Remodel by Ispiri Takes Woodbury Basement from Drab to Fab

by | Oct 2019

The remodeled basement of Mary Dutra's Woodbury home.

Mary Dutra’s 1991 Woodbury home has become a modern and cozy abode. Photos: Ispiri

A cramped basement gets a contemporary, light facelift.

Mary Dutra began her relationship with Ispiri nearly ten years ago in hopes of transforming her 1991 split-level home into a clean-lined, contemporary space.

What was once a place that emulated the transitional, traditional trends of the 1990s is now one that fits an open California vibe, says Dutra.

Beginning with the main living space, the Ispiri team knocked down the small galley kitchen to open up the room. At that point, Dutra knew she wanted to continue with the open layout throughout the rest of her home for a more cohesive, inviting and functional space.

Fast-forward several years, and all but one room in her house has been remodeled. Dutra attributes the success of the renovations to Ispiri. “Becca is the brain child behind it all,” Dutra says about Becca Hall, the lead Ispiri designer throughout the series of projects at Dutra’s home. “Sometimes you don’t always know what you are getting into with a remodel, and they are high quality, customer-focused and collaborative.”

Her fourth and latest project, the basement, is one of Dutra’s favorites. Prior to the remodel, the space was dark, cramped and nonfunctional, due to its awkward layout and low ceilings. Dutra wanted better use of her space for the purpose of entertaining, and wanted to do it in a fun, airy way that still felt homey.

Designer Hall emphasizes that creating a warm, cozy space doesn’t necessarily mean brown tones or lots of plush accents. For Dutra, “homey” meant that she wanted to enjoy the fireplace with a better furniture arrangement and have the opportunity to embrace the outdoors via her screened porch without sacrificing comfort.

With the intent of bringing the outdoors in, Dutra wanted to make her porch a haven that was functional and allowed her to soak up all of the natural beauty around her home. To ensure that the porch gets optimal use throughout the year, Hall installed a wall heater for warmth and black-trimmed windows so that Dutra can enjoy the beauty of nature nearly year-round. If in need of fresh air, the windows open up to screens that also work to keep out any unwanted critters.

To bring even more light into the basement, Hall nixed the old toffee-brown walls and opted for a white and tan distressed shiplap wall covering to add color and textural interest to the space. The shiplap acts as a backdrop for the inviting entertainment wall and cozy stone fireplace. As a point of focus, Dutra says that this is one of her favorite features of the remodel.

Hall says that there are many functional materials that can be used to achieve this contemporary look while maintaining a warm, homey feel. She suggests that quartz countertops are easy to maintain and have a variety of colors and patterns to choose from. With luxury vinyl plank or wood flooring, homeowners can easily clean these smooth surfaces and achieve a warm feel through wood stain without the bulky feel of carpet. Lastly, keep a simple color scheme so your personal items and accent pieces can pop with color and texture.

Hall says, “As an interior designer, to know that the remodel has impacted the way the home functions so that the space is more efficient and looks beautiful—I feel very fulfilled.”

Ispiri Design Build
7779 Afton Road


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