A couple of months ago when purchasing a condo, one of the beautiful features that came with it was a huge basement. But as some basements go, this one is not finished. I live alone which means I probably don’t need the extra room but that doesn’t stop me from letting my mind wander about the exciting designs that could be done with a basement as large as my main floor.
With this thought in mind, what else does someone do in this day and age? Comb the internet looking at finished basement ideas. There are many great ideas and many great looks, allowing me to develop a plan that works for me.
Below is a list I found of various design types that seemed to be on most designers’ lists.
• Boho chic
• French country
• Shabby chic
• Transitional interior design
• Mid-Century Modern design
• Industrial interior design
• Eclectic design
• Farmhouse Interior Design
• Mediterranean Interior Design
• Scandinavian Interior Design
• Rustic Style
• Asian Design
• Tropical Interior Design
• Hollywood glam
As with many of us, there is not an unlimited budget. First, research the budget, then figure out the value it will add to the home vs. the project’s total cost.
Before we get into the fun part of the planning, let’s look at that value. According to various sources, a finished basement can increase your property’s value by up to 70%. But Remodeling magazine also warns that you will probably only recoup approximately 79% of the money you put into it. Of course, there are ways to save, small things you can do, that are not bound by code, such as painting the walls, installing flooring and putting up trim or doors, but if your basement is like mine, it needs much more than that, which brings us to the fun part of planning.
Your life is very different than anyone else’s, which means you will need to look at your needs and wants. How will this fit into your life and make your home cozy and comfortable? Here are some of the suggestions that could help you decide. Finished basements can function as a living room/family room, office, and convenient by adding a full or half bath. You could also create a home classroom, bedroom and/or a guest room. It could be a big basement theater room, or a game room. How about a den featuring a large Fireplace? Or we could go upscale a bit and add a wine cellar. How about a modern media room or a modern home Gym? Of course, we will need to make sure that there is multiple storage options. Do you have young kids and need a craft room or a colorful basement playroom? Do you want a place to hide away with a reading nook or maybe, if you have the right set up you could create a full apartment with a kitchenette? If you are like me and really love your bedroom to be cold at night, you could put the main bedroom and bath down there and change the master bedroom upstairs to the guest room or an office.
Let’s break down the some of the suggestions above starting with the basement theater room. What a great way to spend a family night or to have a date night with your significant other. Also a great way to have your kids and their friends in a safe environment. Even knowing you want a theater room, you will still need to choose how to set that up. Some suggestions would be for theater-style seating or a comfortable couch, chair combo. Either of those would allow for a big-screen TV or the full wall screen with the built-in projector.
If you are the neighborhood gathering place for the kids, you may want to consider going with the den/theater/game room combo. This would be a great way to keep the kids happy and engaged and home safe. Ah, but now you have to think about what kind of games to put in it. Some thoughts would be a video gaming room, the pool table, the ping pong table, and/or the old school pinball machines. Letting your children help you make choices, gets them involved, and allows them to feel like they helped create their own playroom. Don’t forget the internet connection.
We should also look at the ‘adult’ options. Let’s start with the wet bar and if you are a wine collector/drinker we can add a wine cellar. I can also visualize the warm fireplace den with the reading nook. And if you ae into fitness, make sure you leave room for that home gym. Me, I am leaning towards the Master bedroom with the full bath, with the second room as an arts and crafts room, and of course a nice size laundry room. Decisions are made and we are done. Well, not really. The decisions may have been made for what rooms to build out but now you are on to the styling.
Here we are back at making choices. And again, you will need to look at what makes you and your family comfortable and will want to make you spend time in these rooms. After all, don’t spend the time and money if it’s not going to be used.
I know plenty of styles will not work for me, allowing me to eliminate more than half of them, but I needed to spend more time researching those that might fit and those styles I don’t know much about. That will allow me to get my choices down to four or five and then down to the one. For me it’s about modern, comfortable, beautiful wood, with a touch of sparkle. I would probably put my design style to be eclectic since I don’t want to stick to just one design. That allows me to have the rooms be modern sparkle, along with a complete wall of reclaimed wood. The craft room, well that’s going to be made up of a lot of storage space, great lighting and a comfortable place for me to find my creative side. Decisions made, now I just need to find a contractor. Oh great. More decisions to be made!