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Once the furnace monster lived there. Now it's a bright playroom-office.

First step in attacking this basement remodel was replacing an old, monstrously space-consuming furnace with a compact, energy-efficient unit. This cleared the way for reclaiming the space with a design that has solved a host of problems for homeowners Cathy and Bill Madison.

The Madisons loved their stately 60-yearold San Francisco house, but it lacked usable outdoor living space. In front, a 9foot setback from the sidewalk allowed only a thin strip of lawn. Before the remodel, the rear yard was seldom used, since the major living areas were a full story above ground level. Safe, sunny play space for the couple's two preschoolers topped their architectural wish list.

"Before, spending time in the garden was a major production," says Mrs. Madison. "We were constantly trooping up and down the basement stairs to use the bathroom. And if the weather changed, there was no place to go but back upstairs."

The remodel has changed all that, With a home computer center incorporated into the playroom and a new laundry room nearby, Mrs. Madison can do her own work secure in the knowledge that the children are within earshot or safely corralled in the fenced yard.

For easy garden viewing, the playroom's rear wall has been opened up with a glasspaned door and two large windows. If bad weather strikes, the room is sparsely furnished for spread-out play, its hardwood floor providing a low-friction surface for fast cars and other rolling toys.

Architect John McLean's flexible plan not only meets the young family's current needs, but has been designed to evolve as they mature.

The built-in cabinets around the desk will house a media center when the children are older and the playroom evolves into a family room. Faced with perforated metal, upper cabinets will hold speakers. The generous base cabinet was designed to house a television and VCR.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1989
Words:308
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