted guests. As a Draper home I photographed this week demonstrates, there can be high style in the low level of today’s homes, and this basement is set for company and good times.  

The starting point for Tri City Construction (Dan Stewart) was a completely unfinished basement space. The result is a flexible open plan that works well with young children (note the playhouse, which is furnished) and retains the ability to adapt to teenagers as the family grows up. Interior designer Lucca Design carefully selected the interior finishes and furnishings and worked closely with Tri City Construction on the lighting design to keep the space bright and cheerful with daylight spectrum lighting despite the lack of windows. 

The kitchen features full-sized appliances, and there is plenty of seating along the counter and in the wide, deep banquet area. Indirect lighting adds drama to the wooden ceiling panel swoosh over the banquet, and a large domed bronze pendant light gives it a greater sense of place. 

The art room is a notable space with its beamed ceiling, abstract-painted color wall, acrylic easel, display shelf and the acrylic and bronze paired chairs at each side of the art table. A glass door closes it off from the active open area, making it both an area for family art activities as well as a get-away for a serious artist to quietly work.

A glass-partitioned room is intended for movie viewing with a well-cushioned U-shaped sectional. The glass doors provide excellent sound attenuation. The rich wall paneling here and other detailed woodwork seen elsewhere in the project is a hallmark of the Tri City Construction’s residences that I have photographed. 

 

Not seen are a guest bedroom and bath. 

This is a second bathroom, a spa bath to serve outdoor recreationists. The vanity has both rectangular and circular mirrors that add dimension while reflecting light to brighten the space. The white walls also reflect light, while the natural wood of the custom-designed vanity adds warmth. The wood reappears as a bench in the shower and as shelves inside the glass of the shower doors.

 

To make the photos, I supplemented the existing lighting with flash, using the white walls as reflectors. The LED lighting was color-balanced to my flash, so I didn’t have the challenge of overcoming unwanted color.  In the complete photo set, I show the connection of spaces plus details and room shots that combine to tell the full story of the design and construction. It was a space that simply felt good, and I worked at the visuals to express this sense. 

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Scot Zimmerman
Architectural photographer Scot Zimmerman has been photographing exteriors and interiors of homes, and commercial and public buildings across the United States for over 37 years. He is the principal photographer of eight books; over 40 periodicals have featured his work; and 11 museums have exhibited his photos. He’s fond of adventuring in the Southern Utah desert. Follow his work on Instagram: @scot.zimmerman

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