In many homes around the country the basement is an often-neglected living space. It tends to be more utilitarian than useful. The sad thing is that this area has so much potential! With a little time and attention you can change the basement from functional to fun. In some places this will require a little more than decorating, while in other basements all you need is a little color and imagination to make the basement the best room in the house.
One good use for your basement, particularly if you have kids, is to design a grown-up retreat, the place where only the adults can hang out. Create the period look you love, without having those nice furnishings subjected to all the mishaps that children bring with them. Whether it’s Beach Casual, Mid-Century Modern, or French Provincial that you like, you can start collecting genuine or reproduction pieces to create an atmosphere where you can relax in grown-up style. You can always transfer it all into the living room once the kids head off to college!
Many basements have very little natural light due to a serious lack of windows. However, this can also work to your advantage. Make the basement a media area! With its low ceilings and low light, the basement may be the most perfect area in your home to become an excellent media room, complete with all the fancy trimmings. To pull this off you will need to make the walls, floors, and ceiling in this room darker colored, install a large screen television with surround-sound, and add some comfortable seating with plenty of tables for your popcorn.
Basements also convert into good home offices or art and music studios. It’s easy to divide the basement into smaller rooms and lots of lighting can be added. In creating a smaller room, particularly for music, you have a viable space for installing soundproofing at a reasonable cost. These rooms can be simply decorated and affordably furnished for comfort, privacy, and utility.
One thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to the basement is that many of them have a problem with dampness. Dehumidifiers help, but you may also need to plan some structural repairs to eliminate the problem. You want to avoid mold and mildew whatever the cost, since they can ruin any potential enjoyment of your new basement space. Choose cork or ceramic tiles, installed with proper moisture barriers, for the flooring, and make use of the new choices in attractive moisture-barrier paints as well.
With just a little creative thinking, you can turn that dank old basement into the envy of your neighbors!