When 2 city planners decide to renovate their home, there are strong opinions on design. Phase 1 of this ambitious project include the conversation of an unfinished, low-ceilinged basement into a hang-out space for the whole family. The ground was excavated several feet to get a good ceiling height, and a new stair was added to create internal access from the living room above. The basement does not feel like a sub-terranean space at all. The open stair brings in light with new floor-to-ceiling west-facing windows, and smaller windows were added wherever possible. A second door to the exterior was also maintained through careful grading and stepping the slab levels. The renovation carries upstairs at the main living level with a modest kitchen renovation and new windows and access to the yard. A true entertainers home, the openness creates a great space for gathering.