There is no shortage of modern basement ideas to borrow from. Unfinished basements tend to get filled with every old and unwanted item in the house from worn out furniture to childhood memorabilia. Unfortunately, this is letting precious square footage go to waste. The basement is a perfect space that could be transformed into a warm and welcoming area for your family and friends to enjoy.
A basement redesign, though time-consuming and cost-intensive, not only adds to your living space, it can also increase the value of your home. Additionally, it allows you to explore ideas that you often can’t apply to your main living space.
You could set up a game room or play area for the kids, theater room for family and guests, a wet bar or even an extra bedroom to host visitors. You’ll find plenty of wonderful ideas in this blog to finish your unfinished basement space!
Focus On What Your Family Needs
The best way to figure out how to put your finished basement to use is to determine what your home is missing.
If there are kids around, they are likely running out of room for their toys. If you work from home, you may need an isolated and quiet space where you can get some work done. If you don’t have a dedicated guest bedroom, the basement is the perfect place to set one up.
Maybe it’s just great extra space, a blank palette—there are so many awesome ways you can use the basement. A movie room, game room, family room or kitchenette can provide a special place for the family to bond and have fun. Man caves and/or woman caves have become trendy and there are plenty of modern basement cave ideas available to inspire your own private space.
The expansiveness of an unfinished basement can be a curse. In a renovated basement, it is a blessing. Instead of piling it up with junk, you can fill it up with multiple spaces that add more value to your home and your family’s life.
- Bedrooms – A common strategy is to set up a couple of extra bedrooms in the basement for guests. This is especially beneficial for families that love to entertain on a regular basis. You can easily have guests stay over without disrupting the family space above. Basement bedrooms can also come in handy if you have older kids that cannot share bedrooms any more. Plus, you could also add a small kitchenette and bathroom for convenience.
- Children’s Play Areas – When looking at modern basement design photos; one common idea is to set up a play area for kids. This area often consists of soft flooring, such as a rug or wooden floor, and colorful easy-to-reach storage for toys and games. You can use colorful and playful décor to separate it from the rest of the basement space.
- Entertainment – In another area of the basement, you could add a play area for adults. This usually includes adding a home theater, setting up a pool table and a dart board on the wall. You can also get a ping pong table if pool is not your thing. Another great idea is to set up a video game center.
- Bars – While everyone is having all this fun, there will be a desire for refreshments. Don’t forget to set up a full bar or wet bar where you can stock juices and other beverages for the kids and something stronger for the adults. You can even combine it with a kitchenette where you can prepare a few snacks.
Also don’t forget: home gyms, wine cellars, theaters and craft rooms. The ideas are endless. Your goal should be to get as much value from the space as possible. If your basement living space is small, use it to fill a void such as an extra bedroom or additional organized storage space. If it is big, find several fun ways you can utilize the space and add value.
Décor and Furnishings
Basement decoration is generally easy thanks to the open space. It is a good idea to begin with a general theme in mind. Do you want a minimalist ultra-contemporary look or a more laid back traditional decor? Do you prefer warm colors or the space-creating effect of neutral hues?
Once you decide the overall style you want, you can go ahead and choose the various colorsand decorations you will use. This is easy if you have set up a single room only such as a bedroom. If you have multiple areas set up in the basement, you need to make sure that the décor of each clearly defines it and sets it apart.
In choosing the best décor for the basement, try to create some sense of continuity with the rest of the house. Start by creating an open stairwell leading from the rest of the house. It makes the basement feel open, lighter and connected to your home. Next, make sure that anyone descending the stairwell isn’t jarred by the contrast in décor with the space above. As much as you need to create defining styles for different sections of the basement, ensure there is a flow from the décor above to the one below. Otherwise, your basement is going to feel like some far off disconnected place and not part of your home.
If you have to use a vastly different style from the rest of your home, then create a transitional space that connects the two spaces. The stairwell and the space immediately around can be used to ease the transition to a new environment.
As for the furnishings, the expansiveness is again, your friend. You can afford to set up oversize furniture without worrying about space or movement. Make sure the furnishings blend with the overall style of the basement. As with decorations, you can use furnishings to differentiate separate sections of the basement.
- Check what basement specifications your local building department requires. In most places, you need to have at least one exit in case of emergencies. Some places also require fire safety measures to be put in place.
- Tackle the plumbing and wiring first before you begin any decorations. It would be a shame if you have to tear finished walls or flooring later on.
- If you are setting up a media room or play area, consider adding sound insulation to keep the noise from going into the space above. This insulation will also come handy if you want to insulate the basement from the noise above and outside.
- Add an air purification system to keep the basement smelling fresh.
- If you are going to add a window well, you also need to take security into consideration. Either install a secure locking system or add a window alarm system. You can also do both.