From Drab to Delightful—Basement Before and After Makeover

Cain basement overall
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Before: Forgotten Square Footage

Basement Before

This basement was 700 square feet of space going unused and unnoticed. The homeowners decided to remodel their blah basement into a bright living space complete with a bar, laundry room, bedroom, office, and family room.

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After: Boost Your Basement

Cain basement - stairs

These homeowners expanded the usable square footage of their home into their basement. They created a budget-friendly, space-savvy hangout. An orange, green, and blue color scheme adds a bright look to the basement. At the same time, combining custom storage solutions with big-box finds creates a space that serves many needs.

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Make a Plan

Floor Plan

Basement floor plans can often be a puzzle of spaces controlled by the structural supports and beams. Transform these architectural restrictions into an advantage by forming distinct areas for work and play.

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Exposed Basement Ceiling

Painted ceiling and floor

This before and after basement remodel is as chic as it is useful. Leaving the ceiling exposed is a budget-savvy design decision with stylish results. Instead of installing a drywall ceiling, the basement embraces its industrial feel thanks to coats of blue-gray paint.

Budget Tip: If you do choose a drywall ceiling, make sure to do your research. This costly venture can often make electrical and plumbing fixtures inaccessible when repairs are necessary.

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Shared Basement Bedroom

Bedroom nook with curtain panels

To create a sleeping space, twin bunk beds are positioned between two steel support posts. Colorful curtain panels suspended from pipes create a partition and add personality to the cozy space. Circular area rugs add spots of color to the floor.

Editor's Tip: Area rugs are a less expensive alternative to wall-to-wall carpeting. They bring an element of fun to the floor by allowing for quick changes for a new season or a different color scheme.

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Adding Natural Lighting

Window treatment

Since this basement is not entirely underground—it includes a walk-out entrance on one side—new egress windows bring natural light into the basement. A simple Roman shade in fun fabric softens the space and pulls the room's colors together. Egress windows provide an emergency exit; most building codes require one in every bedroom and in habitable basements. Adding one will likely increase the value of a home, as it provides safety, natural light, and increased airflow.

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Creating a Basement Bar

Beverage bar

With plumbing already running to the laundry room, the same stretch of wall was chosen for the bar's location. A partial wall separates the two spaces. If you have money left in your budget, splurge on a beverage refrigerator to keep chilled drinks on hand for company.

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Stacked Washer and Drier

Laundry area separated from beverage bar with wall partition

To consolidate space, choose a stackable washer and dryer duo. If appliances begin to eat up your budget, balance them with bargain buys. Here, the utility sink is a budget buy from IKEA.

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Basement Storage Solutions

Basement Storage Unit

Storage is key in a multipurpose space, and these homeowners added several storage units throughout this basement. An IKEA cubby bookcase is a perfect fit for the office niche. Orange baskets corral small items and add spots of color to the basement's storage solutions. Stock cabinetry did not fit in the bar or media spaces, so the homeowners opted for costly, custom cabinets. Experiment with different storage units in your home to utilize every possible area.

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Drywall Treatment

Basement walls with blue exposed ceiling

After cutting costs by DIY painting the ceiling and floors, the homeowners treated their walls to drywall. The walls added a finished look to the living room area of the basement. A television, plush sofa, and chairs turned this area into a family hangout.

The labor and materials expense to frame the walls were more than expected, but it gave them the finished look they desired. Also, it allowed them to put in insulation, which helps them save money by decreasing their utility bill.

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Enhance Your Basement Decor

Office area with accent decorations

Spruce up the space by adding color, pattern, and soft accents such as pillows and artwork. Enhance color and light with lamps and fabric-covered pendant lights. Decorative touches turn a basement from a dreary cave to a guest-ready room.

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Keep Your Basement Dry

Cain basement overall

Basements are notorious for developing moisture problems, especially during warm, humid weather. Invest in a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels in check. Also, make sure your flooring and ceiling choices can withstand the basement's environment.

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