Inspiring Design Ideas for Your Basement Remodeling Project

You’ve got the space in your house, the money set aside, and a few good contractor references in your back pocket – but before beginning any basement renovation project, you’ll of course need to have the end design pictured clearly in your mind. One of the best ways to get design inspiration is to read up on different remodeling possibilities, both popular and unusual, for basement home improvement projects. Below you’ll find a collection of refreshing basement design ideas, from cozy nooks to home gyms to luxurious home theaters.
Image credit: Trademark Building Co

Semi-Formal Dining

If you’re lucky enough to have the square footage, a finished basement can make a fine place for a semi-formal dining area. To make this room design seem fluid and natural, you’ll need the rest of the basement space to look the part. Hardwood floors, architectural details like crown molding, and sufficient ambient lighting can make even the darkest basements shine. A home wet bar, complete with a refrigerator and dishwasher, is a natural extension of a semi-formal dining renovation, so you can entertain guests more easily.

The dining area pictured above is separated from the bar area by a cozy, elegant rug. Note the interesting architectural touch – the white wainscoting both brightens up the room and also adds visual interest. These homeowners have taken advantage of ample square footage by including built-in shelving in their basement renovation.
Semi-Formal Dining
Image credit: Sebring Services

Cozy Nook Under the Stairs

Basement staircases provide plenty of creative remodeling opportunities. If you need more storage in your home, consider design ideas like built-in wine racks, and book shelves. But perhaps the most welcoming under-the-stair design of all is a secret cozy nook.
Cozy Nook Under the Stairs
Image Credit: Sebring Services
The nook pictured here is perfect for children and adults alike, and is a clever way to make use of space that would otherwise go empty. The remodel itself is simple: just an extension of the basement’s hardwood floors, and a finish with drywall and paint. If you’d like to incorporate this design in your next basement renovation, ask your contractor if your staircase is structurally suitable for the project.

Rec Room or Play Area

A dedicated space for games and play is a fun basement design idea. Spacious basements are good places for rec rooms with pool tables and foosball, complete with amenities like lounge chairs and beverage refrigerators. If you’ve got younger children (or perhaps a smaller basement), consider creating a special play area. A small table for crafts, a chair for reading, baskets for toys and a cozy rug make for a simple but sweet kid’s playroom.
Rec Room
Rec Room
Pictured above is a clever usage of a challenging floor plan. The hall is not quite wide enough for seating, but is too spacious to serve as a simple walkway. The homeowners included a narrow but accommodating wet bar into the basement layout. There is plenty of space to make drinks and snacks, to enjoy in the larger lounging area.

Engineered wood flooring is a great basement flooring renovation material. The aesthetic is very similar to traditional hardwood, and engineered wood makes for durable, waterproof floors – especially important in a room that is highly susceptible to leaks and moisture. The flooring pictured above is a rich, cherry hue, which helps the overall basement interior design feel warm and bright.

Home Theater

For those with grand design schemes (and the budgets to match), a home theater is a popular choice for basement makeover remodels. Home theaters can be elaborate mini-cinemas, complete with custom audio-visual equipment and theater style seating. They can also be simpler in nature, dedicated rooms filled with comfortable furniture and a large, high definition television.
Home Theater
Home Theater
Here is an example of a simple, but absolutely inviting, basement home theater. The built-in cabinets provide ample storage for media, electronics, and other items like books, board games and linen. While there is only one couch in the room, it follows the design rules of home theater seating: comfortable seating for multiple people, and the screen is within easy view for everyone.

The home theater pictured above showcases the more luxurious approach to this basement renovation idea. Two rows of theater seats, complete with cup holders, offer movie viewers of cozy seating. This home theater is complete with a custom audio-visual system, with a retractable screen and a selection of digital projectors for entertainment. Note the wall sconces, whose ambient lighting and design perfectly evoke the cinema experience.

Home Gym

Many homeowners use their basement spaces to work out. Designing a dedicated home gym can be a great way to enhance your exercise routine, and perhaps even work out more safely – lighting, flooring and ventilation all play a role in a proper home gym.
Home Gym
Home Gym
Even smaller spaces can be transformed with a simple remodeling project. The basement home gym pictured here got a refresh with engineered wood flooring, new paint, and additional overhead lighting. A few mirrors would complete this simple but effective exercise room.

Home Bar

Whether you love to entertain lots of friends and family, or simply like to kick back with a good drink at home, consider adding a wet bar to your next basement renovation project. Wet bars are distinguished from other home bars in that they include a sink. Many home wet bars also include amenities like dishwashers and small refrigerators. 
Image Credit: Trademark Building Co.
This country kitchen inspired home bar includes a beverage refrigerator, which blends in seamlessly with the rest of the rustic white cabinets. There is an abundance of storage, from the wine rack to cabinets to the large pantry.

The bar design pictured above features a built-in countertop, at the perfect height for bar stool seating. The counter design allows the host or hostess to mix drinks, prep food and wash dishes all while entertaining guests. These custom cabinets are another example of great storage space, with plenty of room for a growing wine collection.

Home Office

A dedicated home office space is something that the whole family can use, not only those who work from the house. Beyond serving as a traditional workspace, a home office is a great place to concentrate on (and maybe even enjoy!) paperwork, homework, and arts and crafts.
Home Office
Image Credit: Pineapple House
The basement home office pictured here makes use of bright whites, cheerful colors and dramatic lighting to give an otherwise relatively dark and tight space a vibrant, airy feel. The layout is open, with a communal desk in the center, and two dedicated desks against juxtaposing walls. 

Much of the best designs are highly functional, as well as highly aesthetically pleasing. Note here that the open shelving for one desk allows for storage items to serve decoratively as well – it’s a great way to incorporate color without adding anything unnecessary to the design.

Guest Room

If you want to add a bedroom to your home, perhaps the answer lies just a floor below. Check with a local basement contractor to see if your floor plan and budget allow for a bedroom to be built. It’s important to remember that a bedroom renovation isn’t simply about putting up drywall and proper flooring; you’ll also need to adhere to local codes and ordinances, like ceiling height and means of egress. Your professional contractor will be able to help guide you through any compliance and permitting processes.
Guest Room
Guest Room
The guest room pictured here is simple yet comfortable in design. Carpet flooring makes for a cozy bedroom, as do light paint colors and ample seating (the bench under the window is a lovely touch). Note that if you want to include carpet flooring in your basement renovation, you’ll need to be sure you’ve had the space professionally waterproofed and checked for potential leaks, to prevent long-term damage to the carpeting.

No matter which basement design you prefer, choosing the right contractor is an important key in the project’s ultimate success. Take the time to speak with various basement contractors, get multiple estimates, and check references. If their project portfolio isn’t available online, ask your contractor to send you their portfolio of basement photos they’ve renovated in the past.

Be sure to ask about projects similar to yours in size and scope – that posh cinema remodel, complete with leather theater seating and built-in surround sound, may have ended up looking perfect in another’s home, but it doesn’t necessarily speak to your own design and budget goals. Ask for references, and speak directly with previous customers to get honest feedback on things like the quality of service, and if the renovation was completed on budget and on time.

A beautifully renovated basement is an exciting possibility, and a successful project begins with time spent researching various design plans and contractors. With a clear design vision and budget in mind, and a trusted professional at your side, your renovation will be an investment in your home and your happiness.

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