The primary reason homeowner’s finish their basement is to create extra usable space in their home. If you go through all the trouble remodeling and cleaning up your lower-level, then it only makes sense you’d want to make it more livable and functional.
Building a better basement means something different to everyone, but there are a few proven ways that most would agree are beneficial to enhancing the appearance and increasing the value. If you aren’t in a position to implement all the changes below, pick a few ideas to start working on and build upon each update over time. Alright, let’s get to work!
1. Neutral or Pastel Paint
The basement, or lower-level, is usually the darkest place in the home. The obvious reason you want to choose neutral or light pastel paint is to brighten up and illuminate the space. Our interior house painting cost guide will help you prepare for the average expense.
I suggest going with lighter paint, even if you’re someone who likes it dark for watching movies or relaxing. There’ll be times you’ll want the space to be light, such as when you’re entertaining, cleaning or reading in the daytime. If you’re someone who prefers dark features, you should work them in by installing dark cabinets, countertops or carpet, but keep the walls neutral.
2. Inviting Décor
A basement is the perfect place to cozy up by yourself or with the family. Not only will neutral paint help your cause, but décor is also a budget-friendly and simple way create a warm and inviting setting. Colors, materials, textures and designs all play a role in how your style comes together.
Even though you’re in the basement, you still need to pay attention to the details and attend to any dead space. Design your lower-level as a continuation of what you already have going in your home, or instead make it a fun space that’s different, themed and personalized with its own unique flair.
3. Focus on Functionality
Don’t assume your basement is just for lounging around. Step back and brainstorm how to make your basement more functional and livable when you’re not using it to snooze on a Sunday afternoon. For example, use the space as a guest bedroom or play area, or install a home theater or bar and lounge area.
Section off the space into different working parts if you have a big enough basement. Those of you who are working with smaller square footage should prioritize what functions to implement based on your current lifestyle and what makes most sense for your family.
4. Strategic Lighting
Many homeowners assume that because they’re decorating a basement, which tends to be dark by nature, they shouldn’t have to worry about lighting. This is opposite of what you should be thinking when you’re working on improving your basement. Lighting is key to setting the mood and making the room more functional.
Installing a basement window is well worth the little time and money it’ll take to add one. In fact, regulations require all basement bedrooms to have an egress window in case of a fire. As far as artificial lighting goes, I suggest having lamps placed strategically throughout the space and installing recessed lighting on a dimmer switch. You won’t regret having options when it comes to lower-level lighting.
5. Organized Storage
A basement is the perfect place to store almost anything, but it must be organized if you want to get the most use out of the space and keep it functional. Take the time to remove any junk in your basement and place any boxes on sturdy and secure shelves.
You don’t need to limit yourself to shelves. A pegboard, a wire rack or a magnetic organizer are all creative ways to get the job done. Doing this will prevent fire and tripping hazards and potential water damage. A damp or wet basement requires immediate attention to maintain the structural integrity of your home. If your basement is prone to dampness you should store your stuff in plastic bags or put them in plastic bins.
6. Wine Cellar or Bar
Your basement doesn’t need to be all business. This is a great opportunity to add an entertainment area and storage place for your alcohol. Imagine a fully stocked wine cellar or built in bar where you can keep your bottles and place additional seating.
This is an enhancement you won’t regret when you’re hosting a party or entertaining guests. Doing this will also free up some of your kitchen space upstairs. Add a sink, fridge, TV and some cabinets to create the perfect little hang out nook.
7. Add a Bathroom
Many people leave a new bathroom out of their basement renovating budget, but that’s a big mistake if you’re going to use the space on a regular basis. Installing a beautiful bathroom on the same level can make a difference in comfort and convenience.
A small vanity, toilet and shower will do the trick. Not only will your family benefit from having another bathroom to get ready in the morning, but it’ll be nice to offer guests their own space when staying over.
8. Comfortable & Stylish Furniture
The most important part of creating an inviting and cozy basement is including furniture that looks good and feels good to sit on. Take your time picking pieces that bring style to the room, but also something that you won’t feel bad breaking in and throwing up your feet.
Sectionals are the perfect choice for any basement. Make sure to get it professionally cleaned on a regular basis, especially if you have pets or use it frequently. Sectional couches are comfy, offer seating for many and can even be used as a bed if someone needs to crash.
Your basement has so much potential, but you need to be open to trying new things. These upgrades can become a reality if you’re motivated and thoughtful about how you want to upgrade and enhance your basement. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy it when it’s all done!
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