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LEATHER CHAIR, $90. From Staples, Freeport. MARTHA STEWART (Credit: Barry Sloan)

LEATHER CHAIR, $90. From Staples, Freeport.
MARTHA STEWART DESK, existing. Though the desk and chair were damaged by the flooding, the couple was able to dry them out. (Jan. 17, 2013)

A basement makeover after superstorm Sandy

When Joysetta and Julius Pearse, 75 and 79, respectively, went to bed in their Freeport home the evening of superstorm Sandy, their basement was dry. By the next day, 4 feet of water had destroyed antiques, vintage records, antique cameras and recording equipment, and years of genealogical research. The couple, which founded the African-Atlantic Genealogical Society, lost decades of records. "It was our downstairs office," says Joysetta, who is executive director of the Genealogical Society.

After such devastation, the two decided to redo the room as a combination office and sitting room. "I really wanted a place where we could work, relax and review the day," says Joysetta, whose genealogy organization is now overseeing the African American Museum and Center for Education and Applied Arts in Hempstead. This time around, they're not using the area for storage. Adds Julius: "Now, we have a real archival den where we can do historical searches and a place for me to write my book." Total: $27,187 -- Sylvia E. King-Cohen

BEFORE. Prior to the makeover, and after superstorm
(Credit: Joysetta Pearse)

BEFORE. Prior to the makeover, and after superstorm Sandy. The basement den of Joysetta and Julius Pearse of Freeport was flooded with 4 feet of water during Sandy. "The room had to be stripped to the studs," Joysetta says.

Before the makeover, but after superstorm Sandy.
(Credit: Joysetta Pearse)

Before the makeover, but after superstorm Sandy.

AFTER. VINYL FLOORING, $400. From Wholesale Floor Outlet,
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

AFTER.
VINYL FLOORING, $400. From Wholesale Floor Outlet, Freeport; installed by Timmy Tim Home Improvement, Amityville.
PAINT, $80 (two cans). Hay Stack by Behr, from The Home Depot, Freeport. Applied by Timmy Tim Home Improvement.
DEMOLITION COSTS, $5,000. Completed by Timmy Tim Home Improvement.
ELECTRICAL, $3,280.
CONSTRUCTION COSTS, $13,000. Includes $6,000 for labor and $7,000 in materials. Done by Timmy Tim Home Improvement.
BOILER and HEAT, $4,200. Installed by AAA Plus, Smithtown. (Jan. 17, 2013)

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WINDOWS, $269 (for two). From The Home Depot.
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

WINDOWS, $269 (for two). From The Home Depot.
AREA RUG AND FLOWERS AND VASE, gifts from their daughter, Elena Lennon.
TWO ANTIQUE CHAIRS, existing.
ANTIQUE AFGHAN, existing. This is from Julius’ aunt. (Jan. 17, 2013)

BRONZE BUST, existing. This was a gift for
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

BRONZE BUST, existing. This was a gift for Joysetta from the late artist and sculptor Tina Allen. (Jan. 17, 2013)

SHELVING, existing. These were redone as part of
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

SHELVING, existing. These were redone as part of the construction.
FLAT-SCREEN TELEVISION, LG 32-INCH, $369. From P.C. Richard & Son, Rockville Centre. (Jan. 17, 2013)

DESK and CHAIR, existing. These were antiques they
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

DESK and CHAIR, existing. These were antiques they were able to save after the flood. (Jan. 17, 2013)

LEATHER CHAIR, $90. From Staples, Freeport. MARTHA STEWART
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

LEATHER CHAIR, $90. From Staples, Freeport.
MARTHA STEWART DESK, existing. Though the desk and chair were damaged by the flooding, the couple was able to dry them out. (Jan. 17, 2013)

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EXTERIOR DOOR, $300. (Jan. 17, 2013)
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

EXTERIOR DOOR, $300. (Jan. 17, 2013)

ARTWORK, existing. (Jan. 17, 2013)
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

ARTWORK, existing. (Jan. 17, 2013)

CORNER TABLE, $179. From Pier 1 Imports, Freeport.
(Credit: Barry Sloan)

CORNER TABLE, $179. From Pier 1 Imports, Freeport.
PORTABLE LAMPS, $20 (for two). Purchased from a television commercial. (Jan. 17, 2013)

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