Basements are usually home to washing machines and things you don’t ever want guests to see. The lowest floor of your home is one of the most versatile spaces despite the cold concrete floors and lack of natural light.
If you have an unfinished basement, there are a lot of ways you can utilize that extra room. With some remodeling, your basement can turn into a brand new living space. If you’re looking to give your basement a makeover and transform it into a functional room, a basement finishing project is something you might want to look into.
WHY SHOULD YOU FINISH YOUR BASEMENT?
Basements are often cooler than your main living area. Hot air usually moves to colder rooms instead of warmer ones. As a result, energy bills can be high during the winter months due to inefficient heating. By finishing your basement, you’ll be insulating the space and reducing heat loss— avoiding a costly energy bill during colder seasons.
When Halloween or Christmas ends, jack-o-lanterns and ornaments end up in the basement, causing clutter. Although an unfinished basement can also act as a storage space, a finished basement can serve the same purpose but with less mess and protection from moisture, invasive pests, and dust.
A FINISHED BASEMENT CAN MAKE FOR A LOVELY EXTRA BEDROOM IF YOU HAVE GUESTS OVER OR IF YOU WANT TO ADD AN EXTRA ROOM IN YOUR HOME.
Unlike home additions which can cost a fortune, finishing an existing basement is a great way to maximize your space without breaking your budget. You can see costs here.
Finishing your basement can also increase your home’s value. It has been estimated that, on average in the U.S., finishing a basement will give you a 70-75% return on your investment. By the time you sell your home, you’ll have gained most of your money back you spent on renovations.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE FINISHING OUR BASEMENT
Finishing your basement can be tedious and time-consuming. It’s essential that you plan thoroughly, budget properly, and hire a contractor you trust. Missing a single step or making a mistake in the early stages can lead to problems such as mold growth, foundation problems, or even water damage. The last thing you want is to deconstruct your newly finished basement due to a random leak.
THERE ARE SEVERAL CRITICAL STAGES FOR FINISHING A BASEMENT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER:
- Hiring a trustworthy contractor
- Making a clear plan of what you want your basement to be
- Getting the correct permits sorted out
- Eliminating moisture and mold growth
- Removing framing, electrical, plumbing, drywall, ceiling finishing, flooring, door, and baseboard installation
- Re-installing framing, insulation, electrical, plumbing, drywall, ceiling, basement flooring, baseboards, and doors
- Finishing off with paint, furniture, and decoration of your choice.
BASEMENT FINISHING IDEAS BASED ON INTERIOR STYLE
A basement with Japandi interiors will give your space a clean look with the simplicity of Scandinavian design and the richness of Japanese decor. Think of simple and clean furniture and fixtures mixed with elements of nature through texture and color. The best part about Japandi design is that you can choose to go light or dark.
Basements, since they are built underground, often have little natural lighting. So, you can embrace their nature with dark walls and lightly-colored neutral furniture for added contrast.
If you like a clean look with modern touches, the modern interior style is perfect for your basement. It’s timeless, functional, and neutral. Modern interiors also give your space a decluttered look since it doesn’t require anything that doesn’t serve a purpose. You don’t have to worry about decorations or dressing up the room since the simple design will speak for itself.
If your basement has windows, you can also utilize them to bring in natural light, which is one of the most critical factors for modern design.
Futurism or futuristic interior design is usually represented by metallic materials, long and dynamic lines, and monochromatic color palettes. It’s similar to modern interior design but with more unconventional shapes. A futuristic interior design gives a room an ultra-modern and hi-tech look. Since sci-fi movies inspire futuristic design, you can expect a lot of unique shapes and ergonomic furniture.
You don’t have to spend millions of dollars for a basement remodel. Instead, invest in a few signature pieces and keep the design simple. After all, minimalism is an integral part of futuristic interior design.
Want something more cozy and rustic? The Farmhouse style is simple, practical, and rustic at its best. The Farmhouse style often reflects rural architecture and incorporates simple flourishes and a weathered design. Farmhouses were built with easily attained items, such as stone, wood, and natural materials. As the years went on, it transformed into an aesthetic.
