Case Study: Audio/Video + Lighting

That’s Entertainment: An unfinished basement becomes a sleek, versatile space for family fun

Homeowners in Ashburn, Virginia, wanted to create an extensive entertainment space in their unfinished basement. They contacted Justin Schopp of Moss Building & Design for the job, specifying an open floor plan that would incorporate a home theater, bar, and space for a pool table—all in inviting modern style.

“The owners wanted something special,” relates Schopp. “They requested a modern sensibility—unlike the rest of the house—so it would feel like an escape when they came downstairs.”

Moss Building & Design collaborated with Reston-based Synergy Design & Construction on the project. To create the desired aesthetic, Schopp and his team chose engineered maple floors and maple cabinets and wall panels throughout. The panels are trimmed with decorative aluminum strips, while other aluminum accents such as pendants and stair balusters unify the space. A water feature and gas fireplace add style and interest.

The home theater features acoustic carpeting, plush theater seating, and a 110-inch Elite Prime screen. The coffered ceiling conceals speakers and anchors the Sony projector. “Usually clients want the home theater in a separate room,” Schopp observes. “The open plan made it harder to get the acoustics right.” Around the corner, a bar boasts built-in cabinetry, honed-granite countertops, and a TV.

WiHome Integration installed the electronics, along with a Control4 automation system that operates everything from the projector, speakers, and receiver to the Blu-ray, Apple TV, and cable box. It also controls the lighting and climate in the space. A smart-phone app means that one touch of a button does it all.

Renovation Design & Construction: Justin Schopp, Moss Building & Design, Chantilly, Virginia. Home Automation System: WiHome Integration, Burke, Virginia. Photography: Robert Merhaut.

Justin Schopp’s Trade Secrets

  • Virtual-reality systems, which show you how everything is going to be scaled and help you visualize a finished project, are the future of the industry. We recommend working with a company that utilizes them. They also bring some fun into a process that can be very stressful. You should enjoy the experience!
  • When designing a basement, think about your family now and also how your needs will evolve over time. Keeping a space open will allow you to design it with lighting and furniture that can be changed, rather than hard walls that will be expensive to update.
  • Choose a company that will collaborate with you and makes you part of the renovation process.