Sean and Cara Morey are the ultimate “sporty” couple. Sean, who currently is a receiver and special-teams player for the Arizona Cardinals, earned a Super Bowl ring with the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2005 season, and Cara played with the Canadian Women’s National Hockey League, and starred in ice hockey and field hockey at Brown.
During Sean’s off-season they run a football camp for aspiring players and spend lots of time instilling their love of sports in their two young daughters. The family spent the last 10 years moving from city to city to accommodate Sean’s career, but finally decided to put down some roots. Their new house is starting to feel like home, but it had one big space that was “homely” as opposed to “homey”: a boring, outdated — and decidedly purple — basement that the girls used as a playroom.
Sean and Cara wanted to move the kids’ toys elsewhere and turn this eyesore of a basement into a contemporary lounge that would be stylish enough for entertaining guests and comfortable enough for the whole family to take in a game or two. The couple also wanted a space in which they could showcase some of their sports memorabilia (including the Super Bowl ring) without it looking like a sports bar or a personal shrine. So I gathered my own team together and got set to try and score a designer touchdown and hat trick. A good deal of the couple’s sports jerseys and memorabilia were full of bright colors — reds, greens and blues — so I decided to fill the rest of the room with neutrals to offset these louder tones. I painted the walls in a cool cream, put down wood flooring and chose light, luxurious colors for fabrics, furniture and accessories.
I divided the room into two zones: a bar area and a sports area. In the bar area, I installed a funky fridge, a narrow trough sink, some display shelving and a slim-line electric fireplace with some accent lighting. I wanted to make the bar area a space where people could gather around, so I installed a gorgeous vanilla quartz bar with accompanying stools for lounging.
In the sports area, I put up several dark wood and glass cabinets that look like lockers to house all of the couple’s sporting memorabilia. Then, for something extra special, I had two large mirrors created that feature silhouettes of Cara and Sean doing their “sports thing” in overlaid brown and metallic gray vinyl graphics. And what sports area would be complete without a big-screen TV that can pivot and be visible from anywhere in the room? In the midst of these two zones I installed lots of loungy furniture, including a sectional and massage chair (a present from Cara to Sean).
The room had little natural light, as its only window was obscured by the outside deck, so I put up some light-colored, tone-on-tone embossed drapes. To brighten things up, I installed some recessed lighting and then chose a modern linear chandelier that hangs over the bar and adds a little sparkle to the room.
After some final accents and accessories, this lounge was ready for action. By blending light with bright, elegant with casual, and style with comfort, this playroom scored the perfect sports-inspired makeover. Now it’s game on for the whole family.