“As a gamer, I was thrilled when my daughter first got into gaming,” Merrick said. “So many of my great childhood memories came from hanging out with my friends for hours as we played together – to see Shea was going to have that same experience was wonderful for me.”
The appeal of having four or more teenagers crowded into Merrick’s Boston living room quickly paled. “I realized a critical part of my childhood experience was the fact we used to play in the den downstairs,” she said with a laugh. “Away from parents and younger siblings.” After one too many evenings dealing with the drama of trying to keep Shea’s younger brother from bothering her, Merrick realized what needed to be done. “We needed our own version of the downstairs den – in our case, a finished basement in our Boston home!”
Converting the basement into a family room was a fairly straightforward process for Merrick’s family. “I called the Boston basement remodeling contractor my co-worker had used when he’d had his basement turned into a home office for his wife,” she said. “They came out, looked at the space we had, talked about what we wanted to have happen, and came up with a plan.” Covering exposed walls, installing a ceiling and flooring, and adding lighting helped transform what had been a dark, somewhat creepy space into a great place for teens to hang out.
“The team was so fast and professional,” Merrick said. “I hardly knew they were there. Everything was completed on time and budget, which I really appreciated. And now,” she added with a smile, “we’ve gotten our living room back while the kids are still safe at home, having a good time. Everybody wins!”