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Basement Renovation Ideas: Reclaiming the Largest Room in Your House

What’s downstairs and likely not doing everything it could to enhance the enjoyment of your home? It’s probably your basement.

Fact: the basement is usually one of the biggest rooms in a house, but it’s typically relegated to storage status, easy to forget about, a dark, damp hole in the ground. But it doesn’t have to be.

With a bit of imagination, the average basement can be anything other than, well, average. A little imagination, a minor financial investment, and some elbow grease, and your basement won’t be just a cellar anymore.

Let’s take a look at some ways to rethink the lowest room in the building, from the common to the creative.

Concept 1- TV Entertainment Center: 

This one is perhaps the most obvious idea. If you’re a widescreen and surround-sound fanatic, you want a large enough space to really sculpt the speaker-system to its best effect. The basement is a great spot for recreating that theater-feel, and unlike the living room, you’re not rumbling the next room’s walls when things get loud.

Concept 2- Pool and Game Room: 

If real-world playtime is what you have in mind, the basement offers both the square-footage for a pool table and a pinball machine, but it doesn’t pose a threat to that hard won feng shui, when it comes to your upstairs interior decorating accomplishments.

Concept 3- Home Bar: 

With a basement bar, you can take the X-factor out of any night at the local tavern. Never again will you have to face down a rowdy crowd of footballers for a few stools and a pint with your friends. Never again will you have to shout to be heard over a thumping bass track from the bartender’s iPod. From classic wood paneling to sleek modern stone, you can design your own perfect pub — and then enjoy it.

Concept 4- Office: 

No more lap-topping from the couch! If your professional life is already based out of your home, or if you’d like it to be in the near future, creating a workspace with ample desktop, filing, and even a meeting area can transform your (and your clients’) attitude toward the job at hand.

Concept 5- Home Business: 

From a furniture-making workshop to a hair salon, with the proper licensing and a little bit of planning, you could take your dream of a home-based business and shape it into a reality that’s just a staircase away.

Whichever of these ideas strike you as the ideal downstairs refurb’, be certain to consider some basic basement-disaster prevention.

At the outset, make sure that your basement isn’t a trap for moisture. If it is, you’re in for a lifetime of post-renovation hassle, as carpeting, wood trim, and just about anything that isn’t concrete is going to face the inevitability of mold and mildew. Remember, a cool surface fosters condensation in warmer, humid weather. Take the time to prep floors with anti-moisture materials like polystyrene foam before you embark on any basement-changing remodels.

By James O’Brien

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