The expansiveness of an unfinished basement can be a curse. In a renovated basement, it is a blessing. Instead of piling it up with junk, you can fill it up with multiple spaces that add more value to your home and your family’s life.
- Bedrooms – A common strategy is to set up a couple of extra bedrooms in the basement for guests. This is especially beneficial for families that love to entertain on a regular basis. You can easily have guests stay over without disrupting the family space above. Basement bedrooms can also come in handy if you have older kids that cannot share bedrooms any more. Plus, you could also add a small kitchenette and bathroom for convenience.
- Children’s Play Areas – When looking at modern basement design photos; one common idea is to set up a play area for kids. This area often consists of soft flooring, such as a rug or wooden floor, and colorful easy-to-reach storage for toys and games. You can use colorful and playful décor to separate it from the rest of the basement space.
- Entertainment – In another area of the basement, you could add a play area for adults. This usually includes setting up a pool table and a dart board on the wall. You can also get a ping pong table if pool is not your thing. Another great idea is to set up a video game center.
- Bars – While everyone is having all this fun, there will be a desire for refreshments. Don’t forget to set up a full bar or wet bar where you can stock juices and other beverages for the kids and something stronger for the adults. You can even combine it with a kitchenette where you can prepare a few snacks.
Also don’t forget: home gyms, wine cellars, theaters and craft rooms. The ideas are endless. Your goal should be to get as much value from the space as possible. If your basement is small, use it to fill a void such as an extra bedroom or additional organized storage space. If it is big, find several fun ways you can utilize the space and add value.
Don’t forget to check out these ideas too: 45 Basement Kitchenette Ideas to Help You Entertain in Style
Décor and Furnishings
Basement decoration is generally easy thanks to the open space. It is a good idea to begin with a general theme in mind. Do you want a minimalist ultra-contemporary look or a more laid back traditional decor? Do you prefer warm colors or the space-creating effect of neutral hues?
Once you decide the overall style you want, you can go ahead and choose the various colors and decorations you will use. This is easy if you have set up a single room only such as a bedroom. If you have multiple areas set up in the basement, you need to make sure that the décor of each clearly defines it and sets it apart.
In choosing the best décor for the basement, try to create some sense of continuity with the rest of the house. Start by creating an open stairwell leading from the rest of the house. It makes the basement feel open, lighter and connected to your home. Next, make sure that anyone descending the stairwell isn’t jarred by the contrast in décor with the space above. As much as you need to create defining styles for different sections of the basement, ensure there is a flow from the décor above to the one below. Otherwise, your basement is going to feel like some far off disconnected place and not part of your home.
If you have to use a vastly different style from the rest of your home, then create a transitional space that connects the two spaces. The stairwell and the space immediately around can be used to ease the transition to a new environment.
As for the furnishings, the expansiveness is again, your friend. You can afford to set up oversize furniture without worrying about space or movement. Make sure the furnishings blend with the overall style of the basement. As with decorations, you can use furnishings to differentiate separate sections of the basement.
If your basement is going to look modern and clean, storage is essential. Whether you are setting up a bedroom, play area or family room, you are going to need a variety of storage spaces.
To retain the modern minimalist look, we recommend built-in shelves and cabinets. Try to include a wide variety from wall cabinets to pull-out drawers and wall shelves. Make sure that everything is easily accessible. For kids areas, go with low storage options that they can access without needing your help.
If you have special items such as wine bottles or art pieces, you’ll need special types of storage that can protect your precious items while still displaying them properly.
If you need to store big items such as large appliances or bikes, make sure they don’t look messy and cluttered. For things like bikes and Christmas trees, racks will keep things neat.
Be extra careful about wooden storage. If you are going to use it, make sure your basement has no moisture seepage problems. If the risk of damage is high, go with metal and plastic shelving. Additionally, choose non-wood storage for delicate items such as art, clothing and books.
- Check what basement specifications your local building department requires. In most places, you need to have at least one exit in case of emergencies. Some places also require fire safety measures to be put in place.
- Tackle the plumbing and wiring first before you begin any decorations. It would be a shame if you have to tear finished walls or flooring later on.
- If you are setting up a media room or play area, consider adding sound insulation to keep the noise from going into the space above. This insulation will also come handy if you want to insulate the basement from the noise above and outside.
- If you are going to add a window well, you also need to take security into consideration. Either install a secure locking system or add a window alarm system. You can also do both.
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