Ugly basement poles, also known as lolly or lally columns, don't have to ruin your basement remodeling project. Commercial options or simple creativity can turn that tarnished metal column into a striking detail instead of a visual sore spot. Be sure to review all your options, though, before you buy; an expensive temptation may not serve your purposes or look as pleasing once it's installed.
One of the most common and inexpensive ways to transform that old basement pole is to wrap it with a commercial product such as Pole Wrap or Lolly Wrap. Wraps for basement poles are available in a wide variety of designs, from wooden columns to simple colored pads. Although the purpose of your basement remodel is to make the space look better, be sure to take other concerns, such as safety, into consideration when choosing a cover for your metal basement poles, especially if you have small children.
The most popular choice for covering basement columns when you're building from the ground up is to box the poles in a wall or build a column around each one. Boxes can be built from wood or drywall and covered with anything from basic paneling to paint. To complete the look, remember to add trim that matches what you used throughout the rest of your basement room, to the top and bottom of the column.
If none of the regular options seems like the choice for you, create something different to fit your style. Cut modular carpet to size and wrap your basement poles in multiple colors, use small tiles to create a different mosaic look on each pole in your basement, or simply paint the pole a color that suits the room. If your basement is a children's playroom or you own a log cabin or rustic-style home, think about turning that ugly basement pole into a tree trunk to add a fairy-tale appeal or a touch of the outdoors to your basement look.