Creating a Useful Basement

You’ve probably seen a situation like this many times; you walk into a prospective home to purchase and are excited by its large, unfinished basement. The fact that it’s unfinished means the overall price of the house is lower and that you can choose to do whatever you want with it. But before you know it, all you’ve thought of to do with the space is use it as storage. Pretty soon, you hardly even go down to the basement and your kids start to tell stories of how “haunted” it is. Not exactly what you had in mind.

So before you condemn the bottom floor of your home as a glorified, creepy storage space, here are a few ways to make that basement just as livable as any other space in your home.

1.) Add light. Basements are dark and dungy and all you really need to change that is a bit of light! Natural light is preferred, so adding a small window near the ceiling might be a perfect option (check with a contractor beforehand to see if your foundation can handle adding an extra window), but if this isn’t an option artificial light still helps. And no, we’re not talking about that lonely, naked, flickering bulb that only turns on when you pull a hanging string. Install some decent ceiling lighting and bring down a few table and floor lamps to warm things up a bit.

2.) Give it a purpose. If you have nothing but a concrete room of course no one is going to want to go down there! So use it to your advantage; if you are the musical type, add a bit of insulation to the walls. Since they’re already pretty soundproof (being underground and all), it’ll make your music playing or listening experience completely private. And don’t forget about loud games; a pinball machine is right at home in a basement, along with a pool table or even a home theater.

3.) Organize. Instead of just throwing everything in the room, arrange it in an actually useful way. If you’re going to use part of your basement for storage (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t use their basement for storing something), then at least limit the storage space to one area of the room. If you have a couple rooms downstairs, use one for storage and the rest to create an awesome basement.


4.) Decorate. Your basement shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought, it should be treated as any other room in the house. That means actually putting in some time and effort to determine what kind of feel you want your basement to have. So bring down a few colorful pillows to through on the couch and some art to hang on the walls. Sure it might look dark and gloomy now, but by bringing in some light, interesting activities and a color scheme, you should be able to spruce it right up in no time.

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