Using your basement as an additional living space is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways of adding to your home. The structure is already there; it just needs some love to take it from a basic basement to a space that you could genuinely see yourself hanging back and enjoying some entertainment and relaxation time. There are a lot of things you can do to make the lower half of your house more inhabitable, and here are seven that will make a significant impact.
If you add a splash of color to basic white walls, you'll really see the difference. Painting is an extremely affordable way to change the way a basement looks. Since basements are typically places that can feel dark, be sure to avoid darker colors. Instead, opt for lighter versions of your favorite colors. For instance, if you like gold, go for a light version. Beiges work in this kind of space, as well.
Basements can feel cold at times, so carpeting is a great addition, especially if your floors are currently concrete. Besides, basements with all hard surfaces tend to echo, so carpeting will make your basement family room feel more like a living space. Many people like Berber carpeting in these types of rooms for its durability. Olefin is another excellent type of carpeting material for basements because it is resistant to mold and mildew. Basements can get wet, so make sure you choose a material that is conducive to the space you are carpeting. Mixing up the different flooring types can also lend a sense of class and it also make the basement for versatile. If you add tile or other hard, easy to clean surfaces in one section and then have carpet in another, you can have an eating or prep area without concern of spilled food or drink making an unfortunate mess.
If you have the budget and your basement is partially above ground, adding windows is a great way to add lighting to your space. Daylight is one of the best ways to make a basement feel more bright and chipper. They're also a great way to make a basement room into a bedroom that's up to code.
If you want a basement to feel homier, add more light. There are many lighting options you have available to you. The easiest and most cost-efficient is changing your light fixtures. Depending on your choice you can create both warmth through the light they emit and style through your choice of the type of fixture. You can add pendant lighting over a basement bar, wall sconces in a dark hallway, and floor lamps if you want lighting that creates a more intimate setting. Many basements have lower ceilings, so if you're worried about head clearance, recessed lighting is another great option. Another great option is optimizing your access to sunlight. Many basements put opaque tinting or unattractive window wells for functional purposes, but it also reduces the amount of light that can come in. Privacy can be maintained by attractive blinds, curtains, or drapes which can be moved out of the way to let light in. Not only that but installing lighter colored or semi-reflective window wells can naturally bring more light in through the window.
If you're concerned about your basement feeling aesthetically cold because of too many hard surfaces, adding wood in key places can add texture and appeal. There are also many warm hues that will make the space more inviting. For instance, instead of having a glass or metal coffee table or side tables in your basement, choose ones that have wooden legs and tops.
Structural Beam Camouflaging
We've all seen metal structural poles in basements, and they're not pretty. They're usually gray or orange-red, and they break up basements in odd places. If you have one that's part of the structure of the house, you can't get rid of it, but you can make a decorative enclosure for it. You can surround it in drywall and paint it the same color as your walls, or you can also use it as an occasion to incorporate a beautiful material that enhances the appearance of the room.
If you have the budget, a fireplace can be a great addition to a basement. If you don't have a chimney and don't want to add one, gas or electric fireplace can still add a lot of ambiances. One popular technique is to make a focal wall with the fireplace as the centerpiece.
Remodeling a basement can be a lot of fun. You'll also add a lot of space and resale value. Don't be afraid to try things that you wouldn't normally think of, and plan out the space to make the biggest impact.
If you are planning on remodeling your basement and feel a bit stumped, let us help! We have years of experience remodeling homes, kitchens, basements, and more! Check our portfolio! Particularly spend some time in our Cherry Traditional Basement Remodel where we incorporate some of the ideas listed above!