A Downunder Delight

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A formerly dim, dusty, and somewhat lifeless subterrain space is now beautifully basking in the spotlight.

Story by Ann Butenas     |     Photography by Matt Kocourek

When descending into this luxurious remodeled basement in a 100+year-old home near Brookside in the Country Club District, your breath may be instantly taken away. It’s difficult to imagine that several months ago it was merely an unattended space with a partial dirt floor and no aesthetic appeal at all. However, when you invite designer Brenda Freebern of Picture Perfect Interiors to design and install a complete basement makeover, you are treated to the utmost in service, style, and presentation.

When homeowners Scott and Miriam Weidemeyer decided to breathe new life into their cellar, they knew it had to be magnificent and reflect the lifestyle they enjoyed. Playing off the four extra wide daylight windows to brighten up the space, Freebern went on full throttle in creating a design palette that is magazine cover worthy.

With two points of entry into the basement – one from a spiral staircase that leads up to the formal living room and another set of stairs that leads up to the kitchen – every square inch in this space was given full attention, and it all began with a peacock feather.

“When we were struggling with what main color to use throughout the space, I pulled out a peacock feather, and the blue from that became the inspiration,” expressed Freebern.

With so many stunning areas within this basement, there is literally no wrong turn to make when it comes to being impressed with a decided “wow” factor. Even the half bathroom makes a grand statement with its onyx built-in, wall-mounted, back-lit custom sink, which is accompanied by a split-faced ledge stone with built-in mirror and flanked with two wall sconces.

In maintaining the authentic character of the basement, Freebern maintained the original stone walls and enameled them in white. The original pillars previously had coach lights on them, which Freebern removed while maintaining the resulting imperfections for character.

Adorning the main wall in the living space is an eye-catching piece that is home to an over-sized television.

“This is a book matched stone made of Nobel Pietra Marble that we used as the accent wall,” noted Freebern. “The original stone wall is behind it.”

The small kitchen area is an entertainer’s delight. With a beverage center, small refrigerator, and dishwasher, it is easy to clean up after treating guests to a sample from the owners’ collection of wine in the adjoining wine cellar, which holds approximately 450 bottles.

Other highlights in the kitchen include the Labradorite EX waterfall countertop on the bar, black pendant lights lined with gold, and the solid brass shelves hanging over the back bar. Each shelf is individually lighted to make the glass glow. When the light shines through the glass, it adds another layer of beauty and style.

“These shelves are the perfect place for Scott to highlight his whiskey collection,” expressed Freebern.

Freebern also referenced the sculpture directly under the whiskey collection.

“Scott and Miriam purchased this original piece from an art festival here in town,” she explained. “It is actually three pieces that fit together.”

Behind the pool table is a floating stand-up bar made with live edge walnut. There is also a bench behind the pool table with built-in drawers for added storage.

All new furniture, artwork, and accessories were incorporated into the various spaces, along with three appropriately placed televisions (one by the bar, another by the pool table, and the third by the sectional), giving the entire basement an opportunity to be the perfect host for game night, a wine tasting, or just watching the big game with friends.

“This project took a while to think through,” reflected Freebern. “We had no idea where to begin, so it all started with that peacock feather, some space planning, and the development of ideas.”


  • Interior Designer: Picture Perfect Interiors
  • Contractor: Rhino Builders Remodel & Design
  • Bathroom Countertop, Bar Countertops: Stone Surfaces
  • Wine Cellar Glass: Westport Glass
  • Furniture, Floorings, Plumbing, Accessories: Picture Perfect Interiors

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