Rich Turn to Pimping Basements
Media rooms, arcade games, full gyms making downstairs space not so musty
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2008 9:29 AM CDT
"LG Techorator" Doug Wilson, host of TLC's "Trading Spaces" and "Moving Up" TV shows, helps consumers blend stylish design and smart technology, also known as "techorating," into their lifestyles.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Basements are no longer the lowly underbelly of the high-end home. With the rise of home-theater technology, and widespread community opposition to mansion expansion, wealthy homeowners are increasingly turning basements into underground playgrounds, Portfolio reports, featuring everything from faux-'50s diners to recording studios to saunas. “Whether you have a $2 million house or a $20 million house, finished basements are important," one broker says.

Underground is also a place to stash toys out of place elsewhere. “Things you can't get away with on a main level you can put into a basement,” says one contractor—with water features, arcade games, and the like coming to mind. And new vocabulary is emerging: “I try not to use the term basement," says one enthusiast. “I call it the concourse level.”