Libby Langdon’s Fab Basement Makeover

Celebrity designer Libby Langdon is an author and makeover television personality seen on popular shows including NBC’s Open House, The Rachael Ray Show, and HGTV’s Small Space, Big Style. She has also been a mentor and friend to me. I was first introduced to Libby through WithIT (a fabulous Women’s Leadership Development Network we both belong to). Libby and I had only met briefly a couple of times when I reached out to her to say I was coming to New York and would love to pick her brain if she had 30 minutes for a cup of coffee. She went above and beyond taking me to dinner at La Masseria a restaurant she designed in Manhattan and bringing with her marketing materials, resources and her endless good humor. She was a wealth of information and a generous mentor.

Recently, Libby did a basement makeover for a family with four children which I thought you would love! The family included a 7 year old boy and three girls (9, 11, and 13). They had a dark uninviting basement which had become the room where old furniture went to die. I see a lot of that!

Basement Before

The family wanted to convert the room to a space where the children’s friend’s could gather, sometimes on Friday afternoons there were as many as 10-15 kids hanging out. So the room needed to be welcoming and stylish but stand up to the wear and tear of hoards of children.

Basement Before

The children’s wish list included keeping there Wii central and accessible, and adding a ping pong and air hockey table.

Accommodating all of this in a room over 35’ long but less than 14’ wide can be tricky. Plus, there are big doors on the one solid wall which can make it hard to locate a large seating area, but Libby had a great plan!

First the old sofa had to go!.There are so many durable fabrics today there is no need to trade style for stain resistance. Libby has a line of upholstered pieces with Braxton Culler, this sectional is not part of her line but it is a Braxton Culler design. The sectional was placed first in the center of the room dividing the long space into zones for different types of activities.

The heavy old drapes were removed and replaced with sleeker door mounted shades. Libby dressed these up with some ribbon and our old friend the glue gun! Love that!

The TV was wall mounted directly opposite the sectional and surrounded with lots of storage for games and toys. These are ready made shelving units arranged to make a bold statement that give the allusion of built-ins.

The kids got their air hockey table! And there is a game table at the far end that can also be used for art projects, larger school assignments, etc.

Some bold colors were introduced into the formerly neutral space to add excitement and fun! And graphic art pieces were placed on the neutral walls to tie it all together. I am particularly fond of the bright pillows.

The new computer “bar”

The large built-in area where the old TV was became  the computer bar…Libby simply had a piece of formica cut out with an overhang to create the bar. It was installed over the existing built-ins without making any modifications to the cabinetry. That’s a clever solution!

 There even was room for a ping pong table! This formerly frumpy basement has become a chic, functional hangout for these kids to enjoy now and throughout their teen years.

If you want to see Libby walk you through her makeover watch her makeover reveal here!

If you would like to spend the day in New York with Libby and see all of her favorite design spots as well as have dinner with her at La Masseria like I did WithIT is raffeling off this special experience. The prize includes a plane ticket to New York, a night in a hotel and a full day of fun with Libby Langdon. For all of the details or to purchase a raffle ticket check out “Designer for a Day – Libby Langdon” on the WithIT website. Good luck! I already bought my ticket!

I am grateful to have Libby as a friend and a mentor!

I am grateful to have found WithIT which has connected me with so many generous, knowledgeable and talented women I couldn’t possibly name them all here…but you know who you are!

I am grateful Libby shared her fantastic makeover with us, I hope you are as inspired as I am.

xo Barbara


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