You’ve just moved into a new place with a basement, or maybe you’ve been there for a while and have used it only for storage and as a place to enter in case of a hurricane or tornado. If so, you’re missing out! Once you get your clutter into a storage unit, your basement can add so much to a home depending on how you use it. Here are 11 ideas to consider.
With today’s wide screen televisions and projectors, one of the most enjoyable uses for a basement is converting it into a media room. You’ll either have a television on one wall, or a projector for that wall, plus comfortable seats, a gaming console or two, a shelf of movies and games, and maybe a refrigerator with snacks. At the end of a busy day or over the weekend, the family can go down to the basement to watch a movie or play games together. To add to the feeling of an authentic movie theater, consider getting a popcorn machine!
This is closely related to the media room, but different enough to deserve its own entry. A game room can include a large TV with gaming consoles where you, your family, and friends can play and watch movies. However, that won’t take up the entire room. Perhaps you also enjoy board games or tabletop RPGs. You can set up a large table with comfortable chairs and have a shelf with all your games organized on it. If you enjoy ping-pong or pool, you could include tables for those. Include a refrigerator like in the media room for snacks, and you’re set for hours of fun.
More and more people today work from home. Some telecommute, some freelance, and some even run their own businesses from home. A home office can be more than just a desk and computer. It can be where you go to focus on work. So, your home office should include that desk and computer (or computers, depending on what you need), cases of work-related books, and whatever else you need to do your job. You may also designate a section for breaks, perhaps having a couch and ottoman so you can relax.
Do you create art for fun, school, or as your job? Then consider turning your basement into an art studio. You can have a section for your paper, canvases, pencils, paints, and other supplies. You’ll also have plenty of room to set up lighting how you want it when depicting people, still lifes, and more. Include shelves for your art books, and get plumbing and a sink installed where you can wash your hands and brushes.
Band Practice Studio
While some bands practice in garages, the major problem there is the noise. Bands tend to be loud and not everyone on the block wants to hear them practice. A soundproofed basement can cut down on the noise and create a pure acoustic space for the musicians. You can set up the instruments as you like, too. If your band has a drummer with a drum kit, he or she can leave it there. You can also add recording equipment for demos.
If you’re the kind of person who works out regularly but you want your own space to do it in, you can turn your basement into a personal gym, and arrange your machines however you like. Keep in mind though that the equipment must somehow fit down the stairs, so you may need to assemble it in the basement. You may consider adding a refrigerator for electrolyte drinks or a sink for water, and wall mirrors as well.
Do you have a large collection of, say, Legos, or sports memorabilia? Make your basement a place where you can store, display, and enjoy them. A Lego room, for example, could have shelves of Legos organized by size, color, or specific set, plus tables for building. A room displaying your sports items could be a great place to relax with friends and watch games.
This is a bit like a collection room in that you can store your home brewed beer and ale, and perhaps have a section for wine. Home brewing has become popular, and you can take classes on the subject and get brewing kits. In a basement brewery, you can store your own brews and host fun parties.
If you love books and want to get the rest of your family in on reading as well, consider turning your basement into a family library. You can have well-organized bookcases along the walls, a table for writing longhand or doing homework, and comfortable chairs for reading. You might even get a bibliochaise, a chair that doubles as a bookcase. Price tag too high? Consider building your own! Include an area to charge your family’s tablets as well, so they can read their ebooks. Don’t forget good lighting for reading!
What makes a family room for you? Perhaps it’s the media room or game room as described above. Perhaps it also has an office area. Essentially, it’s a place where anyone in the family can relax and do what he or she enjoys, including reading, playing games, or watching TV. Yes, some homes do have two family rooms, and with a basement, so can yours.
Turn your basement into a suite for a member of your family! This is great for the eldest child who has more responsibility and deserves a sense of greater independence. It can include a large combined bedroom and living room, a small kitchen, and a bathroom. When getting it designed, let the family member who will live in it share input for what he or she would like.
Depending on how your basement is set up, it may or may not need a basement professional to alter it. This can include new wiring, plumbing, and climate control (AC and heating), new walls, lighting, and more. If it does need some building work, find a licensed basement professional. Compare companies. Consider their reviews, time worked, and pricing, to find what will work best for you.
You will want climate control there. Basements tend to get more humid than the rest of a house. They also tend to be cooler.
If the basement has an open-beam ceiling, don’t add a lower, artificial ceiling. This will only serve to make the basement seem smaller and less comfortable for most.
Any of these ideas could be an amazing addition to your home, and even increase your home’s value. They can certainly make it a more enjoyable place for you, your family, and your guests.