Investing time to create a good basement layout will help utilize every square foot effectively. You want to design living space and storage space with ample room for traffic flow. To get ideas, visit the basements of friends or neighbors. Basement design books and home remodeling magazines will provide inspiration as well. The basement area does not have to match the upstairs living space in design or color. It can be a totally unique space.
Build a Bonus Room
Create a main room at the bottom of the access stairs. This might serve as a family room, media room or exercise space. Be sure to widen the access stairs to accommodate traffic flow and furniture or equipment being moved into the basement from upstairs. Use a sketch pad to draw the square footage of the large room, so you can create other rooms around it.
Design Appealing Decor
The "wow" factor will make the basement inviting. The use of impressive lighting, design and color in the main room will make you want to spend time there. A bar with bright stools, mirror tiles on the wall, or a special floor tile pattern can bring this room to life. Bright colors such as red, yellow or purple are very appropriate for these types of basement living spaces.
Add a Bathroom
Build a bathroom in the basement. Incorporate a half-bath, if you don't have space for a full bath. This will make the basement area perfect for overnight guests or an extra sleeping space for the family. Consider the location of an upstairs bath, so the drain lines can connect near an exterior wall.
Creating Sleeping Space
A bedroom or two adds livability to the whole house. Guests can sleep downstairs during holidays, for example. Bedrooms in the basement will help to support a basement conversion to an apartment for in-laws or adult children at some point. If you add bedrooms in the original design, this creates many more options for using the space over time.
Consider a Kitchen Space
A small kitchen is always a benefit. Having a sink, microwave and small refrigerator at one end of the family room may be all you need. However, creating a full kitchen is often a good idea.You'll need an electrician and plumber if you want a sizable kitchen. You may need to install an additional breaker box to accommodate the appliances for a full kitchen.
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