This article is part of our latest Design special report, which is about expanding the possibilities of your home.
The latest home-related TikTok video to go viral begins with a woman’s voice patiently explaining that during the pandemic her husband turned their basement into … a video rental store. As she speaks, the camera pans over shelves stocked with DVDs, a drinks fridge and a viewing room with two recliners and a big screen.
The enthusiasm for this content was so vast — the praise in the comments section effusive, the questions numerous — that multiple follow-up videos were made in which Brian Hogan, the aforementioned husband, described how and why he undertook this D.I.Y. project in his Des Moines home instead of doing what his wife, Erin, might have preferred: refinishing the kitchen cabinets. Mr. Hogan’s homage to the neighborhood movie rental stores of yore even landed the couple a guest appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
And these days, theirs isn’t the only buzzed-about basement out there.
Pat Gagliano, founder of Finished Basements New Jersey, has undertaken a renovation for Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his wife, Lauren Pesce, that the reality-star couple have been documenting in a YouTube show called “The Situations Under Construction.” In the basement of the couple’s sprawling house in Holmdel, Mr. Gagliano is conjuring up not only a home theater and spa but a “glam room” where Ms. Pesce can get her hair and makeup done…