As her son and daughter were growing up, Nam Dang-Mitchell kept hearing the same advice from her friends with older children: if you want to see your kids when they’re teenagers, create a space they’ll want to hang out in. But before she could turn her dark, dated basement into a teen-approved rec room, the Calgary designer had to fix the basics.
When she moved into the century home in 2005, the lower level hadn’t been renovated since the 1960s. With a mix of textural materials, modern finishes and an emphasis on artwork, Nam transformed the basement into a multifunctional space. Though the lower level is definitely a teen domain, Nam and her husband, James Mitchell, regularly kick off their shoes and join in the fun. “We move the coffee table and hold family dance competitions,” says Nam. Here’s her recipe for the ultimate family hub.