Modern Decorating in a Basement Apartment

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Rescue your basement apartment from a chilly, dark ambiance by giving it a modern makeover to add inviting warmth and cheery brightness. Clear the clutter and remove the contents from your apartment to create a clean slate for a decorative facelift. When you choose the right colors, lighting, textures and fabrics, your dreary basement apartment can quickly go from a drab dwelling to a stylish, restful retreat.

Brighten the Space

  • Although basement apartments are sometimes depressingly dark spaces, they don't have to remain that way. Even though your apartment may have very few windows, you can maximize the natural light by exchanging heavy window coverings for tinted window film that provides privacy from prying eyes while allowing light to filter indoors. Supplement natural lighting with an infusion of artificial illumination, such as modern overhead track lights, recessed ceiling lights and an assortment of sleek table and floor lamps. Strategically place the lights evenly throughout your apartment for all-encompassing illumination. Avoid fluorescent lighting, which can deliver a harsh, unnatural ambiance with an outdated aura.

Take Out the Chill

  • Remove the damp chill in your basement apartment by introducing cozy textures and warm colors. Cover the walls with a light-colored paint in a warm tone, such as creamy caramel, soft ivory or muted gold, to add instant visual warmth. Steer clear of stark white walls that can make the space appear hospital-like, as well as dark-colored walls that tend to intensify the lack of light in a cavern-like space. Light-toned wall-to-wall Berber carpeting conveys an updated appearance with a cozy, but airy, feel. Lay a white-shag area rug over a hard-surface floor to offer modern vibes with a soft landing for bare feet.

Make It Comfy and Functional

  • Create a comfortable, functional space in your basement apartment when you furnish it with practical pieces to accommodate your lifestyle. Incorporate furniture that does double-duty to save valuable floor space. For example, a fashionable click-clack sofa provides living room seating during the daytime and an extra bed for occasional overnight guests. Glass-top tables -- accent, bedside, dining -- with shiny chrome legs enhance contemporary style and don't take up much visual space. Select cozy upholstery fabrics, such as chenille, corduroy, suede and microfiber, for armchairs, sofas and sectionals to promote a warm, inviting mood. A floor-to-ceiling shelving unit supplies storage space for books, electronics and small household items stashed in attractive woven baskets.

Add Cheery Accents

  • Foster a happy upbeat feel in your basement apartment with modern wall hangings, such as an oversized canvas painting in a colorful abstract style or brightly colored prints encased in simple black or white frames. Potted greenery and vases of colorful flowers, natural or faux, bring the energy of the outdoors inside. Furnish the space with reflective surfaces -- stainless steel appliances, large wall mirrors, silver trays, chrome candlesticks -- to add dimensional depth with a modern flair. Insert vivid bursts of isolated color into your basement design to stir up visual excitement. For example, turquoise bath towels, bright orange bedding and lime green toss pillows atop a sofa seat cushion impart cheery vibes for a neutral palette.

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