Basements are incredibly useful and spacious additions to any home design. If you have a basement, that space likely has a lot of potential. You can transform it into a soundproof home office, a cool den for watching late-night movies, a clubhouse for the kids, or a guest suite for visiting friends and relatives. You might do laundry down there or keep your extra storage - but for many people, the basement is all too spook to imagine really enjoying yourself in the space.
Spooky basements are a common theme in horror movies and sleepover ghost stories. Basements also have a few common features that could give anyone the creeps. Dim and flickering lighting, distant dark corners, and damp dripping walls have all certainly played a role in why you get the heebie-jeebies when you're downstairs for too long. But you can also fix all that.
With the right home improvement steps, you can renovate any basement into a cozy, welcoming space that no longer makes you feel like there's a dark presence waiting to jump out from behind the boxes of camping gear.
Replace Bad Old Basement Wiring & Light Fixtures
If the rest of your home has been renovated since it was built, there's a good chance that the basement wasn't. Old wiring and light fixtures are often the cause of spooky basement conditions like flickering and buzzing light fixtures. So your first step should be to have your basement wiring inspected and install new light fixtures to replace those ancient creepy lights.
Add a Drop Ceiling and Overhead Lights
Basements also typically do not have enough light. Like attics, there might be just one hanging exposed bulb or just one sconce near the stairs. This not only provides too little light for the space, it also creates a scary shadow-scape between the stark exposed bulb and everywhere the light does not fully reach.
Use ceiling panels so that you can reach your utility lines for maintenance later, then mount bright, welcoming ceiling lights that chase away the shadows with even non-scary light distribution.
Finish The Walls and Light Up the Corners
Half-finished and unfinished basements are also more likely to be scary due to moisture on old concrete or brick walls. This is the nature of basements, but a finished basement will be much more welcoming - not to mention cozy. A moisture barrier along with insulation and wall panels to make your basement feel more like a room in the house and less like a creepy cave below your house.
While you're at it, add lights in the far corners of your basement where light has the most trouble reaching. This will ensure that there are no unlit areas where imagined monsters might lurk.
Disguise Your Utility Access Points
Is there a big rusty water main in your basement, a terrifying old fuse box, or a conduit of pipes reminiscent of your favorite horror movies? Build around them. Create access hatches and cabinetry designed to cover up your basement utilities while also still allowing access for maintenance. Put your fuse box in a closet, build a sidebar over the water main, and a drop ceiling over the upper pipe and wire conduits. If you wall in a utility, create a clever access panel just in case. This will make your space feel more human and welcoming while still giving your basement all the utility access it was designed to provide.
Design a Cozy Laundry Area
If you get the creeps doing laundry in your basement, turn this space into your laundry oasis instead. Designing a bright and cheerful laundry area can really change your experience when it comes time to do a little folding downstairs. Finish your laundry space with brightly painted drywall and cheerful tile or linoleum floor. Give yourself the gift of convenient shelves and cabinets, a surface for folding, and a closet bar for hanging clothes straight out of the dryer.
Deck out your laundry space with clear, bright lighting to help you spot stains for pre-treatment. Then add a dash of laundry entertainment with a Bluetooth speaker or a small smart TV so you're never bored while doing your household chores.
Transform Your Basement Into a Den or Play Room
You can also give your laundry room a more cheerful purpose. Adding things like a playroom carpet, an air hockey table, and the old couch for an entertainment center can really brighten the place up. You will see your basement as a fun place to be where young (and young at heart) people can kick back to relax instead of as a spooky place where winter sweaters are stored. A little lighthearted interior design can go a long way to making your finished basement feel more welcoming.
Transforming Your Basement Into an Inviting Place
With a few upgrades, clear lighting, and positive design, any basement can be transformed from the spooky place it once was. The first step is to make sure you don't get that horror-movie-vibe just walking down the stairs to switch on a solitary flickering light. Who wants that? Give yourself the gift of clear illumination, finished walls, and cheerful styles in your basement that will chase away the shadows for good.
Your basement is potentially an amazing place with a lot of extra square feet. Take advantage of that by turning your basement into an inviting place to be. For more room transformation ideas or for the perfect light fixtures for your new basement design, Edesia Kitchen & Bath Studio is here.