What comes to your mind when you think of a finished basement? Is it a dark, dungeon-like room covered in brown wood paneling with tiny windows? Or is it a bright, comfortable and well-designed space that your family loves to hang out in? Today's finished basements are going beyond the traditional gloomy, out the way areas of the past and becoming a central part of your living space.
Much like common main level floor plans, the finished basement of today is generally designed to be open. If your laundry or workshop is downstairs it can be partitioned off into a room of its own. But the balance of your space should be free of walls and small rooms.
Use handy furniture to create different areas. A wide computer desk with shelving and a built in hutch can form an office in one corner while comfy couches and a recliner make the perfect spot for relaxation in the other.
Direct vent gas fireplaces or gas stoves are perfect for the basement as well and can be enjoyed best in a large, open concept design. Take a look at the wide selection of models available. From traditional styles to contemporary designs, there is sure to be something that will suit your space.
Light Colors and Plenty of Light Are a Good Combo
Most homes have less natural light in the basement areas, often making the space feel cramped. Choose paint or wall finishes in lighter colors to brighten up the room. For durability and simple clean up, make sure to apply a semi-gloss paint that wipes easily.
Along with brighter tones on the walls, install ample light fixtures in strategic places to keep the space lit well. Pots lights in the ceiling do wonders for basements. Because they're bright and designed to be recessed into the ceiling, these lights provide excellent coverage and little shadowing.
Fresh Flooring Options
Although shag carpet is coming back in a big way, opt for something different in your up to date finished basement. Take a look at laminates in maple or birch finishes to create a hard and hygienic surface that's also durable and bright.
Don't discount the idea of hardwood in the basement either. With new engineered hardwood flooring, you can float the floor on top of your concrete slab with a cushioned padding between the two for moisture protection and added softness.
Either hardwood or laminate works well in the basement. Long lasting and easy to clean with a contemporary feel, these flooring options are the way to go when finishing your home's lower level.
Can You DIY This Project?
Many homeowners look at finishing their basement themselves to save money and practice their skills. The good thing about a basement project is the wide variety of smaller elements that create one space. From drywall and mudding to painting, flooring and installing a bathroom, you can pick and choose which projects to tackle and which to hire a pro for. That way you'll save money where possible and have a sense of pride in the finished project.
Leave complicated or time sensitive aspects to a contractor and take on the balance of the job yourself. In the end you will have a well built addition to your home that's designed with today's family in mind.