A well-designed, comfortable basement is typically the preference of most homeowners. However, this may mean a renovation project is in order if the room is currently cool, dark and unlivable. A finished basement is an ideal way to add living space to your home and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to achieve it. The downstairs of your home has the potential for being a lot more than just a storage area and laundry room as it can be transformed into a media room, bar area or even an extra bedroom.
There may be a few existing circumstances that could deter you such as little or no natural light, low ceilings, structural beams and exposed duct work, but these can all be dealt with. For instance, you can box in the duct work with drywall or hollow beams, install suspended ceilings and paint any exposed joists and mechanical obstacles. You also want to make sure you bring in a basement waterproofing company to ensure you do not have moisture issues before starting renovations.
Your basement can be made more inviting if you have a clear vision of the purpose of the room and plan it out accordingly. If you know what specific activities you’d like the room to host then you’ve got a good head start. For instance, it could be used as a games room with poker table, pool table and a bar or you may want to install a home theatre system in the area. The room could also be used as a gym, a home office, a children’s play area or as mentioned earlier, a guest bedroom suite.
Whatever you decide to use the room for, your first obstacle could be a lack of natural lighting. However, this may not bother you as much if you’re going to install a home theatre down there. Lighting can always be taken care of though with some thoughtful pre-planning and creative design ideas. Since the basement is below ground level there’s generally not much natural light available due to a lack of windows. The room can be brightened up with light-coloured walls, recessed lighting or energy-efficient fluorescent options though. If the lighting is created in layers it can be more effective, be it general or ambient lighting, specific or task lighting, and decorative or accent lighting. Corner lighting can also work well since light can be bounced across the room’s ceiling. When choosing the fixtures you should consider the amount of light provided as well as the decorative affect they have on the room. In general, warmer fixture colours will give the basement an inviting and warmer aura.
Painting the walls and ceiling white can give the finished basement a brighter look and feel, but its not the only option. Warm colours can also be effective no matter what the room’s going to be used for. Some popular colour choices include yellows, warm ivory and light caramel as these can soften the lighting glare without making the area feel too enclosed. You can also use different colours to section off specific areas of the basement depending on their purpose. This technique also gives the area a more organized look and feel.
Many people tend to skip the finishing touches and architectural details in their basements, but there are plenty of options available to make it more pleasant and livable. These include things such as bead-board ceilings, wainscoting, crown moulding and substantial baseboards. Feel free to express your personality by being creative when it comes to decorating. Don’t be afraid to be bold and wow your guests with some unique personal touches.
Try not to overpower the room by installing furniture that may be a bit too big for the space. You don’t want the room to feel cluttered and/or too small.
A finished basement is an ideal way to extend your personality to your home so take advantage of the opportunity when renovating the area. This is your chance to create a unique space and if you’re into things such as wall-mounted aquariums then now’s the perfect time to go for it.