So, stick to furniture that you can keep for a while, and don’t worry about wearing it out since that’s part of the look. Lastly, stick to natural materials and different textures. Wear and tear give the overall aesthetic its depth and authenticity, which gives the Farmhouse design its signature look.
Bryan Casey Construction
This interior design style came from the past when people had to build their own furniture or repurpose their items, giving it their signature rough look. Rustic interior design doesn’t have to be dark and heavy. It’s pretty versatile, and you can lighten your space with light-colored wood and incorporate a lot of natural light. You can opt for organic materials such as burlap, wool, linen, or canvas to finish the look.
Make sure to avoid shiny metal or shine in general when choosing your furniture. Instead, choose repurposed metal or industrial hardware to give your basement that aged look.
Scandinavian interior design has quickly become a cult favorite as our world begins to opt for minimalist design choices over grand, avant-garde styles. If you’re looking to upgrade your basement from its cold concrete and dark lighting, then it might be time to do as the Danes do and take some notes from their design choices.
Create your underground Scandinavian hideaway with just a few simple changes— incorporating natural light into your space, utilizing contrast when it comes to colors to create variety, and choosing simple yet modern furniture.
You could mix rustic and boho or minimalist and glam to get an eclectic interior design. Simply put, it’s a design style that involves a mix of furnishings and decor from various styles. You could lighten your underground space by mixing rustic and mid-century pieces or go dark and heavy with signature art pieces and black walls. When it comes to eclectic style design, there are no rules, and your basement is your oyster.
One of the essential elements of eclectic design is a lot of decorative accents. This can be unique artwork, decorative mirrors, or bold colors and shapes.
Len Cotzsovolos, Amit Ampel Design
The name Hollywood Glam doesn’t stray far from its origins. This design style embraces the “Golden Age” of Hollywood in the 1930s. You might’ve spotted Hollywood Glam in boutique hotels or fancy restaurants. They usually incorporate metallic and classic colors, bold decor, animal prints, and silk and velvet textures.
You could turn your basement into a glamorous bedroom with textured wallpaper and bold-colored furniture. If you want to be subtle, neutral colors with accents are an excellent way to style your Hollywood-inspired space without going overboard.
Michael K. Chen Architecture, Tara Bernerd
Despite the weird shapes and pops of color, Bauhaus design is based on a pretty straightforward principle— form follows function. Most of the time, Bauhaus designs use a lot of clean lines, fewer accents, smooth surfaces, and geometric shapes. Materials such as steel, glass, plywood, and plastic are common in Bauhaus furniture. So, what are some critical characteristics of Bauhaus-style decor that you can apply to your basement finishing project?
First, always remember to focus on rational, simple, and functional design and that less is more. This means fewer decorative elements and an emphasis on clean lines and minimalist furniture. Second, invest in some fun furniture that features simple geometric shapes. Circular chairs, cube-shaped tables, or triangular art. Lastly, sprinkle in primary colors such as red, yellow, and blue to brighten the room.
Atelier Tom Vanhee, K2A
Muted colors, natural textures, and earthy layers define Belgian-style interior design. The emphasis is on raw and natural textures and minimalist design. Forget about pops of color. Belgian interior design embraces earthy tones and natural materials. If you want to remodel your basement and prefer a rustic yet minimalist design, you might want to opt for a Belgian-style interior design.
Natural flooring is vital in this style. You can choose concrete flooring or timber floorboards paired with rugs made of natural fibers such as sisal. To decorate your space, stick to a few yet meaningful pieces such as still-life paintings, entimental objects, ceramics, and neutral-colored sculptures. Lastly, finish with your favorite plants and florals.
Vogue Australia, John McClain
If you’ve watched the movie “The Great Gatsby,” then you’ve seen a glimpse of the Art Deco style. This iconic style is a mix of elegance, modernity, and functionality. Oftentimes, an Art Deco-styled room has a slew of bold and symmetrical motifs, velvet fabrics, stainless steel, glass, marble, striking and bold colors, and ample furnishings.
