Your finished basement should flow with the balance of your home, carrying on the same fresh style and distinct atmosphere. Many homeowners write off the downstairs space, assuming it will become a children's playroom or private den. But with a little imagination and direction, your new basement space can become the most comfortable area of your home.
Check out these eight ways to make your finished basement stylish, cosy and inviting.
1 - Use Every Available Space
Crank up the creativity when designing your basement, and take a long look at every available nook, corner and cranny for potential. Storage systems can be built into awkward spaces, such as an angled corner or hallway end, and larger areas can be used for desks, workspaces and private seating, such as under the stairs.
Look through various design magazines and ezines for ideas that appeal to your lifestyle, then consider your own space and fit those ideas in. Using every inch of the floor will help you squeeze a higher return from your investment dollar and helps to keep this well used space clutter-free and organized.
2 - Accent Instead of Hiding
Shake off your decorating prejudices when designing and decorating your finished basement. This area allows you to have a bit more flexibility and fun, especially when considering strange features, shapes and spaces.
Why not use a bright paint color or textured wallpaper to accent the stairway wall, or find a unique handrail to dress up that long staircase? Experiment with wall tones and window treatments that fit in with your upstairs style, but push the envelope enough to set this space apart.
3 - Play With the Necessary Structural Elements
Most homes have to deal with basement posts installed for structural support of the upper floors. While your contractor may offer expensive solutions to remove these posts, think about ways to play with them and add visual interest to the space.
Post wraps work well, as do vertical panels with shelving or storage built in. Use the posts as an anchor for furniture placement or build furniture elements around them, like freestanding gas stoves or bookshelves. Think out of the box and mesh these previously unsightly features into your basement living space.
4 - Add Warmth
Gas fireplaces and gas stoves are ideal for the basement level and work well for newer builds and suburban homes. For those houses with existing wood stoves and traditional fireplaces, consider having these cosy features cleaned up and refurbished for use. Add character and warmth in one shot, but be sure the fireplace or stove is up to par in terms of efficiency and safety.
If budget or space does not allow for a fireplace, consider heated floors or heat lamps in the bathroom. This will help to dispel the naturally chilly atmosphere of a below-grade space. Again, consider efficiencies and safety and have any heating units professionally installed.
5 - Design in Zones
A finished basement offers versatility, but that offering can be maximized with good design. Think of the downstairs space in zones based on your habits, hobbies and lifestyle. Perhaps you want to include an entertainment area with big screen TV and gaming systems, as well as a crafting station or quiet home office. The options are endless, but must be laid out in zones to ensure a flowing overall design.
Use furniture and dècor to separate the zones and think about how your family will interact within the space. A play room can be designed alongside a billiard room to keep the space open, while a home office or bedroom needs some privacy.
6 - Choose Upgraded Light Fixtures to Set the Mood
Standard light fixtures may help you stretch the budget, but upgraded fixtures go a long way toward setting the mood. For a traditional or old-world feeling, choose copper wall sconces or even low profile chandeliers. For a funky, kid-friendly set up, look for colored fixtures in bold shapes. Track lighting and recessed fixtures are excellent when paired with a home entertainment system.
Investing in good quality, attractive light fixtures helps to enhance the space in both day and night times. Visually appealing lights act as dècor while serving a practical purpose, helping you to get more for your home improvement investment.
7 - Include a Guest Room
Unexpected (and expected) guests need a place to sleep, rest and enjoy some privacy. Designate a corner of your basement for guests, and design that area with your choice of features. Some homes have enough room for a separate room with closet space and storage. Others have to make do with a sofa bed or Murphy bed.
Consider the best use of space. Design your guest room for alternative uses, such as a computer room, craft area or play room. Use storage units to keep the room clean and separate the items needed for activities. Keep linen storage nearby and think about including an additional bathroom in your basement for guest use. As long as you can make good use of the area and it fits with the theme of your space, this inclusion makes good sense.
8 - Check Out the Hard Surface Floor Options
Flooding is a common problem in finished basements and hard surface floors are the best option for longevity and value. Many flooring options are highly resistant to water damage, including tile, while others are simple to repair or replace should limited flooding occur.
Engineered hardwood makes it possible to have wood flooring in the basement. Or think about warm and comfortable options like cork flooring, which can be installed as a floating floor over water resistant underlayment. Ask a flooring expert for recommendations and bring samples into your home to find the perfect match.
Your finished basement should be stamped with your personal style and include these distinct design options. From design to dècor, light fixtures, flooring and heating, every part of your basement living space needs to be well chosen. Once completed, this space will welcome family and guests to relax and enjoy life at home.Posted by: TrustedPros