The Grotto

Welcome to Joe’s Bar and Theater

Another Challenge

Big Joe

Niche IssueWhen I started framing the wall and doorway at the bottom of the stairs, I ran into a problem. I had planned a 90 degree corner at the bottom and opening into the finished space. The problem was that the condenser line for one of the A/C units is in the way of the corner.

My first thought was to curve the corner, but nothing else in the design had curves. So I thought of possibly adding some curved elements—barrel ceiling, curved bar, arc the angled walls in the theater. Sadly, those ideas either would have added new challenges, or simply weren’t practical. So I turned to the wife and her artist’s eye.

“Just angle it,” she said.

“Angle it? Are you sure that won’t look weird?”

“No, it’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure it’ll look ok.”

“Yes, I’m sure”

Niche FramingSo, I nervously changed the plan to a 45 degree angle in the corner, still unsure of how it’ll look once the doorway to unfinished space is in place. Then it hit me. Near the top of the stairs, on the main floor, there’s a lighted niche. If I put a niche in the angled corner, it’ll look like a design feature to match the main floor, instead of a compromise to hide an obstacle in a basement.

When I finished the framing for the niche, I showed it to our son. His eyes got big and he said,”I thought you just cut a hole in a wall to make one of these.”

I laughed.


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