Create Coziness with Color
Painting is an easy way to infuse a basement bedroom with cozy character. Chocolate-brown walls wrap this walkout basement with inviting warmth. A sisal rug and light brown ceiling mirror each other in tone and hue, and the white crown molding and baseboard add crisp accents.
This rich, dark scheme is successful because French doors admit plenty of natural light. In a basement with only an egress window, you might want to include sconces or additional table lamps to keep the room from feeling too dark.
Plan Ahead for Headroom
This guest bedroom, located in the walkout basement of a new house, has a spacious look thanks to 10-foot-high poured-concrete basement walls.
The cost of digging a foundation to accommodate a 9- or 10-foot ceiling is nominal. Even if you don't finish the basement, future owners will appreciate the extra headroom. While you're at it, install French doors or egress windows instead of the standard basement windows.
Insulate Overhead to Muffle Sound
Ceilings and floors need special attention in basement bedrooms. To minimize the sound of footsteps overhead, install fiberglass insulation between the ceiling joists, then finish the ceiling. Here, white-painted paneling makes an attractive country-style finish.
A fully insulated floor may not be necessary, but cover the concrete with carpeting to increase the room's comfort quotient. Use a rubber pad; foam pads may deteriorate with prolonged exposure to humidity.
Create Cottage Style in a Walkout Basement
Located in a walk-out basement, this lower-level bedroom lines up three twin beds to accommodate overnight guests at a lakeside cottage. The patio satisfies egress requirements and makes the bedroom bright with natural light.
Three mismatched iron beds painted white set the stage for cottage style. Soft yellow walls and a pale blue ceiling echoed the antique quilts that dress the beds. A ceiling fan promotes air circulation for comfort.
Provide Convenient Storage
A surround of cabinetry provides plenty of storage for guests in this cozy suite. Windows above the cabinets and the mirror above the headboard help the small space appear larger and brighter. The adjacent bath offers privacy and convenience.
Warm a Basement with Color
Basements are naturally cool, so to take the chill off a bedroom space, paint the walls corn silk yellow. Bedding and an armoire in yellow-green reinforce the warming effect. The armoire provides valuable storage space for blankets and bedding. Keep some shelves clear for guests to stash their belongings.
Carpet the Floor for Comfort
Shag carpet with a thick padding warms laminate floors in this walkout basement bedroom. A platform bed with a firm mattress is an economical yet comfortable alternative to standard beds with box springs.
Long-term guests appreciate the thoughtful amenities here. Bedside tables hold reading material and task lighting. Simple storage allows guests to stow belongings and stay organized.
Furnish for an Inviting Environment
To make sure a basement bedroom doesn't feel like an afterthought (or the holding area for castoffs from the rest of the house) choose the furnishings as carefully as you would for upstairs rooms. Welcoming decor--including beautiful bedding, artwork, and ample lighting--creates an inviting environment in this lower-level bedroom.
Create a Teen Suite
A finished basement can be the perfect spot to provide privacy for teens who want independence and a space to call their own. The bedroom area of this basement teen suite boasts color and contemporary style, but it's classic enough to easily transition to a guest suite. A sliding-glass partition separates the bedroom from an adjoining sitting area.
Safety is paramount in the basement if people are living there long-term. Code requirements include at least one window or door that can serve as an emergency exit. Also include a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in the bedroom.
Plan for an Emergency Exit
French doors allowing ample sunlight and access to outdoor spaces prevent a basement bedroom from feeling dark and damp. In fact, building codes require that basement bedrooms have direct access to the outdoors in case of fire or other emergency. If your basement is not a walkout, you'll need to add a window or door that opens from the inside and has an unobstructed opening of at least 5 square feet.
Maximize Light with Mirrors
A bedroom in a walk-out basement has more light than in a standard below-grade basement, but direct light may still be limited by overhanging decks or upper floors of the house.
At this lakeside house, the lower-level bedroom connects to an enclosed sunroom. To make the most of the natural light that filters through, a large mirror is propped on the wall opposite the bed (the bed's reflection is pictured).
Basement Bedroom for an Adult Child
Outfitting a basement bedroom for an adult child returning home will naturally include his or her furniture, but it may require additional wiring to support a computer, too. If your remodeling project includes a niche for a desk, add a recessed light overhead to banish shadows in the corner.
Opt for Twin Beds
An operable window that looks out into a window well satisfies the need for an emergency exit in this basement bedroom. Twin beds offer flexibility for the guest suite. You only need an area about 10x15 feet to create a guest bedroom large enough for twin beds.
Choose Moisture-Resistant Flooring
Engineered wood, made with a hardwood veneer glued to one or two layers of softwood, is a good option for basements because it shrinks and expands less than solid wood flooring. Engineered wood can be installed over many kinds of substrates and resists moisture and spills.
Laminates are another option for achieving a wood look in a basement bedroom. They're durable, moisture- and stain-resistant, and can be installed over a variety of substrates.
Tuck in a Twin Bed
Modeled on the old sleeping cupboards found in Scandinavian farmhouses, this tucked-away twin bed creates a cozy sleeping spot in the basement. The boxed-in twin mattress is mounted to the wall on top of side-by-side chests. The interior is fitted with a wall-mounted reading lamp and a skinny wall shelf to hold books and a clock radio. Curtains hung from a closet rod can be drawn for privacy.
Add Faux Sunshine
Fluorescent tubes mounted behind a wall of shutters bathe this basement bedroom in soft, natural-looking light. The shutters introduce textural interest and provide a backdrop for artwork.
Basement Master-Suite Retreat
A walk-out basement can be ideal for the master bedroom because it's cool in the summer. A private patio outside the sliding glass doors turns the suite into a retreat.
Slate tile is a good moisture-resistant choice for basement floors, but it must be properly sealed and can be chilly in winter. To compensate for its natural coolness, install a radiant heat system under the floor and layer area rugs over the main traffic paths.
Buy Dual-Purpose Furniture
The first step in any basement project is to determine how you want to use the space. If a lower-level family room is a priority and a guest suite is secondary, include a comfortable hide-a-bed in the family room furnishings.
Pull the bed out when company comes, and your lower-level family room doubles as a guest room. Matching floor lamps cast overlapping circles of light on the bed, providing plenty of light for reading.
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