Are you looking for unfinished basement ideas? We have you covered. Our top 10 ideas help you brighten the area and make the most out of your living space. Read on to learn more.
Disclaimer: REthority is supported by ads and participation in affiliate programs. We may earn a commission when you click our links. The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal or financial advice.
Unfinished Basement Ideas
If you are looking for ideas for your unfinished basement, you’ve likely talked to one or two constructions companies. If not, you may think you have to spend an arm and a leg to spruce up the space.
Even adding drywall can be a huge expense if you aren’t an experienced contractor. And it would be a huge undertaking to DIY. However, we have another solution. Our unfinished basement ideas help you brighten and better utilize your space.
The best part? They’re easy and affordable to do, even if you’ve never picked up a hammer before. Read on to see our favorite ideas from around the web.
1. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do. The first thing you’ll want to do in this dusty space is thoroughly vacuum any little particles. Then, scrub down the walls with soap and water.
Once fully dry, paint over with waterproofing masonry paint. This special paint can go right over the sheet rock or concrete. Use a plain white to really brighten up the space.
Don’t stop at the basement walls. Once the walls are done, paint the floors. The prep work is the hardest part. Use a scrubbing broom to wash the floor, then use a shop vac to remove dust and dirt.
Repeat the process until your floors feel clean enough to walk on barefoot. Once it’s clean, paint with an exterior concrete and garage floor paint. You can find this at your local Home Depot.
Pour it right onto the floor and paint with a roller until completely covered. Last, paint any exposed beams. You can keep it all white or paint them in a contrasting gray or black.
2. Cover Unsightly Walls with Curtains
If your basement has any ugly exposed insulation, use curtain rods to hang fabric on the walls. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, make your own. Otherwise, shop for cheap curtains from IKEA or Amazon.
Use adjustable curtain rods and hang as many as you need to cover the exposed wall. If you can’t drill into concrete or insulation, try hanging your curtains from wood ceiling beams. You can also use curtains as room dividers to create several basement rooms.
3. Use Foam Floor Mats
Most basements have poured concrete floors. This means they are uncomfortable to sit or walk on and incredibly cold. Foam floor mats are a cheap and easy way to soften up your basement space. Choose black or brightly colored mats. To install, simply lock them together on the floor.
You’re now ready to create a home gym or children’s playroom. Foam flooring is also a great base for your pool table, if you are using your basement as a game room. If you prefer to use the space for a home office or living space, choose a faux wood soft tile.
There are lots of realistic looking basement flooring options on the market that are cheap and easy to install. They are also a smarter fix than carpeting or area rugs, which will be ruined if your basement ever floods.
4. Create a Laundry Room
Many homeowners have basement laundry rooms. Don’t make this weekly chore more painful than it has to be with a dreary basement space. We love how this laundry room uses a fun paint color to brighten drab concrete walls.
The homeowners also hung shelving and covered with a patterned curtain. Now, it can double as an easy folding area and attractive storage space for detergent, bleach, etc. Or, use the shelf to display a fun laundry room sign. You can even add antique wash boards for a vintage effect.
5. Create Under-Stair Storage
For small basements, maximize space by creating a storage unit under the basement stair nook. You can DIY this cheaply with scrap board. Create different sized cubbies to hold decorations, tools, folding chairs, and toys. For smaller items, use plastic bins and baskets to corral everything neatly.
6. Create an Industrial Bar
Chalkboard paint is a great way to create a basement bar without a full remodel. This design embraced the industrial look with a wooden table, exposed pendant lights, and vintage chairs.
Add a wine shelf and you’re on your way to a full wine cellar. Chalkboard paint is a great addition to any man cave or children’s playroom, as well.
7. Paint Your Ceiling
Even if your ceiling has exposed joists, you can still paint over it. Clean white paint creates a trendy look, or you can choose black for a darker man cave feel. This will take a lot of work, but the airy result is worth it.
The best way to do this is to rent a paint sprayer. The result is as attractive as a drop ceiling, but far less expensive. Another smart basement ceiling idea is to craft a canopy. Cover with a large piece of fabric and attach to ceiling beams for a beautiful, billowy look.
8. Hang String Lights
Cafe lights can add charming decor to an unfinished ceiling. It also brightens up to your space if you don’t have a lot of natural light through basement windows.
Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than installing track lighting. Hang them tightly, as done here, for a uniform look. Or string several loosely for a shabby-chic vibe.
9. Create a Workshop
Since you aren’t worries about getting your basement dirty, it’s a great place to create your workshop. Use pegboard and shelving to create storage for tools and gear.
Include a work table and bench (make sure to reach our guide on workbench plans), and throw down some foam flooring for underfoot comfort.
10. Design a Craft Room
Basement remodeling is a huge undertaking, but you don’t need to do a whole lot to create a fun craft room. Hang cabinetry for built-in storage. You can probably find used options at home sales or salvage stores.
If you’re keeping the walls bare, hang some pictures and home decor for a more attractive aesthetic. Include your work table and a few old filing cabinets to store supplies. A pretty pendant light also makes for a more attractive room. And just like that, you have a working art studio!
Which Unfinished Basement Idea Will You Pick?
We hope you’ve liked our guide on unfinished basement ideas. We strive to create share-worthy content. If you loved our article, please share it with your friends and family! And while you’re here, be sure to check out our other home guides.