As a designer, I’ve noticed that it’s common for basements to become the “catchall” for things you can’t find places for in other in other areas of the home. It’s easy to do, especially because basements are easy to close off and hide. However, this “out of sight, out of mind” mentality also creates a TON of wasted space that could otherwise be a great aspect of your home. Lower-level spaces can just as stylish and useful as any upper-level space! Here are 3 ways to help you use your basement more:
1. Get rid of the clutter!
There are probably things stuffed down in your basement that you haven’t used in years and most likely won’t use again, decide what you’ll use (be realistic) and get rid of the rest.
With whatever you have left, the trick is to organize! Use your space wisely by storing things in shelving that can be closed off in order to keep nice, clean lines. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
2. Make it multifunctional
Every family has different needs and wants for their “extra” space. It could be a game room, guest bedroom, playroom, theater, or even all of the above. Through good space planning and furniture with multiple functions, all of these needs can be met.
For example, if you need the space to serve as a family room and an occasional guest bedroom you would want to choose a sleeper sofa, a daybed, or possibly bunk beds to sleep extras.
If you need the space for the kids, try incorporating a desk for crafts and homework (remember to choose low maintenance finishes) and MANY places for them to store their toys and supplies.
3. LIGHTING, LIGHTING, LIGHTING
Ceiling heights in basements are typically lower than they are on upper levels and need I remind you that you are underground? The combination of the two can create “dungeons”.
Keep colors in the basement fairly light and neutral to keep as much natural light in the space as possible (it also helps downplay any unattractive architectural flaws). This includes the walls, the ceiling, and even the flooring.
Recessed lighting will create great general lighting without having anything hanging (lower ceiling problems). Recessed lighting is also fairly inexpensive to install so be sure to position fixtures throughout the perimeter of the space. In addition to recessed cans, you could use sconces and/or lamps where you need them.
I hope you’ll be able to see your “catchall” basement in a new light!