When we think of a basement, a dark, unwelcoming room usually comes to mind. We think of an undecorated, boring space that most people use for storage. Basements don’t have to be stuck with this unpleasant reputation. We can change the look and feel of basements with a simple remodel. However, if your basement has never been worked on, you will need to start with a basic, overall finishing. Exposed pipes and concrete walls aren’t ready for design ideas!
Adding light, whether it is natural or artificial, can make a significant difference in your basement’s overall feel. Since basements tend to be dark and gloomy, adding light should be your first step. If part of your basement is above ground, take advantage of this by having as many windows as possible. You should let in natural light wherever possible so look for simple window treatments that allow the most light to pass through.
When natural light isn’t an option, artificial light can be used abundantly to create a warm atmosphere. No fluorescent light please! (While fluorescent lighting is very cost effective and energy efficient, it is not the most appealing option speaking in terms of design.) Table and floor lamps work well and some ceiling lighting can be used also.
Seeking out bright or dramatic color schemes should be your goal for your basement decor. Varying shades of red, blue, yellow, orange, and green add color and character to this notoriously dark room. If you already have a couch in your basement, try a bright slipcover to change the look and add coordinating pillows. Throw down some unique rugs to add texture and variety. Repaint the walls and put up new artwork.
If you are in the process of choosing furniture, you might want to consult a decorator to help you create your desired look.
Basements should be fun places for children and adults to escape. A true advantage of the basement is that it removes one from the rest of the world. We feel safe and secure. Add anything you love to your basement. If music is your passion, a stereo system can provide you hours of listening enjoyment in your comfortable, isolated basement. If you have children, add a table suited for playing games. For adults who like to play games too, invest in a pool table or pinball machine. An entertainment system with surround sound can transform this room into a home theater. Any of these options are sure to make your basement a fun and popular retreat for your family and friends.
Since basements tend to accumulate items that need to be stored away, try to keep your stored items to one part of the basement. Ideally, you will have a separate room or closet in your basement that can serve as storage. If this is not the case, consider building a closet into a corner to contain those items. Having an organized basement is key to the overall appeal. Think through your options, use your dreams, and get busy redesigning your basement!