Basement Makeovers

Is it time to give your basement a new look? Because many underground living spaces suffer from the same problems, such as low ceilings and small windows, you’ll find that lots of homeowners and designers have already hit on some great solutions for making the most of these downstairs spaces. A well-executed basement makeover can provide your family with extra living space, and may even save you the time, money, and hassle of moving to a larger home. Before embarking on an extreme basement makeover, however, think carefully about how the project could best benefit your family. Do you need space for a special hobby? Do you want to showcase a favorite collection? Do you need a home office, or would a place for teenagers make more sense? Think about resources you already have in the house. For example, do you have mismatched furniture you could repurpose to save money in the basement? The right furniture is important; smart furniture placement can help create multiple work/living spaces in one large area. To find ideas and inspiration for your own basement renovation, check out these 10 basement makeovers and take note of what makes each one work. By Sarita Harbour Expanded View >basement makeovers 1After: Boost Your Basement Running out of space in your home? Look down under. These homeowners found fresh square footage in their home by remodeling their basement into a budget-friendly, space-savvy hangout. An orange, green, and blue color scheme adds a bright look to the basement, while the combination of custom storage solutions with big-box finds creates a space that serves many needs.basement makeovers 2For those of you wondering about the usual basement details, the house was built in the 1980s, so the unfinished basement ceilings are nice and high, about 8½ feet. An exit door meet safety codes, and a bathroom, gym and sauna are elsewhere in the basement.basement makeovers 3Sean and Cara’s new house is starting to feel like home, but it has one big space that needs some major work: a boring, outdated and decidedly purple basement their daughters use as a playroom. They want to move the kids’ toys elsewhere and turn this eyesore of a basement into a contemporary lounge stylish enough for entertaining guests.basement makeovers 4Running out of space in your home? Look down under. These homeowners found fresh square footage in their home by remodeling their basement into a budget-friendly, space-savvy hangout. An orange, green, and blue color scheme adds a bright look to the basement, while the combination of custom storage solutions with big-box finds creates a space that serves many needs.basement makeovers 5Since this basement is not entirely underground – it includes a walk-out entrance on one side — new egress windows bring natural light into the basement. A simple Roman shade in fun fabric softens the space and brings all the colors of the room together. Egress windows provide an emergency exit; most building codes require one in every bedroom and in habitable basements. Adding one will likely increase the value of a home, as it provides safety, natural light, and increased airflow.basement makeovers 6Storage is key in a multipurpose space. There are several storage units throughout this basement. An IKEA cubby bookcase is a perfect fit for the office niche. Orange baskets corral small items and add spots of color to the basement’s storage solutions. Stock cabinetry did not fit in the bar or media spaces, so the homeowners opted for costly, custom cabinets. Experiment with different types of storage units in your home to utilize every possible space.basement makeovers 7Light Show Since this basement is not entirely underground – it includes a walk-out entrance on one side — new egress windows bring natural light into the basement. A simple Roman shade in fun fabric softens the space and brings all the colors of the room together. Egress windows provide an emergency exit; most building codes require one in every bedroom and in habitable basements. Adding one will likely increase the value of a home, as it provides safety, natural light, and increased airflow.basement makeovers 8Storage Solutions Storage is key in a multipurpose space. There are several storage units throughout this basement. An IKEA cubby bookcase is a perfect fit for the office niche. Orange baskets corral small items and add spots of color to the basement’s storage solutions. Stock cabinetry did not fit in the bar or media spaces, so the homeowners opted for costly, custom cabinets. Experiment with different types of storage units in your home to utilize every possible space.basement makeovers 9This space is actually a converted garage, but it’s not difficult to imagine it as a basement. This space, too, follows our formula for a comfortable basement living space. Left mostly unfinished, the concrete block walls and the floors are painted, and there is a focal point around the TV.basement makeovers 10Choose a theme. Themes can often come across as too heavy-handed in main living areas, but a basement can be a great place to let your imagination go wild. This beach-loving basement in Boston has a variety of nautical-themed elements, such as a lifesaver-inspired pillow and photos of sailor knots.basement makeovers 11Gross eh? The worst was that although the exterior of the basement’s foundation was equipped with drains and graded to reduce water flow, we still had a bit of moisture seepage through those porous unsealed cinder block walls every time we got a good amount of rain. It wasn’t as if the room flooded by any means, but it was damp and nasty because water slowly oozed through the walls and pooled on the floors (so we couldn’t store a thing in there for fear of moisture damage and even worse… mildew). Yup, we had some of that too. So the first step was to effectively kill the mildew with a part-water-part-bleach solution and then Drylok the cinder block walls and concrete floors (with two thick coats of the tan-tinted oil-based formula) to cure the basement of all its moisture-related shortcomings. And since Drylok is seriously nasty stuff, don’t forget to break out the gas mask! Click here for more detials about this stage of the project.basement makeovers 12Yay for no more jail cell! The basement looks great, and I love the color scheme you went with, that already works with the Drylok color. I love how you can make a basement, that’s used for storage, look chic and stylish. A+ youngsters!basement makeovers 13What a great job and on a budget too! We have a full size basement, app. 2400 sq. ft. We finished all but the garage area into liveable space several years ago. We have an exercise room, an office, a full bathroom and a den or library room. We also have what I call my husbands ‘golf room’. When we built the house we made the basement very deep and the celing is not finished in that room so my husband can take a full backswing into a large net. He keeps all of his sets of golf clubs and practice paraphanalia in that one room so the rest of the space is (mostly) organized and ‘stuff’ free.basement makeovers 14When Blanca and Cody moved into their Seattle rental house, they instantly saw potential in their “crumbly” basement (shown above in the glorious “after” state). They first painted the entire space white to brighten the basement. They switched out an old, run-down sink with a counter and sink they salvaged from a reuse store. They invested in a stacking washer and dryer to leave more space for lounging.basement makeovers 154 Of 4 Basement: AfterAn affordable bookcase corrals toys and tomes. For artwork on the cheap, digital pics of daughter Mia were framed and placed throughout the basement. A bright matte paint was used to brighten the space and disguise imperfections, while a bold patterned rug warms the room. Michel Arnaudbasement makeovers 16Popular HGTV designer Candice Olson proves once again that she can transform any space into a comfortable and functional family area. The island behind the sectional divides this basement into two separate spaces, one for living and one for craft projects. In a smart touch, the TV can be viewed from both areas.basement makeovers 17This walk-out basement belongs to a family that has four kids who love to hang out. The long, narrow space is divided into three distinct areas: one for Ping-Pong, one for TV viewing and lounging, and—at the far end of the room—a laptop bar for homework and computer games. Any wonder that the kids like to hang out here?basement makeovers 18This charming basement makeover from Dixie Delights was featured on Remodelaholic for good reason. Not only is it the perfect-size game room, but its space-saving built-in banquette also provides cozy, comfortable seating. Floor-length drapes give the room added height, while a chandelier fills the space with both direct and ambient light.basement makeovers 19There’s no reason why underground living can’t be as sophisticated as living at—or above—ground level. This basement makeover pulls out all the stops with its comfortable seating arrangement, towering floor lamps, and colorful art and accents. The neutral-hued rug does its part to define the space.

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