This style is perfect for entertaining guests, so if you’re looking to turn your basement into a dining area, bar, lounge, or even a movie theatre, the Art Deco style is something you should consider.
McLean Quinlan, Paul Bernier Architects
Southwestern interior design originated from a style frequently used in southwestern American states. This design style often uses earth-toned colors and “wild west” inspired elements. Since Europeans settled the American southwest from Spain, you can find a lot of influence from Spanish design in this style. An example of Spanish influence is round arches, prominent in southwest interior design. Before the Europeans came, the area was inhabited mainly by the Navajo tribe, who decorated their homes with quilts, blankets, and hangings. Hence, you can find a lot of Navajo-inspired art in southwestern-style homes.
Mark Odom Studio, The Brown Studio, Inc
Mid-Century Modern interior design originated in response to a post-World War II environment when designers and architects wanted to develop new ideas that embodied the population’s needs during that time. Most furniture in this style was made of teak. Besides its richness in color, teak was also well-known for its durability. To get the mid-century look, invest in deep-colored wooden furnishings such as cabinets or console tables. Decorate the space with minimalist furniture and neutral colors.
Lastly, add a pop of color or bold accent to make a piece of particular furniture stand out. For example, you could add vibrant pillows or throws onto a couch to brighten up the space.
CUNS, Metro Arquietos Associados
Industrial interior design is often characterized by concrete floors, undone walls, brick, iron, and steel buildings. Although it takes inspiration from factories built in the early 20th century, it has become a popular style in homes and offices. While other interior design styles focus on hiding piping or ductwork, the industrial style embraces these elements, making the room seem raw and unfinished. If you like an unfinished look and would like to embrace your basement’s natural space, industrial design is something that might interest you.
Instead of installing new floorboards, you can stick to concrete. You can use reclaimed wood, iron, brick, or even concrete for the walls. Industrial interior design is also known for open spaces. You can maximize your basement floor plan by opting for an open space design.
Vanderhorn Architects, Pinterest
Imagine drinking a cup of coffee while bathing in the sunlight of the French countryside or reading a book in a quaint library from the early 20th century. The French country style is for you if you like a classic touch. It’s a mix of rustic and French countryside homes. Depending on what you need, you can transform your basement into a living space with lots of natural light and light walls or a unique library with dark wooden furnishings.
The French country interior is often characterized by delicate patterns, muted colors, distressed furnishings and furniture, and many wood or natural materials.
Corbin Reeves Construction, Wow Decor
The Mediterranean-style interior design originated from countries around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Ibiza, Santorini, or Capri. It embodies indoor-outdoor living and utilizes natural materials and finishes. This style is quite popular in sunny climates like California and Florida, but it’s versatile and suitable for other climates. There are a few critical elements of Mediterranean-style design. It relies heavily on maximizing natural light and scenic outdoor views, so if your basement has no windows, this style might not work for you. Arches are a common occurrence in this style. Natural stone walls, tile or hardwood floors, and natural materials are frequently used.
Paz Arquitectura, Bob Chen Design Office
Looking to bring in some harmony, balance, and tranquility into your basement?
Then, the Asian Zen interior design is perfect for you. This design style is inspired by the concept of Zen and incorporates nature into your home decor, which is common in Asian homes. To achieve this look, you’ll need to declutter and get rid of items you don’t need since minimalism is a big part of the Asian Zen design style. Next, you’ll need to bring natural elements such as plants, rocks, and water. Popular plants such as bonsai trees, bamboo, and snake grass are excellent for decorations because they are low maintenance and provide oxygen. Lastly, a small water fountain is a great way to finish the Asian Zen look.
Ramon Esteve Estudio, Garret Cord Werner Architects & Interiors
The Northwest Contemporary Style or Northwest Style is composed of asymmetrical floor plans, low ceilings, and large overhangs. This style is popular in the Pacific Northwest, where it’s rainy and often covered in gray skies. Hence, homes in this style are perfect for cozy nights in.
