The basement. It can be the last resort to store all the stuff you own that doesn’t fit anywhere else or you can turn that space at the bottom of your home into an awesome extra living space. Assuming you are aiming for the latter of these two alternatives. What would you put in your basement to make it the coolest place to get together in your neighbourhood?
Qualities of Amazing Basement
Imagine a space for entertaining, visiting and hanging out. If that basement were yours, here’s what you would do.
1 – Give It An Amazing Paint Job
Chances are you are starting with a large unfinished basement. This means cement floors and walls. Unless you are aiming for an urban underground subway feel, the best way to give that space ton of personality is with colour. Oh, and not just one dull, boring colour to erase the grey of the cement you are hiding with paint. Get creative. Think about using the basement for parties, game nights, movies and all other forms of fun and entertainment. Go nuts. Make the walls jump out at you with bold, bright colours that scream anything but “you’re in a basement” and you’ll have it right.
2 – Funky Furniture
Now that you’ve created the overall personality of your basement it is time to add some furniture. But this is also where you need to think about balance. If a third of the space is going to be designated the theatre with a big screen TV and seating, the other two thirds can’t be stuffed with all the other furnishings. Try to take a page out of the book used by many fast-food restaurants and coffee shops and run long shelving around the perimeter of part of the room and add stools for seating. That opens up the centre of the basement for other activities. Try not to load up the basement with big, cushy couches and chairs simply because they will take up more space than necessary.
3 – Lighting And A Sound System
We’ve grouped both of these items together because if you are going to be running wires for one, you may as well include wiring for the other. Track lighting can be a great addition but remember to have overhead spotlights for those areas that demand a greater amount of visibility. As for the sound system, keep in mind you will be wiring up speakers for the theatre as well as for music from a stereo or other music source. This means different size speakers in different areas of the space for the best sound. Don’t forget that with the right speaker set up, you can hook up your stereo and play vinyl, CDs or whatever format your music collection is in.
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4 – Games
What is a basement that you’ve tricked out without some form of sporting activity? Sure, not all basements have the room required for a pool table. Besides, pool tables don’t just slide out of the way, either. However, a ping pong table could be a much better fit. Not only can you find them in sizes bigger and smaller than a pool table, the average ping pong table folds up so you can roll it out of the way when the party gets hopping and the music gets everyone in the mood for dancing. For an idea on the kinds of ping pong tables available, check out this article from the GiftWits staff. Ping pong is fast, fun and a sneaky way to get in a little bit of exercise.
5 – Vending Machine
Hey, why not? You could get your hands on a vintage vending machine or two and have them rigged up so that they operate without having to spend money. Or at the very least have a popcorn machine running on movie nights and a whole bunch of other candy treats on hand as well. A classic pop machine will keep your favourite beverages chilled and ready and how about adding a machine that dispenses coffee, hot chocolate or tea? Your budget will guide you on what your choice(s) will be but with any of these your basement will be the go-to place.
6 – Add A Wet Bar
Depending on the kind of entertaining you do, a wet bar could be the one feature that keeps your friends coming back over and over again. You could designate a corner of your basement for chillers, fridges, and wine racks. Then wrap it all up with a curved bar and seating for six or eight. Imagine the fun featuring wine tastings, sampling beers of all kinds and generally just hanging out and socializing without the fear of trying to figure out how to get home if you end up becoming a little bit tipsy. A wet bar will turn your basement into a real showcase.
7 – Indoor Playground
If you are designing your basement for your children and their friends, you could create an indoor playground with beach sand on the floor and your typical playground equipment such as monkey bars, swings and maybe even a short climbing wall. The amount of space you have available will determine what you will end up doing but why not line a wall with chalkboards or cover it in chalkboard paint? Turning your basement into an indoor playground gives your kids a safe place to play year ‘round as well as when the weather outside is not favourable.
Basements are far from wasted space if you know how to fill them with the kinds of things that turn them into functional living space. The best part is that when you convert your basement into a rec room or some other place for entertaining, you have enhanced your home. Sure, not everyone will go to the extent we have suggested with the renovation ideas listed about, but hopefully, we have given you some inspiration to take another look at your basement. You never know what it can become if you don’t step out of the box once in a while to see.