I’m going to make a personal disclosure here and say that I happened to have known these clients prior to them becoming clients. And I (Kylie) happened to have nannied for their children on numerous occasions.

So I did my fair share of laundry in what was then their unfinished basement garage.

I walked up those basement steps way more than once.

I can still remember the rumble of the garage door going up as you stood in the kitchen.

But in all that time traipsing through that space I never, ever, ever dreamed that it could turn into anything spectacular. It was, after all, just a basement garage! – like so many in Kansas City.

unfinished basement garage before

Well,  I went by last week to finally get some after shots of what is now work Scovell Wolfe did more than 4 years ago. And they knocked this one out of the park! I like to think of myself as someone who has the ability to envision things before the work begins. But this! This was beyond my wildest imagination!


after shot of unfinished garage basement to finished lower level living room

I’m told there was nothing easy about this project – nothing even remotely straight forward about it! But it sure came a long way. I mean look at what it was midway through the project! Hard to even believe.

basement posts during remodel

original garage door mechanism

And this basement now has it all. A powder bath. A spacious laundry room with 2 sets of washers and driers. A living and dining space. A wine cellar. And a walk-out…

A ‘walk out’ as in walk out and over to the new detached garage Scovell Wolfe built.

detached garage

Complete with an exercise room beneath the car bays plus an upper floor for storage.

lower level exercise room with concrete walls and floor

lower level exercise room with window, concrete walls and concrete floor

Here we are mapping out the new structure prior to building.

mapping out the new detached garage

But back to the basement. Take a look at some of these incredible before and afters.

Let’s start with the stairs. Given the foundation and structure of the house, there wasn’t much flexibility as far as modifying the location or shape of the stairwell, so it got a nice big makeover instead.

before and after of basement stairs

before and after of lower level landing space
And with the newly built detached garage now housing the exercise equipment, this little basement nook was able to be converted into a temperature controlled wine cellar. Not too shabby…

workout nook converted to temperature controlled wine cellar


And then for the main feature. Where once sat a car, now sits a sectional!

from garage to lower level living room

Aesthetically, I just think this basement hits the nail right on the head. The exposed ceilings and stone walls harken back the days when it was just a garage. And the grasscloth wallpaper, stunning pendants and beautiful furniture welcome you into what is now a comfortable living space. The contrast makes for an extraordinary juxtaposition.

before and after of unfinished garage to lower level living space


Here’s where we landed on the outside. From garage door to french doors flanked with windows. Amazing!

before and after from garage door to french doors


When Jim met with these clients at the outset of the project several years back he asked them, do you hope to use this as an adult space or for your children? He said that more often than not, lower levels do not end up attracting adults to use it as a primary living space. So make sure this is where you want to spend your money.

Nearly five years later, our client answered that same question for me. She and her husband use it ALL THE TIME! But I mean look at this place. Wouldn’t you, too??

entertainment wall in newly finished lower level garage conversion