A basement often has an expansive, wide-open layout, which enables it to serve a variety of functions. Homeowners use their downstair rooms as games rooms, media rooms, extra bedrooms and storage space – some have even been known to add a pool! By adding square meterage to your home – and who doesn’t want more space? – you’ll be adding value to your home, and will give your family more room to grow.
As you get ready to take the renovation plunge, take time to map out your basement layout and determine all its separate functions. Think about what your family needs the space for, and pick a layout that best suits those needs. Once you finalise your plan, determine whether built-ins are worth pursuing. In a vast, undefined space, they're an easy way to differentiate one space from another – the extra storage space doesn't hurt either. Finally, decide how you're going to fill the room with furniture. Since there's so much space to cover, picking the right pieces is a little more challenging than usual, so look at other basements to get a feel for what to look for when shopping.
What should I use my basement for?
Every household is different, so when looking for basement ideas, make sure you pinpoint how you spend your time and then cater to those hobbies and interests. If you host parties often or are wine aficionados, turning your basement into a home bar or wine cellar would be a good investment. If you're a movie buff or love all things entertainment, become the neighbourhood hot spot with a massive family and media room combo. Give the guy in your family the ultimate escape with a man cave, game room and home gym, or be practical above all else by adding extra bedrooms and another bathroom.
Should I add built-ins to my basement?
A large space is hard to define, but clever built-ins can help clarify room divisions while simultaneously aiding organisation. For the ultimate video game/movie hub, install a custom entertainment centre, complete with bookshelves and cabinets for storing small electronic accessories, movies and books. For those family movie nights, add a wet bar that includes a microwave and mini fridge for popcorn and beverages. You can also create a craft room with a built-in counter and shelves, or add a long booth or bench for extra seating in a game room or playroom. The options are endless, so consult a designer or builder to see what works for your basement renovation.
How should I decorate my basement?
When shopping for basement decor and furniture, typically bigger is better. Unlike other rooms where space might be tight, your basement likely has room to spare, so your furniture should be oversized and chunky to help fill up space. Sectionals are a great way to avoid an empty-looking room, and they provide plenty of seating for when guests come to visit. Be sure to add other common living room pieces – like armchairs, side tables and coffee tables – to fully complete the look. If your family loves games, add a pool table or poker table, or include an oversized table for regular board games. Give your kids their own corner in the basement with an indoor playhouse or swing, or create your ultimate getaway with a daybed and bookshelves for reading, napping and relaxing.
Whether you want inspiration for planning a basement renovation or are building a designer basement from scratch, Houzz has 105,566 images from the best designers, decorators, and architects in the country, including JR Custom Living and Kimberlee Kristine. Look through basement photos in different colours and styles and when you find a basement design that inspires you, save it to an Ideabook or contact the Pro who made it happen to see what kind of design ideas they have for your home. Explore the beautiful basement ideas photo gallery and find out exactly why Houzz is the best experience for home renovation and design.