Ideas for Finished Basements
Finishing a basement not only adds value to your home, but it also allows for a fun space where you can enjoy family or entertain friends.
When you're taking steps to finish a basement, the options are endless for how you might design the space. If you take the time to address your family's immediate needs, then you will create a space that perfectly suits your style.
Before: Stuffy and Lifeless
When Julie Bitton and Tom Price bought their three-story townhouse, the basement was one of the first rooms to overhaul. The walls were painted a putty tone, the millwork and trim were painted glossy black, and the floor was covered with beige wall-to-wall carpet that seemed dated and dull.
In its new state, Julie and Tom's basement is much lighter and more energetic. They integrated color through the paint and wallpaper choices, selecting a shade of dove gray called First Snowfall from Benjamin Moore for the walls. By using the back of the sofa as a room divider, they created another area for seating for four around a table.
To ensure guests are equipped with the proper movie-viewing snacks, Julie and Tom dedicated the counter spaces above their base cabinets for laying out staple candies and movie options. In decorating the space, the couple made sure to include Julie's Moroccan heritage and love of classic movies as well as Tom's movie memorabilia and collection of DVDs.
In addition to DVDs and TV on demand, the theater is used for gaming, both old and new. For a trip down memory lane, Tom often hooks up his Super Nintendo from the late 1980s and plays classic games such as Star Wars. To keep the gaming and audio/video components concealed, the couple designated lower cabinetry for storage.
To add an informal dining area for four, Julie and Tom placed a round, pedestal-base table with four chairs that mixed two different styles. "Before we watch movies, it's nice to eat dinner at the table and save the candy and chocolate for the main event," says Julie. They gave the area a cinematic touch by featuring a black-and-white photo of Frank Sinatra mounted on foam core.
If your basement needs to multi-task then consider dividing it into two spaces. For example, one area may be a media room and the other a kids' play area. Another design would allow for a home gym, while the remainder could contain a bedroom and kitchenette for guests.
Remember that not all finished basements require a complete redesign. Sometimes simple additions, like a sectional couch can help to create a division within the room, allowing you to create a multi-functional space. Fresh paint colors, new lighting fixtures and warm area rugs also help to make a basement space look new without breaking your budget.
See also: Basements Planning Guide
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- Basement Home Theaters and Media Rooms
- Framing a Basement
- 14 Smart Design Ideas for Underused Basements