After homeowners Cliff and Kim Gumkowski had their East Greenwich, RI, residence’s basement transformed into a dream playground with several alcoves and a stonework touch designed by Kim, one nickname for the space just jumped out: The Cave. And it’s a spot in which anyone would love to get lost exploring.
Fortunately, the only bats likely to show up in this cave are of the baseball variety—when the Gumkowskis are watching the Red Sox on one of the basement’s three plasma screens, that is. Speaking of those plasmas, Cliff managed to help systems installer One Connection stay under the $40,000 budget by procuring three Dell displays (two 42 inchers and one 50 incher) at a big cost savings, since he is a Dell executive.
One Connection had originally installed structured wiring in the 5,500 square-foot home when it was under construction and added a 60-inch plasma TV in the family room and a 42 incher in the kitchen, as well as a special conference phone for Cliff’s study. When the Gumkowskis decided to furnish the basement, they had a laundry list for One Connection—which then suggested incorporating the discounted Dells so it could focus more on other aspects such as audio, according to installer Tom Moss.
The basement features six main areas: a movie area, a sports bar, an audio alcove with fireplace, a billiards room, a dining area, and a wine cellar with an arched entranceway to enhance the cave feel. “Across from the pool table, they put built-ins that can function as couches or beds, and an arched doorway with a wrought-iron door goes into the wine cellar, which has a tasting table and four wrought iron chairs and is always set up with glasses,” Moss says. “It’s a gorgeous space.”
The homeowners can also liven up the wine-tasting experience with some classical or jazz piped in through the distributed audio system and the older set of small Polk bookshelf speakers that Moss says are not widely available anymore but he felt were perfect for the room.
Granite countertops adorn the bar, which can seat up to 14 people to enjoy the 42-inch plasma TV. The screen itself was mounted on an OmniMount swing arm to enable wider-range viewing.
In the movie area, the 50-inch Dell is mounted to the wall, and the video is complemented by Polk surround-sound audio. The second 42-inch plasma is wall mounted in the billiards room. Video content comes from three cable receivers with digital video recorders (DVR), and the homeowners can either have the same thing playing on every screen or have something different showing on each, which works great when the Gumkowskis host parties—or when their two kids want to change the channel.
If guests of the Gumkowskis enjoy The Cave, they are in luck: The couple has enlisted One Connection to help outfit a bed and breakfast that they are getting under way on nearby Block Island.
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