If you want to transform your basement into a cozy hideaway, here are a few things you need to do. First, stick to natural textures, organic shapes, and shades. Second, use reclaimed wood and rocks to decorate your space. Lastly, add a comfy sofa and decorate it with plush pillows and blankets.
Home Designing, Vanessa Deleon
Neoclassical interior design originated from classical home decor in Greece and Rome, which focused on elegance and sophistication.
Despite its ancient origins, it’s still popular to this day because of its timeless charm. You can create a Neoclassical inspired basement with just a few key elements such as neutral colored walls, marble furnishings, critical pieces of furniture with quality fabric, and opulent decoration such as mirrors, flowers, or decorative moldings. Add some touches of gold hardware to bring the look to life.
LLI Design, James McDonald Architects
The Victorian-style design style often uses deep reds, browns, and a lot of intricate details. Although this design style looks expensive, you don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve this look. You can transform your basement into a Victorian-inspired room with just a few changes. First, lighting in the Victorian era often came from wall sconces or candles. If your basement does not have access to natural light, you can create mood lighting in your space with some wall sconces. Second, choose dark and rich paints for your walls. Lastly, opt for parquet flooring or carpets for the floors.
BASEMENT FINISHING IDEAS BASED ON FUNCTION
Core Development Group, Gunderson Matkins
A basement is a perfect place to build a home theater. They’re underground, isolated, and often don’t have natural lighting. Since basement flooring is usually made of concrete, it also reduces noise and vibration. If you’re a movie buff and want to invest in a space to enjoy your favorite films, transforming your basement into a home theater might be your best move.
It can also be a place to entertain guests, enjoy a few drinks, or for fun gatherings. If your basement is unfinished, there are a few things you need to do. Besides adding carpet flooring and drywall, don’t forget to ensure that your basement has proper air conditioning and ventilation, in addition to some nice couches and pillows. Lastly, add your television or screen and sound system of your choice, and you’re ready to go.
Decoist, UNEMORI Architects
Are you looking for an extra bedroom? Transforming your basement into a spare bedroom is only logical if you often have guests over. Bedrooms are excellent investments because you can use them for storage space when they’re vacant. You can also rent them out if you’re looking for extra income on the side. Making a bedroom in a basement can be more complex since you have to make the space liveable. This means you would need to ensure that the area has proper ventilation and air conditioning, ample amounts of light, and enough room for a person to stay in.
You could also add a small kitchenette and a small laundry room to make the bedroom more convenient for guests.
KAA Design Group, Marcio Kogan
With some construction and decor, you can also have your underground wine cellar. This is a perfect place to show off your favorite liquor and fine wines. You can also be extra creative and choose a design of your liking. For example, you could use light walls and lots of lighting to brighten the room. Or you could go the dark route and embrace the basement’s natural habitat with dark walls and mellow lighting. A darker room gives the wine cellar an air of mystery and will surely be a great conversation starter for your intimate gatherings. It’s important to note that wine cellars need proper temperature control, so you need to invest in air conditioning to ensure that your wines are in their best condition.
Van Staeyen Interiors, Frost*collective
Having extra space for your kids can be excellent. It gives them room to play and explore and gives the adults time to wind down and relax. If your basement is on the smaller side, a small playroom with a table and extra bed is sufficient. If you have a big basement, you can go all out and transform your space into an indoor playground. Since a playroom is mainly for children, you need to ensure that the room is safe and has all the necessities such as air conditioning and proper lighting. It’s wise to stay away from sharp edges and stick to round shapes and carpet flooring to reduce the chances of injuries and falls. You could also add some storage space to keep some nice snacks, beverages, and art supplies for arts and crafts.
Kelly Shepard, Studio Mcgee
Your laundry room does not have to look miserable. Doing your daily chores in a dark and unenjoyable environment can be boring and stressful. If you want to spruce up your basement and make it into a nice place to do laundry, there are a few steps you can take to make it happen. You don’t have to install air conditioning since you won’t be spending hours in your laundry room. As long as there is proper air circulation, it should be fine. You can also add some windows to let in natural light, but this is optional.
