Basement Remodeling and Finishing in Swansea, IL

An Unused Basement Becomes a Family-Friendly Space For Play and Entertainment

Project Summary

Location: Swansea, IL

A once unfinished basement is now remodeled and finished to be a modern, multi-functional living area, perfect for the entire family and for entertaining.

The Challenge

Giving a sense of design to the basement ceiling and making sure the finished basement felt less like an afterthought and more like an extension of the existing home.

The Vision

The young family living in this Swansea, IL home hired us to create a more vibrant and fun basement for play and entertaining, while retaining some unfinished storage space. The home’s basement was completely undeveloped, meaning the design team had a blank canvas to work with which to work. The finished basement has been transformed to include a game area, full kitchen, exercise room, dry bar, and a bathroom with a custom tile shower fit for a hotel.

The Transformation

Before the construction work for this Swansea, IL project began, a radon mitigation system needed to be installed as the gas is prevalent in the area, and safety is always top of mind for our team. One of the biggest challenges in remodeling a basement is creating the illusion of a taller space. Since the main level of the home had a sunken living room, the basement ceiling beneath it needed some soffit work to give the ceiling a more aesthetically pleasing look. The soffits also concealed previously installed plumbing and electrical conduits.

The soffit we used above the shower allowed us to keep the main ceiling at 96 inches. A large soffit in the workout room was constructed to conceal ductwork, but since we were able to keep it all to one side, there was no major stumbling blocks to the family’s use of the room. Finally, due to the sunken living room overhead, we used a lower soffit in the living area. Because of the deeper pour, however, the soffit was not intrusive.

The homeowners’ use of deep, rich color cabinets, dark wood-like tiling and gorgeous countertops really set this basement remodel apart. The light walls made good use of natural and artificial lighting. All in all, it’s hard to believe this was once an underutilized basement.

The New Space

The homeowners wanted to keep a natural flow from upstairs to down below. And they wanted the remodeled basement to have the same overall style and openness of their upstairs living area.


To make that work, we designed the finished space to fit into a U-shaped section of the basement. The kitchen and bath were positioned near the existing utilities. The main living area was placed near the exterior door by the kitchen. The new space perfectly achieves all the homeowners’ goals.


The large game area includes a beverage center and wall-mounted television. The full kitchen houses a single wall oven, full refrigerator, dishwasher, single basin sink, and microwave. There’s also bar seating for five and another wall mounted television.



The exercise room has a fully mirrored wall and ample space for workout equipment

Next door, the three quarter bath fulfills the homeowner’s request for a shower near the gym. Best of all – according to one family member in particular – the large open concept living area is perfect for watching the Notre Dame game with friends!

Thank you so much, McDermott Remodeling. We LOVE our new finished basement. It's transformed our entire home."
Steve & Cindy

Swansea, IL

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