Simple Projects for a Basement Family Room

Learn how you can transform an unfinished basement into a lovely and livable extension of the home.

Colorful Conversion

Handmade details, like the sliding panels and decorative lamps, add a personal touch to this space. Bright colors give the room an airy, non-basement feel and smartly chosen furniture pieces are both functional and decorative.

Clever Panels

If you hate the idea of having a TV as the focal point in a room, consider wall-to-wall sliding panels that hide the set when it's not in use. The six sheer panels are attached to three window-treatment tracks in the ceiling. For the design, large computer-printed letters and numbers were added to the panels. To get the look, draw the shapes onto fusible webbing. Apply to fabric before cutting out the shapes and ironing them onto the panels. Whip stitches secure the shapes in place.

Shapely Shades

To make each of the three pendants that hang from one track, cut shapes from blackout fabric, fuse them to decorative fabric, and attach the lot to an adhesive-back shade liner. Wrap the liner around two metal rings and secure it with yarn stitches. For more flexibility, consider track lighting. Tracks allow you to position the lights where you want them.

Art Idea

This artwork is beautiful and simple to achieve. Convert digital flower images to duotone on the computer and then have a developing center print them onto rigid styrene board for no-frame-needed artwork.

Floor Show

Linoleum planks and tiles in three kicky colors brighten the floor. The planks and tiles are a floating-floor system, clicking and locking during installation with no adhesive necessary.

On a Roll

Designed to match the benches, a pair of end tables on wheels can be moved in and out of the room as needed. These storage-on-wheels pieces are great for hiding toys and books or any other personal items you don't want cluttering the room.

Mod Furniture

If you love entertaining but are unwilling to give up any more floor space than necessary, consider adding a series of space-savvy modular storage benches. Painted in a trio of bold colors and topped with cozy cushions, the units give guests a spot to sit on game night.

Pillow Flair

Pillows are a great accessory to add your own personal touch to. To get this look, fuse fabric letters and shapes onto fabric blocks, and stitch them onto removable pillow covers.

Entry Point

An alcove at the base of the stairs features a simple sideboard topped with travel memorabilia and vacation photos. A suede-like rusty orange paint treatment contrasts with cool blue walls in the neighboring bar area. Easy-to-install cork-look vinyl adds texture and warmth to the floors.

Raised Images

Want an out-of-the-ordinary way to display your favorite photos? Try raising them. Place photos on a mat board and then glue them onto ceiling tiles that look like vintage metal tiles, placing nuts behind some of the images for extra depth.

Open Bar

A commercial-grade worktable sets the tone in this bar area. Create a cheap yet sleek bar by converting a $200 metal piece into a fully functioning bar. Cut holes in the top for the above-counter sink and faucet. To hide the plumbing, we added a metal-looking laminate panel, hanging it from a closet door slider.

Do-It-Yourself Flooring

In the landing and bar area a cork-look vinyl was laid down. This is ideal for a high-traffic area because it is thicker than typical vinyl and comes on a large roll like carpet. First use newspaper to make a template of the space and then trace around it on the vinyl.

Note: This product relaxes and expands after it is installed, so it will require additional trimming to prevent it from bubbling.

Stair Rail

Paying close attention to even the smallest details, this stair rail keeps with the room's contemporary style. To create this look in your own home all you need is metal cable, plain wood posts, and a handrail.

Budget Shelving

Store-bought glass shelves can be a huge budget-buster. For a similar (and cheaper look) consider purchasing metal brackets and have glass cut to fit. Approximate total cost: $70.

Stone Path

The runway of tumbled stone behind the sink is a table runner! Draw lines on the wall where the runner will hang and then use grout to attach it. Hold it in place for a few minutes while the grout sets. In just seconds, the deceptively simple project is complete.

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