Basement Conversions

If it feels like your home is bursting at the seams, renovating your basement to include a bedroom, bathroom, or kitchenette might be the solution to finding more space without building an addition.

Let There Be Light

Renovating a basement to include a kitchen allows you to move entertaining downstairs. This walkout makes use of the natural light available, but installing light-tone and glass-front cabinets is a good trick for brightening a windowless basement, too.

Graphic Solution

Got a finished basement in need of an update? Try painting over the wood paneling. Here, large blocks of wall were taped off, then painted complementary colors.

Make It Interesting

Since most unfinished basements are just a box beneath the home, think of adding architectural elements when remodeling, such as the built-in wall niche and angled ceiling shown here.

Don't Forget Storage

Remodeling your basement means losing some storage space, so make sure you include built-ins wherever possible to accommodate the items you still need to store out of the way. Here, dual built-ins "frame" the bed and have niches in the side to serve as bedside tables.

Ideal Situation

Think functionality for any type of lower-level entertaining space. Will you serve family dinners in the basement or just a few drinks to friends? Do you only need a refrigerator to hold beer during the football game or is a full bar more your style? Whatever you decide, renovate your space accordingly, making sure everything you need (including stemware, snack bowls, and wine) is right at your fingertips.

Embrace the Dark Side

Use the lack of natural light in your basement to your advantage by creating a dramatic space with modern wood paneling and stone.

Light Direction

Plan to add several new light fixtures to your renovated basement to combat darkness in the space. Recessed lighting unobtrusively shines on work areas and pendent lamps provide more direct illumination.

Make It Real

Don't forget the luxuries when remodeling a formally gloomy space such as a basement. Hardwood floors, molding, and unusual elements (like the shuttered wall shown here) all help to make the basement feel more like home and less like an afterthought.

Choose Your Style

If you decorate your home all in one style, why not try something different in your soon-to-be-renovated space? Here, a steel pole supporting the display case and brushed nickel hardware create a contemporary, streamlined style.

Something New

An open shower may not be practical in a high-traffic main level, but here, in the more secluded basement bathroom, you can take risks. The stone used in the divider wall and shower stall adds sophistication.


A walkout basement yields plenty of opportunities for creating a space you wouldn't know was once underground. Here, contemporary design is used to match the lack of architectural elements in the space. Artwork and a built-in display shelf are striking enough on their own.

Minor Addition

In another walkout basement, French doors take full advantage of the natural light and outdoor view. An outdoor room extension seems a proper use of the space.

Room for All

Use the open space in an unfinished basement to carve out the kitchen floor plan you don't have room for on the main level. Add lots of cabinets, built-in storage hutches, and possibly even a pantry if you have the space.

Use Every Corner

A counter backed against a staircase wisely uses what could have been dead wall space. Before installing a counter, ask yourself if you'll need a small refrigerator, a dishwasher, or just a place to store extra dishes. Let your answers guide the type of counter you install.

A Suitable Welcome

Placing the guest room in the basement is a win-win situation. Nobody gets bumped from their bedroom, and guests are far enough away from the main level that they don't feel like intruders. Plus, you gain the convenience of an extra bathroom.

Easy Access

Cabinets devoted to holding stemware save you from storing the less-used items in the main-level kitchen. Pull-out drawers in the cabinets ensure that every inch of storage space is easily accessed.

Loosen Up

Basements, which are cooler and darker than above-ground rooms, are a natural choice for storing wine. Take advantage of blank wall space and install these angular wine bottle shelves.

Share the gallery

All Topics in Basements

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.