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Gathering Spaces for Relaxation & Play

Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion

Updating two underutilized areas of a home for socializing, entertaining, and family fun.

With three young, active kids, these homeowners needed space that could be their own, with plenty of room for playing and entertaining guests. They envisioned something consistent with the existing design of their home, with flexible spaces accommodating various needs and purposes but still felt cohesive and unified. A spacious backyard held the answer: an updated basement with a convenient indoor-outdoor connection and room to grow.

The outdoor spaces truly shine as a place to gather. A large lounge with plenty of seating, built-in space heaters, a fireplace, and kitchen is functional and comfortable for all-year use. Multi-use, it can be used to enjoy movies, outdoor dinners, or late nights spent chatting with friends. Natural materials like stone, brick, and wood, plus warm-toned neutrals keep the space feeling warm and cozy, no matter the weather.

Free-standing and build-in seating surround a fire pit nestled behind a house.
A Seat with a View

A more intimate seating area near the outdoor grill offers a peek at water views. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

A Seat with a View

A more intimate seating area near the outdoor grill offers a peek at water views. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

A fire pit with two freestanding stairs stand on a patio. Beyond, a turf lawn connects to a sport court.
Large Lawn

A turf lawn stretches beyond the patio offering plenty of room for play, leading to a University of Washington themed basketball court. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Large Lawn

A turf lawn stretches beyond the patio offering plenty of room for play, leading to a University of Washington themed basketball court. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

A fully-equipped outdoor kitchen. The mini-fridge is open showing cans of beverages.
Fully Stocked

A kitchen, complete with a dishwasher, sink, mini fridge, and large countertop grants ample space to host and serve an outdoor party. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Fully Stocked

A kitchen, complete with a dishwasher, sink, mini fridge, and large countertop grants ample space to host and serve an outdoor party. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

The backyard of a house lit up in twilight.
Picturesque Patio

The patio offers the ideal ambiance for late summer nights, or plenty of all day play. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Picturesque Patio

The patio offers the ideal ambiance for late summer nights, or plenty of all day play. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Beyond the lounge is a larger area accessible to the indoor kitchen and dining room of the home via French doors. This uncovered area provides a chance to dine beneath the sun or stars when weather permits and creates a more formal outdoor dining option. Fairy lights above visually connect the space to the covered lounge while also boosting the ambiance. Further along, the patio steps down to an intimate seating area with a fire pit and grill. This spot, which grants a peek at water views, offers a more private spot for chatting while meals are prepared or parties wind down.

The homeowners also wanted to reserve plenty of space for activity and sports. Composed of turf, the lawn is easy for a dog-owning household to clean and maintain. A basketball court celebrating the University of Washington is tucked away behind the outdoor lounge. It was important to reserve places for activities this family can enjoy together. And as avid UW basketball fans, it was only right to personalize this court with their passions.

An outdoor lounge with a fireplace, seating, and television.
Warm Atmosphere

Round, suspended lanterns, space heaters, and the glow of a warm fire help visually (and physically!) warm the space. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Warm Atmosphere

Round, suspended lanterns, space heaters, and the glow of a warm fire help visually (and physically!) warm the space. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

An outdoor lounge with seating, a television, and a fireplace.
Creating Distance

The outdoor lounge feels cozy, warm, and private, while the patio beyond is expansive and one — making the space feel like two different, well-defined areas. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Creating Distance

The outdoor lounge feels cozy, warm, and private, while the patio beyond is expansive and one — making the space feel like two different, well-defined areas. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

A brightly lit bathroom with sage green cabinets and geometric floor tiling. A tiled shower is to the right.
Guest Bath

A full bathroom is available to guests in the basement, with decorative tile to contrast the vanity and create visual interest. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

The basement has a guest bath, complete with a shower and vanity so guests can enjoy the privacy of their very own bathroom.

