Basements don’t have to be dark, damp, and dreary.
And it’s no secret that by making some improvements to your basement, you can boost the value of your home. But do you struggle to come up with basement ideas for your remodel?
Converting an unfinished basement into a usable living space or making some changes to your existing setup can be pretty easy, but you need to have some inspiration. Let’s look at some basement ideas so you can see what will work in your home.
Basement Ideas We Can’t Get Enough Of
Basements often have limited natural light, machinery, pipe wiring, and other obstacles to overcome during a remodel.
But with a bit of inspiration, you can strategize how to transform your home’s lowest level completely.
1. Go to the Movies
Consider a basement as your home theater. At its simplest, it takes only a comfortable chair, a big-screen TV, and a decent sound system. It’s already probably pretty dark in your basement.
If you take it to the next level, you can add movie theater-style seating, lighting, and high-end audio and video to enjoy your favorite films at home.
All you need is some popcorn. And you won’t have to deal with the hassle of noisy crowds unless you invite them.
2. Boxing Things In
Boxing-in is a technique of using carpentry to hide things from view. For example, if you have an ugly support column or a drain pop that sticks out into the living space that you’re trying to improve, use some wood to hide it from view.
In this photo, the oversized finished columns are hiding something ugly. And in the same example, you can see that they decided not to enclose the pipes running along the ceiling.
3. Amplify Natural Light
Below-grade basements suffer from a lack of natural light. Like in this example, complement it with supplemental soft lighting and white or pastel colors to make the room feel airier, more open, and bright.
This technique will maximize the existing natural light and make people feel more comfortable.
4. Use Contrasting Colors
Use contrasting colors to add some character to your basement space. Incorporate wood, natural tones, painted surfaces, and carpeting into your design.
Using contrasting colors makes your space more inviting and less clinical than something with primarily one color.
5. Leave it Semi-Finished
A basement often has concrete or cinder block walls. When they are in good shape, it’s not always necessary to cover them. In this example, you can see that the floor, interior walls, and ceiling are ready for carpeting and painting.
Along the back wall, they have left the stone and its interesting colors uncovered. Blending the finished and unfinished adds a unique design element to your basement.
6. Music Rooms With Color
This basement idea is an excellent way to turn your home into a fun jam space for your musical hobby. The walls match the drums in this photo, which is a nice touch.
Keeping drums and other musical instruments in a basement is ideal, so the interruption to the rest of the home is minimized, even during loud jam sessions.
7. Make It Modern
This basement staircase features a modern metal stair railing. It isn’t over the top, but it adds an industrial vibe to the space. You don’t have to go crazy, leaving exposed girders or pipes.
You can create a subtle design element that changes the feel of your whole space. This slight accent of a metal railing brings unique character to the entire room, and it’s right at eye level.
8. Combine Coziness and Utility
This blend of comfort and utility space provides a dual-use basement. And that added flexibility can come in quite handy, especially when you’re hosting guests or cooking for a large group.
9. Get Ready to Party
A basement bar, especially one with a sink, is a fantastic way to make a basement space much more inviting and fun.
This design is noteworthy for using a few techniques, including contrasting colors and maximizing the ambient light from the top of the stairs.
A wet bar and a few chairs can be a fun space for adults or teens to hang out and socialize. Add a TV, and your basement will be everyone’s favorite place to watch big games.
10. Some Cheese With Your Wine?
Wine’s popularity has grown over the last few years, and in 2018, the average American consumer drank almost three gallons of their favorite vintages.
This example of a basement wine cellar incorporated racks for all your bottles, ample lighting for reading the labels, and a cozy table for two.
Imagine taking a guest to your basement wine cave, offering a snack and a premium selection of wines.
You might not ever even want to go back upstairs. This idea focuses on wine, and the addition of a barrel and other wine-centric elements completes the look.
11. Aim. Fire.
If you’re a firearm owner, a basement might be an ideal place to do some practice. The thick concrete walls of a typical basement will keep your private shooting range both secure and private.
You’d have to comply with your local building codes, but in many areas, it’s perfectly legal to shoot inside, and with a bit of soundproofing, none of your neighbors will even know.
12. Next Level Gaming
If you are a gamer or have one in your home, maybe your basement is the ideal location for their setup. Adding some hi-tech lighting elements and some ultra-modern ambiance will contribute to the look.
Basements are also, by their nature, private and dark, which is an ideal place for losing yourself in an immersive video game.
13. Get Pumped
If you’re a fitness buff looking to avoid the hassle of going to the gym, consider using your basement as a home gym.
Similar to a garage gym, it would require some rubber mats on the floor, a power cage, and other simple weightlifting equipment.
Depending on how much basement space you have, you might even be able to bring in a treadmill, an elliptical machine, a rower, and other gym gear to get the complete gym experience without the subscription fee.
14. Go to the Library
If you’re an avid reader or have a collection of fine books, consider a basement as your personal library or reading room. The walls of a basement lend themselves to shelving, as they are often unadorned.
Add a comfortable seat or two, a carpet, and enjoy your reading time in a dedicated room. If you want, you can step up the design, like in this basement library, but you may begin to feel like you’re in an episode of Downton Abbey.
15. Work From Home
It’s no secret that many people prefer to work from the comfort of their homes. A basement could easily be converted into a home office, offering a comfortable and convenient way to avoid a commute when you can.
And, if you go downstairs and close the door, you won’t have to worry about your work colleagues seeing your toddler walk naked through the background.
It doesn’t take much to make a home office out of basement space, so you won’t have to break the piggybank to do so.
Things to Consider
Before you start ordering materials or contacting contractors, let’s review the things you must consider in your quest for basement ideas.
- Don’t forget that basements have limited access
- Take advantage of as much natural light as you can
- Supplement your design with plenty of ambient and direct light
- Follow your local building codes carefully
- Combine DIY work and contractors to save money
- Utilize a basement’s natural privacy and security
- Optimize your home’s usable space
Basement Ideas Wrap Up
A basement can be pretty much whatever you want it to be. The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do. But keep in mind the typical basement limitations of accessibility and natural light.
And remember that basements often have necessary mechanical and electrical components that you may have to integrate or hide if you want a completely finished look.