Dreary basements are a thing of the past. Tour these sun-filled and functional living spaces to find inspiration for your own basement.
A renovation takes this basement from lowly to lovely. A single door and plate glass windows were replaced with French doors and double-hung windows, which allowed more light to enter and gave the space better views of the backyard. Removing dropped-ceiling panels also helped to open up the space, giving this basement family room an airy feel.
Across from the sitting area, a home office was constructed using inexpensive IKEA pieces and a painted wood countertop. A 4-inch concrete slab was poured over the existing floor and a stained finish was used to match the wood floors on the main level. A gas fireplace replaces an old woodstove and the existing brick was made light and bright after being covered with plaster and white paint.
Visitors can find comfort and refuge in this basement thanks to an added guest suite just off the family room. Two closets offer an unexpected amount of storage in this small space and create a cozy alcove for the bed. A high ledge acts as a headboard and display area, and two space-saving wall scones light the nook. The bed faces French doors that, like the family room, take in backyard views.
A small bathroom with a full shower is another convenient addition to this basement. The old barnwood that serves as the bathroom counter was an inexpensive purchase at a salvage yard. This and other salvaged pieces add character and help connect the lower level to the rest of the house.
This basement was nothing more than a dumping ground for holiday decorations and too-small clothing until the family realized its hidden potential. To open the basement to the outdoors and create a walkout, they excavated 5 feet out of the backyard. A set of double doors and windows, with the same details that match the rest of the home, were installed and allow light to fill the space.
An open floor gives the lower level an airy feel as well as plenty of room to hang out. A wood-burning stove creates cozy ambience in the sitting area while colorful storage cubbies add a cheerful touch.
In every basement, it's important to select flooring that stays dry and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This basement has a yellow birch floor. It's an easy-to-install engineered wood product, which means the flooring is made from several plywood substrates finished with a handsome birch veneer. A rubber floor, similar to those found in gymnasiums, protects the workout area. Beaded board covers the walls.
The basement can be the perfect place for hobby and craft rooms. Here, a family's love for scrapbooking, model shipbuilding, and togetherness came together in one space. An extra-long counter allows enough space for two people to work. Cabinets constructed using stock drawers provide plenty of storage. Wicker baskets filled with supplies fit right inside a set of open shelves.
A boring basement can be transformed into the heart of a home. This family room borrows period details, such as the beaded-board wainscoting and chair-rail moldings, from other parts of the home creating a seamless transition between the upper and lower level. A grid of ceiling beams adds texture, conceals plumbing, and draws the eye toward the brick hearth. A built-in entertainment center stretches across one-wall, hiding a structural post that wasn't removed.
A custom beverage center combines the aged look of a found antique with the modern-day function of a full-service wine cooler and refrigerator. Add in the comfy sofas and this basement became the main gathering place for the family.
A basement can still shine without a major renovation. To give this basement a finished look without breaking the bank, the homeowner installed wood wainscoting and trim to hide the radiator piping, electrical wiring, and ductwork. Reproduction furniture, oak fireplace surround and light fixtures reinforce a Craftsman theme seen throughout the space.
A wet bar adds extra convenience and utility to this lower-level living space. Oak cabinetry conceals appliances and granite countertops provide an upscale look.
The basement's archway theme carries over in the bar cabinetry. A 1960s-era soda fountain, left behind from a previous owner's remodeling, was restored, giving the homeowners sweet space for entertaining.