A home entertainment space with bar seating facing a large projector screen.
Dynamic Design

The floor, which was lowered to create more height, is mirrored by an indented ceiling with embedded lights. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Dynamic Design

The floor, which was lowered to create more height, is mirrored by an indented ceiling with embedded lights. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

A home theater with dark blue walls and cream colored sofas and chairs.
Home Theater

The home theater boasts dark walls for ambiance, with sound-proof walls surrounding the space. Plush, neutral sofas and seats can comfortably accommodate the whole family. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Home Theater

The home theater boasts dark walls for ambiance, with sound-proof walls surrounding the space. Plush, neutral sofas and seats can comfortably accommodate the whole family. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

While connecting a basement to an outdoor entertainment area might not be the first idea that comes to mind, it belies an elegant solution. The basement is now connected to the patio area by a discreet walk-out staircase leading directly to the covered outdoor lounge and kitchen, with no need to pass through the upper levels of the home. And with their updated indoor entertainment areas located primarily in the basement, access to these spaces directly from outside makes for a seamless transition.

In the basement, the homeowners dreamed of adding an entertainment center with a night-out-at-the-cinema feel. To accommodate a low ceiling, we carved out the floor to increase head height without impacting the rest of the home.

With a little more space to breathe, this entertainment space feels luxurious, cozy, and secluded, with projector and screen, plush seating, and ample built-in storage. The cinema experience is completed with a marble-top bar and kitchenette for making and storing snacks and beverages. Best of all, the walls are completely soundproof, so movies can be fully enjoyed without disturbing the rest of the home.

A small kitchenette with a compact sink, open storage, and dark blue cabinets.
Complementary Colors

Deeper hues like navy, black, and dark hardwood, are brightened and complemented by light neutrals such as a white marble countertop and gold faucet. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Complementary Colors

Deeper hues like navy, black, and dark hardwood, are brightened and complemented by light neutrals such as a white marble countertop and gold faucet. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

White storage cabinets with a dark wood bench for seating.
Storage with Style

Plenty of closed storage keeps the space tidy and clutter free as guests come in and out. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Storage with Style

Plenty of closed storage keeps the space tidy and clutter free as guests come in and out. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

A window seat below a basement window. There is storage below the seat and a fireplace to the right.
Room for Everyone

A recreation room offers a cozy place to lounge or sleep, with a custom built-in window seat that doubles as twin beds. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Room for Everyone

A recreation room offers a cozy place to lounge or sleep, with a custom built-in window seat that doubles as twin beds. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

A wall of built-in cabinets with a Murphy bed slightly open. On the right is open shelving with games on it.
Hidden Gems

What’s disguised as closed storage within a custom built-in is actually a Murphy bed, perfect for stowing away for more floor space when not in use. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Hidden Gems

What’s disguised as closed storage within a custom built-in is actually a Murphy bed, perfect for stowing away for more floor space when not in use. Sand Point Home Theater & Backyard Pavilion | Photo by Cleary O'Farrell.

Other areas of the previously unoccupied basement had corners that met at strange angles, making the rooms awkward and unnatural. By adding custom built-in features throughout, we were able to square-off these corners for a more polished feel. More than that, these built-ins offer both open and closed storage spaces, plus a custom Murphy bed that can be easily stowed when not in use. We also added a built-in window seat that serves as two twin beds with storage drawers beneath. Windows above allow light to seep into the basement, keeping the area feeling fresh and bright.

The design was inspired by classic colors, timeless materials, and high-quality finishes to keep the space stylish and functional for years to come — and able to withstand the inevitable wear and tear of children.

Through close collaboration with the homeowners, we were able to personalize this backyard and basement to create their dream entertainment and living space. Now they have more space for their active family to enjoy and call their own.

Notes & Credits
Architecture, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture by Board & Vellum.
General Contracting by J.M. Bogan Company.
Lighting Design Consultation by Luminous NW.
Photography by Cleary O’Farrell.

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