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Modern Family

A stunning English basement in Potomac is also a marvel of functionality.

The contemporary and functional space features a ball chair by Finnish design legend Eero Aarnio, Chiquita stools from Muléh, a Cielo leather sofa from KMP Furniture, Doga flooring from Mosaic Tile and sculptural wall-panel plaster.

When Haniel and Anita Lynn worked with designer and architect Andreas Charalambous of Forma Design 10 years ago, their goal was fairly simple: transform their 4,000-square-foot Potomac home into a contemporary space with abundantly clean lines. Their recent request of Charalambous was probably more challenging, and it carried far greater impact on their home and their children, ages 13 and 10. “They wanted a family space in their light-filled and unfinished English basement,” says Charalambous. “But they wanted all 2,000 square feet to have incredible functionality and appear to be a seamless extension of the modern main floor.”

Forma’s team opened the staircase from the main floor to the basement, jettisoned the door and employed the same sleek finishes—from sculptural wall-panel plaster to espresso-colored wood mimicking the upstairs kitchen—to complete the look. The design crew even built their so-called Cha-Cha coffee table that rolls away when the Lynn children and their friends play spirited games of Wii. “We wanted to give the kids their own space,” says Haniel. “But we also wanted another area to entertain, so Andreas set up a bar where we can host parties with other parents.” Forma also carved out a wine cellar, expansive guest suite and bath. The addition has allowed the rest of the Lynns’ home to breathe, says Haniel. “It works perfectly for our lifestyle.”