basement-decor-mistakes-imageThere are so many options for turning a basement space into something more desirable, but sometimes it can feel like too much! Here are some ideas about what not to do instead.

The First Thing Not to Do

"Neutral" is a favourite colour of redone basements because there is less natural light. You don't have to be afraid of colour when you put good lighting into the new space. Bright colours often make a room seem lighter at times, and if it improves your mood, win-win.

Flooring - Help!

Carpeting is warm and soft in a downstairs room, and it adds colour or retains a neutral palette. It still might be a no-no. Consider these uses for your basement:

  • Crafts and painting
  • Food and drink
  • Romping children
  • Planting soil

Hardwood or laminate flooring is easy to clean and warms up a room with a natural glow. Throw rugs, area rugs and runners can be placed in sitting areas to cozy up a space, too.

Lighten Up

Many decorators shun fluorescent lighting like the plague. This lighting does not show the fine qualities of any room or its ambiance. It's an ambiance-killer. How green do you want to look? It's great for a workshop, laundry room and maybe some areas of the kitchen, but it will not enhance the appearance of most spaces. Take a look at these options:

  • Canned ceiling lights
  • Lamps
  • Sconces
  • Retro accent lights

A reading nook with a comfy chair, blanket and nice lamp is irresistible, right readers? Throw in a footrest and make it an evening.

How Many Purposes?

basement-decor-mistakes-multi-purposeMultipurpose rooms are so handy. If the whole family coexists in one space, there may be a need for various activity areas. Guest rooms can become studio apartments. The crafter can enjoy their space while others watch the game. Kids can play in the back while parents read or watch a movie.

Space for Snacks

No need to rule out breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in a remodelled basement just because it's downstairs. If family members spend any time at all in this room, there will be eating and drinking. Chairs, tables, bars, stools and ottomans are obvious solutions, but protected upholstery also works well. A lot of furniture is already prepared for wear and tear in this day and age, so eat at will.

Green Spaces

Don't give up green plants just because they're going to live in a basement. Ask your local nursery what kinds of plants thrive in low light. Grow lights are another possibility for plants that need more light; they can be used at night when everyone is in bed. Greenery is good for people. There are plenty of plants that are easy to grow and work well in low light.

Bathroom or No Bathroom?

Even a small powder room is very convenient for any basement space. Running up and down stairs could be difficult for some visitors, so help them out. If you have a spare room downstairs, adding a shower may be a good idea. Think about the potential activities and the need for a bathroom before ruling it out.

Furniture Planning

Too much or too little furniture can defeat the purpose of your new room. Starting small and adding furniture is smart, however. You'll have a better feel for the room after using it a few times. If you know exactly what you need, go for it. This is also true for accessories. They add colour and interest and make the room belong to your home.

One other important thing: don't rush the plan. Take your time figuring out what you want to use the space for, then go with it.

Photo credit: game room, multi-purpose room
Posted by Chris Penny on


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