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A Family's New Favorite Room
A Family's New Favorite Room

Julie and Kevin Duffy always intended to update their ’80s-era basement, but it took a broken water pipe to make it happen. “The first call we made—after the insurance company—was to Dilworth’s,” Julie says. The Duffys had worked with Dilworth’s before on their kitchen and master bathroom renovations and knew they wanted to work with them again.

“They make what should be a stressful situation easy and fun,” Julie says. “The craftsmanship and professionalism at every level is amazing.”

Big Plans, Small Space
The 1980s Colonial in Phoenixville has a small footprint, with no family room. The dark, cramped basement was never an inviting alternate living space.

 “When we bought the house, we thought it was funny that the basement looked like the set from Wayne’s World,” Julie laughs.

After 18 years in the house and with their kids in high school, the Duffys were ready for something a little more grown up.

The Plan
“I have six to 10 people here for game night every couple of weeks,” Kevin says. “The basement was the only place big enough in the house to hold everyone, but it was a bit of a dump.”

 “Working with Dave [Dilworth] is always fun,” Julie says. “He makes sure that everything is designed to our tastes, and that we can have as much from the ‘nice to have’ list as possible.”

Together they formed a plan that included stripping out the dropped ceiling and painting the rafters, relocating the entrance to the laundry room, removing an inefficient built-in closet, turning the unused space under the stairs into a custom cabinet and putting in a wet bar. This left space for two gaming tables while still making room for the couple’s collection of musical instruments.

The bar was on that “nice to have” list, until Dave showed them how they could not only make it work but turn it into a showpiece personal pub that has all their friends green with envy.

Making it Happen
The bar cabinetry was custom-built at Dilworth’s state-of-the-art shop, from coffee bean-stained walnut with light-colored quartz countertops. The Shaker doors and seeded glass lights give the bar a timeless feel in the other- wise modern space.

And Dilworth’s expertise extends beyond the cabinetry.

 “They helped us select everything from the wood to the curve on the edge of the countertops, to the hardware and floor tiles. I can’t imagine trying to make it all come together on my own,” Julie says.

Sometimes they even “fixed” problems the couple didn’t know they had. “When Dave suggested a kegerator, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself,” Kevin grins.

The floor has the durability of ceramic tile with the look of rustic wood. A new underfloor heating system keeps the basement efficiently warm in winter. “This was the first winter we’ve really been able to use the basement without freezing or burning up electricity with space heaters,” Kevin says.

And when no obvious solution exists, Dilworth’s invents one. “There was no way to mount the Phillips Hue lightbulbs we wanted between our exposed rafters,” Julie says. “But of course, the Dilworth guys just thought about it for a few minutes, then went off and custom-built some fixtures that look great.”

Everyone’s Favorite Room
“We couldn’t have imagined how different the basement would be,” Julie says. “But it instantly became our favorite room. We can belly up to our own private bar to watch a movie or a game. Our teenagers even join us and hang out at the tables or on the new window seat. And it’s been so popular with our game night crew we’ve had to start handing out Dilworth’s business cards.”

Dilworth’s Custom Design Inc.
175 N. Whitehouse Road | Phoenixville, Pa.
(610) 917-9119 | DilworthsCustomDesign.com

Photos courtesy of Dilworth’s Custom Design Inc.

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 20, Issue 4 (October 2019). 
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