Lastly, make sure you have enough room for a washing machine and a dryer. Another thing you can do is add some shelves and a large table where you can store your detergents and iron board.
If you have a gym installed right underneath your house, you won’t have to deal with commutes and an expensive gym membership. By finishing your basement and turning it into a home gym, you’ll be able to build a healthy habit of working out and spending less money on memberships that you would likely forget about soon after.
Before purchasing your gym equipment, ensure that your ceilings are high enough and that your basement has enough room. Also, you would need to install proper ventilation to reduce odor and increase air circulation inside the space.
Finished Basement Plus
Transforming your basement into a dining room isn’t a bad idea, especially if you don’t have a dining room in your home. Dining rooms are great for annual events such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, or if you love throwing parties. In addition to a dining table and chairs, you can also add a television and seating area so guests can enjoy some movies and shows while they are over.
You could also install a kitchenette to prep the food quickly if you need to serve a large number of guests. When not in use, you can simply use the room for storage or just as an extra living space.
Sebastian Barlica, Finished Basement Plus
A basement bar might be indulgent if you’re not an avid liquor enthusiast. However, if you love serving drinks and entertaining, a basement bar might be a great investment. Your basement bar doesn’t have to be limited to serving drinks. You can turn it into a fun space for your friends and family. It can also be an excellent place for parties and gatherings.
There are two types of bars— wet and dry bars. Wet bars usually have a sink and require plumbing. In contrast, a dry bar has no sink and is generally made up of a table and some storage area for liquors. You can also add a fridge to help keep your ingredients fresh and make it easier for you to craft your beverages.
E/L Studio, Board and Vellum
For those who don’t quite know what to do with their basement but want to make the most out of the extra space, turning it into a storage room might be the ultimate solution. You’ll be able to store everything you can think of, and you won’t have to worry about the clutter.
When we store our items in our basement, it usually piles up and collects dust. The good news is you don’t have to replace your floors or walls. Adding some shelves, drawers, and cabinets to your basement will help keep your unused items organized without overspending if you have a limited budget.
Looking for a way to wow your guests? What about with a fantastic game room? This option is perfect if you and your family or friends love games and entertainment. It’s also a versatile room because both adults and children can use it. It can be a home for all your favorite gaming consoles, board games, and table-top games if you happen to love collecting these things. To start, make sure that you have enough electrical outlets to supply electricity for all your gaming consoles. Top it off with some comfortable flooring, such as carpet, so everyone can stay cozy while playing their favorite games.
ART & CRAFTS ROOM
Closet Factory, Mosby Building Arts
Artists need their own space. A living room isn’t exactly the perfect art studio, and a room filled with canvases and oil paints isn’t a nice way to greet your guests. One of the best spots for your art supplies and masterpieces might be just below your home. Add some lovely rugs, a spacious table, cabinets for all your supplies, and some artificial lighting— the next thing you’ll know, you’ll have your own art studio!
Don’t forget to add proper ventilation since you don’t want your best work to be affected by humidity. Depending on where you live, you might need to install a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep all of your artwork in excellent condition.
ROAM Architects, Rebecca Foster
Basement kitchens are handy, especially if you love cooking and want to have your own space to hone your craft. Although the idea of turning your basement into a kitchen isn’t common, it has a lot of advantages.
If you have a guest sleeping over or you are planning to rent out the basement, adding a kitchen can increase the value of your space. Other than that, you can use the second kitchen to entertain large groups of people.
Having a basement kitchen also reduces preparation time if you’re cooking for your guests since you won’t need to run up and down the stairs to get ingredients or tools from other rooms in your home.
Your garden shouldn’t be limited to your backyard. There are several plants you can grow in the comfort of your own home. Hydroponic plants are one example. If you love your greens and want to grow your own, your basement might be the perfect place. It has enough room to house a variety of plants, you can install as much lighting as needed, and you can keep an eye on your plants with ease. Of course, you would need to invest in air conditioning, lighting, plumbing and make sure that your basement is free from mold or any pests. The last thing you want is your beloved plants to be infested by parasites.
Avoision, Little Wild Things