Browse Top Living Rooms

Decorate your living room using ideas from our favorite spaces. Browse photos of living rooms to discover new decor ideas, fresh color schemes, and smart furniture arrangements. Then start creating a living room that suits your needs, whether you want a calming space to relax, a room to have fun with family, a well-appointed space for entertaining, or a space that serves a combination of activities. From the grandest living rooms to the most intimate family rooms, you'll find looks in every decorating style: traditional and classic, modern and fun, cottage and sweet, plus ideas for Tuscan, country French, and eclectic living rooms. Discover ways to bring color into your living room, and find rooms and color schemes starring your favorite colors, including green, blue, red, and beyond. Plus, get ideas on how to pull a room together and how to choose furniture, colors, accessories, window treatments, and flooring that will come together to create a beautiful room that you'll love to spend time in. Living room decorating is easy when you draw inspiration from our favorite spaces.

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From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Top Kitchen & Bath Redos

You voted. We listened. We've gathered your most-loved kitchen and bath makeovers from Facebook and Pinterest for some serious before-and-after inspiration.

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Small Room Ideas

It's time to embrace your small spaces. You'll be surprised by how much style and function you can pack in with these dos and don'ts.

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Vintage Kitchen Ideas

Whether inspired by a 1940s diner or an old-world scullery, vintage kitchens offer charm and contemporary convenience. See how these designs reference the past while beautifully accommodating modern needs.

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Great Room Arranging

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Quick Bedroom Updates

Give your bedroom a decorating boost this weekend with one (or all!) of these five do-it-yourself projects.

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Popular in Rooms

10 Basement Remodeling Tips

Enhance the value of your home and increase your living space by finishing or remodeling your basement.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • 1. Make a Family Room or Rec Room

      Basements are ideal for casual social activities for the whole family, or just for the kids. It's the perfect spot for the big screen TV, pool table, and to stash board games and craft supplies.

      Make this space inviting by finishing and decorating it like any upstairs room. Choose comfortable furnishings that can be easily rearranged to accommodate a few people or a crowd. Incorporate sound systems, internet connections, and good lighting to make the space functional.

      For more family room ideas and rec room designs, see:

    • 2. Include a Bedroom and Bath

      A basement bedroom and full or half bath makes an ideal suite for guests or teens.

      Think about who will sleep in the basement and the amenities they'll need to help you determine the best dimensions. To comfortably fit a double bed, you'll need a room with a minimum of 125 square feet. If twin beds will serve your needs better, plan on at least 150 square feet.

      Building codes also require that basement bedrooms have an emergency exit that leads directly outside, either through a door or a window.

      For ways to create comfortable basement bedrooms and baths, see:

    • 3. Add a Kitchen or Laundry Room

      A wet bar or mini kitchen in the basement makes entertaining much easier. The inclusion of a mini kitchen makes a basement with a bed and bath into an entire guest suite.

      A kitchen requires access to hot and cold water, as well as electrical outlets for an undercounter refrigerator, a microwave oven, small countertop appliances, and possibly a small dishwasher or dishwasher drawer.

      A laundry room is a good idea in the basement, but it needs a floor drain and access to an outside wall to vent the dryer.

      For more inspiration on designing basement kitchens and laundry rooms, see:

    • 4. Design an Attractive and Safe Staircase

      You already have stairs to the basement, but when you're remodeling, make sure they meet code and look good. If they're not in a convenient location, consider moving them to a better spot.

      Codes vary with staircase configurations and baluster shape, so you'll need to talk to the building inspector about your plans. It's also a good idea to consult an architect or other design professional for help in designing a staircase that works well with your other plans for the space.

      For ideas on staircase design and finishing, see:

    • 5. Plan for Windows and Doors

      Adding or enlarging basement windows and adding exterior doors are jobs for a professional, but the resulting natural light and ventilation will significantly increase your enjoyment of this living space.

      To add belowground windows you'll need to dig a window well. The retaining wall for the well may be made of masonry, limestone blocks, or treated landscape timbers, as in this window well. The terraced timbers serve as pot garden perches as well as steps for an emergency exit.

      For ideas on adding basement windows and using interior and exterior doors, see:

    • 6. Finish the Walls for Inviting Ambience

      Foundation walls are usually made of poured concrete or stacked concrete block, materials that reinforce the feeling of the basement as a secondary space. To give the basement main-floor style, cover the concrete with your choice of materials: drywall, plywood, paneling, or paint over the concrete.

      The walls in this basement living area are covered with sheets of maple-veneer plywood with stained poplar boards covering the seams to create an Arts and Crafts look.

      For ideas to transform the walls in your basement, see:

    • 7. Finish Basement Ceilings

      You have three basic options for finishing basement ceilings. Conceal the joists, pipes, and ductwork with drywall or paneling, hide everything with a suspended or drop ceiling, or leave everything exposed and paint it with a sprayer.

      Drywall brings the polish of main-level rooms to the basement. Here, decorative ceiling beams add depth and architectural interest to the painted drywall ceiling.

      For more ideas on finishing your basement ceiling, see:

    • 8. Choose Comfortable, Practical Flooring

      Unless you install a plywood subfloor, your basement floor is likely to be a concrete slab. Fortunately, concrete accepts most common flooring choices, from paint to vinyl, laminate, tile, and carpet.

      Most solid wood flooring is not recommended for below-grade installations, however, because it shrinks and expands, resulting in gaps or warping. Engineered wood is a good alternative because it shrinks and expands a little less.

      For more recommended basement floor options, see:

    • 9. Banish Gloom with Good Lighting

      A good lighting plan is key to making your basement an inviting gathering spot. Recessed cans like these create overall illumination as well as task and accent lighting for the bookshelves and artwork.

      In addition to recessed lights, consider track lights and pendants to eliminate shadows on surfaces where you'll be working, playing, or reading. Use table lamps and floor lamps to banish shadows in corners and provide task lighting beside chairs and sofas.

      For ideas on lighting your basement effectively, see:

    • 10 of 11

      10. Build in Storage

      The basement is often a catchall storage space for everything from garden equipment to out-of-season clothes, holiday decorations, and memorabilia. As you remodel to make the most of your basement's square footage, plan for attractive, well-designed storage, too.

      Here, the area under the stairs goes to work with two little closets scaled to fit the space. Baskets on shelves organize DVDs, gift wrap, and holiday dinnerware. Doors with divided-light windows add architectural style and force the homeowners to keep things organized inside the closets.

      For more ideas on building in basement storage, see:

    • 11 of 11
      Next Slideshow Basement Lighting Ideas

      Basement Lighting Ideas

      Create a well-lit basement using track lighting, recessed lighting, and other lighting fixtures.
      Begin Slideshow »



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