Many people don’t spend much time in their basements. They might only head down to this space when they need to take a rarely-used item out of storage or check on an appliance or HVAC unit.
However, keep in mind that your home’s subterranean area can be a convenient spot that you and your family could be utilizing more. With COVID-19 restrictions and health and economic concerns, meaning you’re likely spending more time at home this summer, now is the perfect time to think about how you might make better use of the space.
Get the Space in Order
If your basement doesn’t currently have much in the way of practical features, learn how you can finish insulating basement walls, as this is necessary to make the space comfortable all year round. You may also need to lay new flooring, patch holes in the wall or ceiling, get rid of leaks and damp, handle pest infestations, and clear out junk. Other potential jobs include adding lighting, replacing old windows, and painting the whole room. Once the area is ready to go, choose your décor based on your needs.
One of the most common ways people set up their basement is as a home office. At the moment, with increasing numbers of workers completing their jobs from home or launching new businesses, this is even more of a popular option.
Bring in a desk and comfortable chair, a lamp, plus storage units (if not already there) to house your work gear. You’ll likely want a filing cabinet, some shelving or bookcases, plus a small bench or table to sit your tech gear, such as printer and modem, on. Add extra touches such as some art on the walls and a corkboard or whiteboard to help you operate.
Guest Bedroom and Bathroom
Another choice many people make is to turn their basement into a guest bedroom zone. You might want to create this additional suite to house regular visiting family members or a senior parent who’s moving in. Alternatively, you could earn extra income by renting the space out on Airbnb or other short-term rental platforms.
Another option is to set up your basement as a dedicated teenager retreat for your older kids who are at the age when they need more space. You may also have children who have moved back home again or who visit in college vacation periods, that you’d like to set up downstairs.
If your basement already has plumbing set up, creating a bathroom to go with the sleeping quarters shouldn’t be too costly. If, however, there aren’t any plumbing facilities yet, budget more. Get a detailed quote from a plumber or hire a builder or other tradesperson to handle the project as required.
If you love nothing better than “Netflix and chilling,” or if you have children or other household members who often like to watch different shows, you could set up your basement as a dedicated media room. These spaces work well for this kind of use since they’re already reasonably dark, and you don’t, therefore, need to worry about adding drapes to keep glare off the screen.
Buy some dedicated cinema chairs with built-in cup holders if you want the ultimate movie-watching zone, then add accessories such as a mini-fridge and popcorn maker. Plus, bring in additional sound bars or other audio gear to give you quality surround-sound.
Do you have a pool, foosball, or ping-pong table that’s taking up too much room in your living area or garage? If so, you could turn your basement into the ultimate gaming room. The space is likely big enough for both a games table as well as arcade games or other pieces you enjoy.
Add some seating and a kitchenette, even, to create the perfect spot for games nights at your house. Alternatively, if you’re a gamer of a different type, your basement may be perfect for playing Fortnight, Dungeons and Dragons, and more. The natural darkness of the basement works well for electronic games, in particular.
For those who want to use their basement more actively, this lower-level can be well-suited as a workout zone. Set up your home gym with a treadmill, stationary bike, rowing machine, stepper, weights, workbench, etc., or add flooring that allows you to utilize the area as a dance studio. You may like to practice yoga or Pilates in your basement or even set it up as a quiet, calming place to meditate and de-stress.
These are just a few ideas to consider. Alternatives include turning your basement into a library, art and craft studio, wine cellar, party space, music practice zone, or recording or photography studio. No matter which path you choose to go down, though, you’re sure to soon obtain a whole lot more mileage out of your currently underused below-ground square footage.
Like what you see? Get it first with a subscription to ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME Magazine.