At home, designer Katie Getman's preferred location is in the basement

A wood-planked ceiling adds to the cozy ambiance of designer Katie Getman's basement lounge. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
A wood-planked ceiling adds to the cozy ambiance of designer Katie Getman's basement lounge.


here is wonder underground. Designer Katie Getman's favorite space in her Spokane Valley home is the subterranean sanctuary she and her husband recently completed. The room is midcentury modern meets ratskeller — that's German for a gathering and drinking establishment inside the basement of a public building.

"Our intention is to have [our basement lounge] be a place for music and community," says Getman of the remodel, which showcases family heirlooms like German beer steins, but also musical instruments and funky artwork by friends Jon and Naomi Deviny, local artists who run the online clothing and accessories retailer Lightning Deluxe.

A central feature of the Getman lounge is the heavy, trapezoidal teak bar where Katie's husband, John, used to hide as a kid. They acquired the bar when he purchased his parents' South Hill home.

"We aren't sure exactly where it came from, or how old it truly is, but there is fun in the mystery of not knowing!" says Getman.

Wraparound shelves to hold barware, recessed lighting, low-slung seating areas and a wood-planked ceiling complete the lounge vibe.

"We want to tell our story and for this to be a place where other stories are welcome and told," says Getman, who hopes to have small, music-oriented gatherings there someday.

Young Kwak photo

Getman's own story began at her family home where she helped her father with remodeling projects and accompanied him on trips to the local hardware store. She also intently watched as he drew out sheet metal projects on old pieces of mail.

"There were always dimensions and elevation type drawings that explained the way everything would be connected. Because of this I have a need to visualize the way things work — not just the final appearance, but every stage in between and really understand the process," says Getman. One of her girlhood dreams was a huge home where she could decorate each room according to a specific holiday all year-round.

After completing the Interior Design Institute's program, she worked at a Spokane-area finishes store. A few years ago, she started her own company, Katie Getman Designs, where she revels in applying the science and psychology of design and the design process itself.

"Finding what a client wants and getting that dream to come to life is so amazing," she says, noting that "every process challenges me to problem-solve for those clients specifically, and this changes me for the better."

In addition to residential and commercial design, Getman has been looking for ways to take her basement bar/lounge remodel idea above ground if she can find a business partner. "I have some ideas up my sleeve," she says.

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