The basement is the most neglected room in every household. Whereas the kitchen, the living room, and the bedroom get regularly cleaned and given makeovers, the basement sits in darkness, collecting dust and cobwebs.
There is an important reason for that. Basements are not intended to be inhabited. It is often relegated as a storage space for things that the homeowner does not need but, for some reason, cannot get rid of.
Well, it might be time to change that. Turn your basement into an extra room where you or a member of your family can sleep, play, learn, or work in peace.
The problem is, the basement is cold and dark. How do you turn it into a comfortable and cozy space?
When doing a basement finishing project, here are some things that you can do to brighten up and warm up the space.
Choose Color Wisely
Color can completely change the way a room looks. It has the capacity to make a room look dimmer or brighter and wider or smaller.
So, while a dark blue or deep green may be trendy right now, it may not be the best color for your basement. Maybe you can add key pieces in your favorite color to the final design of the room, but it certainly should not be what you use on your walls.
A light yellow will bring sunshine into every corner of the space. A creamy tan, meanwhile, is a color that will never go out of style. On the other hand, a crisp pure white might make the space look like a hospital room, especially with the lack of natural lighting, so it might be better to pick an off-white that still makes the room brighter.
It might be a good idea to use one paint color on the walls and on the ceiling to make the basement appear roomy.
You probably had a single, naked, fluorescent light bulb hanging in your basement. That obviously will not be enough.
You would need multiple lighting fixtures to compensate for the limited amount of sunlight your basement receives. Instead of a single bright over-the-head lighting, layer it. You would need accent, ambient, and task lights in the space to remove any scary shadows in every corner.
Use recessed lighting on the ceiling so you would not be taking away headroom, You would not want to be ducking under or bumping your head on a chandelier all the time.
You can install track lights on the walls for additional brightness or to illuminate an odd corner.
Of course, you would want to add a lamp, whether table or standing, in specific areas of the space where you would need more light (bedside, desk, reading nook).
Cover the Floor
Concrete, which most basements have on the floor, will grow cold. You can throw a carpet in high-traffic areas and call it a day. However, once you step off of the uncovered portions of the floor, your feet will still feel the chill.
Then, there is the issue of dampness. Basements that are bellow ground level are prone to moisture which might ruin your furniture.
There are plenty of waterproof coverings out there, but a permanent solution is worth the investment. Laminate or engineered wood flooring will cut the cold that the basement gets from the ground. However, stay away from hardwood; it tends to warp when exposed to moisture.
You would need to install a heating, ventilation, air conditioning in the basement as well as more power outlets for your lighting and electronics. It may not be possible to do everything on your own. Call a professional and let them handle the job.