The trick to this look? Just pretend it's not actually a basement.

NamDang.livingroomfullThough this open-plan room is windowless and has a typical basement-height ceiling, it feels anything but cramped. Calgary designer Nam Dang-Mitchell installed grasscloth wallpaper to give the space warmth and luxury, used white furniture to keep the room bright and added a gallery wall (a framed collection of pages cut from photography books) to visually break up the expanses of boring drywall. But what really transforms the room is the Edison-bulb chandelier: not something you see in many basements. “Anything that gives variety and adds some depth is a good idea in a blank box like this,” says Dang-Mitchell.

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