Most people wouldn’t describe their home gym as their favorite room in their home, but with an 11-foot climbing wall and colorful monkey bars alongside more traditional gym equipment, that’s exactly how Steve Schwartz and Paige Henkel feel about the activity space in their basement.

» Photos: Dreamy Decatur renovation with fun for all

In fact, their entire basement renovation earlier this year, which included the gym, a home office, workshop, art space and home theater, served to make their home a more inviting and entertaining place.

“I want to make my house as comfortable and fun as possible,” said Schwartz. “The house is designed for just that — we have playrooms and activities.”

Henkel and Schwartz worked with builder Jessica Murphy of Her Cave Atlanta and architect Ebru Ela Ercan of e3 design for the renovation in order to bring their vision to life and create the perfect spaces for their family.

“It’s my happy place,” said Schwartz.


Residents: Paige Henkel, Steve Schwartz and their two children, Andie and Caroline Schwartz. Henkel is a stay-at-home mom, and Schwartz works in IT security consulting.

Location: Decatur

Size: 5,500 square feet, four bedrooms, five baths

Year built/bought: 2016

Builder: SR Homes

Renovations: Basement buildout in February 2019

Project consultants: Builder Jessica Murphy of Her Cave Atlanta; architect Ebru Ela Ercan of e3 design

Architectural style: Traditional brick

Favorite architectural elements: Lofted ceilings in the master bedroom and basement

Interior design styles: Clean traditional

Favorite interior design elements: Neutral tones and clean lines throughout; coffee table in the den; stand-alone tub in the master bathroom and climbing wall in the home gym

Favorite outdoor feature: Screened-in porch

Resources: Decor from Grandin Road, Ballard Designs, Kazoo Toys, Pottery Barn, Scott Antique Markets, DHI, Nadeau, Drape 98, Pine Cone Hill and Stein Mart. Lighting from Progressive Lighting. Paint colors are Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray throughout the living area; Pure White on the kitchen cabinets; Rhythmic Blue and Swimming in the girls’ rooms; Dover white on the master bedroom walls with Hinting Blue on the ceiling; Ski Slope in the master bath; Peppercorn in the home theater and gym; Sea Salt in the art room.

Decor tip: Use bits of nature against a neutral palette to get flashes of freshness. “I love fresh flowers. I have a lot of those around the house just to brighten things up,” said Henkel. “Since I do tend to go more neutral, it’s nice to bring in color with accessories, and if you can get something from nature that’s even a bonus.”

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.