The Metzgers' basement bar, framed by the stone archway that's the centerpiece of the room.
When Chad and Wendy Metzger first moved into their home – in Columbus, near Hilliard – back in October 2003, they had no exciting ideas for their unfinished basement.
“There was absolutely no finish down there, and we just used it as storage space,” Chad says. “There was nothing down here.”
Chad – who works for Nationwide, while Wendy is a part-time third grade teacher in Dublin – says they had always planned to finish the basement. It wasn’t until two years ago, though, that they finally decided to get to it.
“At the time, we had two small boys and were tired of finding their toys throughout the house,” says Chad.
In addition to creating more living and play space for sons Cameron and Carson – now 3 and 7, respectively – the couple wanted to install a bar and home theater system.
“But we finished the basement, and the boys don’t go down there very much,” Chad says. “They usually play upstairs, and when they do play downstairs, they’re usually running through the entire basement. … My wife claims it’s turned more into a man cave than a kids’ cave.”
The Metzgers worked with Delaware-based Buckeye Basements to craft their new downstairs space, which immediately catches the eye with its stone archway separating the entertainment area from the bar.
In addition to the children’s play area, the Metzger basement now features a home entertainment center, a bar, access to the back yard and a full bathroom. The floor is covered with plush carpeting, and a stone design is used for the center wall that cuts through the basement.
“There really wasn’t a wall,” Chad says.
Instead, the stone wall was added to encase the support beams that run through the center of the house.
There’s a stone-built fireplace between the children’s play area and the entertainment center, although Chad says they have yet to use it.
“Figuring out how to put it all together was the hard part,” Chad says. “We had about four or five different layouts for the bar. … We finally settled on what you see down there.”
In the entertainment area of the basement, black leather couches and armchairs are the furniture of choice. A flat-screen TV hangs on the wall and uses a projector.
“It’s high definition,” Chad says. “Great for sporting events. We watch movies and shows down there with the boys sometimes before bed and on the weekend.”
While the boys will watch just about any cartoon, Chad says the entertainment space is the place to watch Buckeye football games with guests – for the away games, that is.
“I have season tickets (for home games),” he says.
The Buckeyes aren’t the only football team followed in the Metzger household. Wendy is originally from Dallas and thus a big Cowboys fan, Chad says.
“She loves all things Texas,” he says.
The bar is tucked away in a little nook of the basement. The idea was to evoke a kind of cozy, Irish bar feeling. There’s also another TV directly across the counter.
“It’s pretty much a self-service bar,” he says. “Most of our guests are good enough family friends, they just help themselves.”
A wine rack with a sizable selection of bottles is set into the wall in the bar area, and a couple of refrigerators hold beer and liquor.
“My wife enjoys wine,” Chad says. “I’m more of a beer or spirits guy.”
The bar also has a pair of framed displays: the Nov. 30, 2001 issue of the Buckeye Sports Bulletin and a bird’s-eye photo of Cowboys
Stadium proclaiming “Wendy Metzger Day,” which was digitally added to the photo.
Also keeping watch on the bar is a figurine of legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes.
While the structure and composition of the basement redesign is complete, the Metzgers plan to do more from a decorating standpoint.
One sure thing that means is more photos, mainly of the Buckeyes, the Cowboys and the family. A pool or poker table is likely in the plans as well.
The play area has its own separate entertainment console.
“As the boys get a little older, I’m sure we’ll hang a TV on the wall just to clean the area up some more,” Chad says.
Located near the bottom of the stairs, the play area is supplemented by a pair of toy closets and the bathroom.
“There was always going to be a bathroom,” Chad says. “We had enough space to put in a shower.”
The bathroom is fully furnished and mainly intended for guests.
“It’s definitely the nicest,” Chad says.
The entire basement space is about 1,800 square feet, but only about two-thirds has been finished. The remaining unfinished space is now used for storage of miscellaneous and seasonal items. That space, too, has a separate door to the outside – “instead of tracking it through the basement,” Chad says.
Chad enjoys the cave-like atmosphere of the basement and the fact that it’s not completely underground.
“Hopefully, it’s an inviting, warm space where friends and family can gather,” Chad says. “We are very happy with the finished product.”
Mark Dubovec is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.