Basements can be turned into beautiful spaces for your family and friends to enjoy. Create a playroom for your kids or a guest retreat for your in-laws. Use it for your home office or a place to unwind from a long workweek. Whichever design you decide, you'll be glad you did.
If you want low maintenance and durability, consider ceramic tiles. Unlike carpet, they don't hold moisture, which is important in a basement. If you spill something on a tile, it is easily cleaned up. Installing tiles can be done on a weekend and is affordable. You can create different patterns using ceramic tile and choose a color that matches the downstairs decor.
Basements can feel dark because they contain less light and might have wood paneling. To open up the space, use a high quality paint. Paint is by far the cheapest way to transform a basement. Go with low-VOC or no-VOC paint. These paints contain fewer or no chemicals, which is essential in nonventilated basements. Try a semi-gloss color in cream or tan to create a bright and cheery look.
Because basements are usually darker, you'll need to amp up lighting. Recessed lights work well because they don't hang down from the ceiling, which in some cases can be low, yet provide a lot of light. Recessed lights can be used throughout the entire basement and under cabinets or bookcases. They can be set on a dimmer, allowing you to adjust the amount of light.
Another lighting idea is to use lamps. Floor lamps and table lamps can omit a lot of light and can be found in many different styles. Look for lamps that have the capability of holding a three-way bulb, which gives you more flexibility.
Bringing in light from the outdoors is another essential element for a basement. If you have a door leading to the outside, consider installing French doors. This will open up the space and invite your kids to play outside. During the cooler months, prop open your doors to let the fresh air in.
If you have window treatments, take them down and leave the windows open. If privacy is important, install window treatments that can be raised during the day for maximum light. Cellular shades work well in basements and also are insulating, which will be beneficial in the winter months.
Odds and Ends
Always declutter your basement before you begin any project. Keep the furniture simple and comfortable. Use attractive storage boxes and bins stacked neatly on a bookcase or inside a closet. Visible clutter in the basement will create a cramped feeling. Remember that less is more.
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