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Down Time

Interior designer Nina Nash of Mathews’ Furniture + Design converts an empty basement into a family zone extraordinaire.

Stone walls, antique antlers, and an antique industrial spotlight add interesting details to the main sitting room. The swivel club chairs and the velvet cocktail ottoman are by Hickory Chair. The sectional is by Chaddock, while the campaign-style console is by Theodore Alexander.

When Nina Nash’s clients decided to finish off the basement of their 7,400-square-foot, three-story home in the Atlanta suburbs, they knew exactly how they’d use it: to play games, watch movies and entertain family and friends. What they didn’t know was how to get started. “I’d designed the main level and upstairs of the house a few years before,” Nash says.

Aside from needing comfortable seating for dozens of people, as well as kid-friendly areas, they wanted the space to connect easily to the three porches and fire pit outdoors. Inside it was a blank slate.

“The tricky part was deciding what the client really wanted,” Nash says. “Should we put a guest bedroom or a larger game room? A workout room or a bigger kitchen?” Ultimately, the final list included a large family room, home theater, guest suite, full bathroom, mini kitchen, stocked bar, temperature-controlled wine room, steam room, games tables, pool table, crafts room, darkroom and a kids’ playroom with its own seating area.

Making the space flow smoothly, even when packed with guests, was a top concern. Nash opted for reclaimed-wood ceiling beams, Pennsylvania bluestone and Pennsylvania fieldstone on some walls, cork wallpaper in a bathroom, a copper ceiling in the kitchen and a custom washed-out gray stain for the hardwood flooring. To make walls and doors stand out, she brought in Kass Wilson, a faux-finisher with WallsTreat Studio.

The kids’ play area includes Arteriors chandeliers, plus custom-fabricated track-mounted sliding doors, a “secret” loft and awnings above the windows.

To do the remodeling, she hired Keeter Konstruction. While overseeing the abundance of details was a challenge, furnishing and decorating the space proved easy. The palette is comprised mostly of neutrals, with an emphasis on patterns. Deeper colors come in the form of browns, blues and charcoal gray. Mathews’ Furniture + Design, where Nash works, carries lines from more than 200 manufacturers, and she already knew some of her clients’ favorites: Hickory Chair, Hancock & Moore, Century Furniture and Sherrill Furniture. Starting from there, she added pieces from other brands, as well as antique accessories, to round it off.

In the end, it’s just what the clients wanted—and if anyone ever wants to get away from all the fun for some quiet time, there’s even a new bed swing outside.


Nina Nash, Interior Designer
Mathews’ Furniture + Design
All furnishings and lighting

A Touch of Stone, Inc.
Counter tops

EZ Systems of Atlanta

Kass Wilson
WallsTreat Studio
Faux finishing

Keeter Konstruction

Pikes Professional Painting

The Furniture Guild
Custom cabinetry

Woodstock Electric
Lighting installation

Brands (All available through Mathews’ Furniture + Design):

Century Furniture


Hancock & Moore

Hickory Chair

Lowcountry Originals

Sherrill Furniture

Swaim Inc.

Theodore Alexander

Visual Comfort & Co.