So you’ve decided to finish the basement in your home, but you don’t know exactly what you want to do once the space is finished? You would be surprised how frequently this happens! The only limitations are your imagination, budget, and/or the physical constraints of your home, and the experts at MDV Remodeling want to offer some suggestions to get you started. So, following is a list of general basement ideas, as well as some overall design concepts to think about. This is not by any means an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start to get you “thinking outside the box” about where you want to go with your basement remodel.

The first step is to think about how this extra room can best serve your home. Making the most out of this space requires that you identify what you want from it. Some ideas that relate to a basement’s purpose and function include:|

  • Family room
  • Children’s playroom
  • Additional bedrooms/In-law suite
  • Home office
  • Man Cave
  • Basement bar
  • Media center or home theater
  • Music or art studio
  • Home gym
  • Craft room or hobby workshop
  • Organized storage area(s)

When thinking about what role you want your basement to play, consider how it may need to change as your lifestyle or your family changes. A basement that starts as a family room may need to evolve into additional bedrooms later on for a growing family or to accommodate aging parents/relatives. These are the types of consideration that make our TruYouDesign™ process so unique!

General Design Ideas

Below are some general ideas for designing the space that you’re finishing. Some of these ideas will work for almost any space, but some are more appropriate than others depending on your family’s needs.

  • Do Something Different Than Upstairs

Basements give you another living-space opportunity; this is a place that will be in addition to the upstairs living spaces. Thinking about how you can make this space unique and different rather than just another family room that’s not much different than the one upstairs, will go a long way toward making your home more versatile and enjoyable.

  •  Design For A Walk-Out

This concept is primarily for newly-built homes where you have an option for choosing the style and site location. A walk-out basement gives you a much more open and light-filled space and helps to eliminate the cave-like feel associated with below-grade basements.

  •  Don’t Forget Your Storage Needs

Unfinished basements usually end up as good storage areas for all the stuff we accumulate, and this stuff has to go somewhere when you plan and begin remodeling your basement. You may need to parcel off some of this area’s footprint as a storage area – possibly in an adjacent unfinished area – as opposed to using all of it as finished space.

Other ideas include getting creative with space utilization, such as building shelving or small closets under the stairwell or adding a 3-foot high bump-out along the walls to house shelves that you can enclose behind small doors. In addition, you could use stock or custom-built cabinetry, as well as bench seats and storage chests to increase the efficient use of this space.

  •  Use Folding Bookcase Doors As Functional Portals

Maximize the space by using a bookcase door for entry into places like your laundry or unfinished storage room. These kinds of doors are either bi-fold or hinged functional bookcases. They do double duty as bookshelves and a door covering the entryway to another space.

  •  Open Up The Stairway

Many basements are accessed by a narrow, completely-walled stairway that makes it look like you’re heading to a cave. Opening up the stairwell, if at all possible, invites that room to be part of the rest of the house. Talk with your contractor to see if part of the wall that borders the stairwell can be removed. A knee wall can help achieve this effect too. Whatever you can do to open up the stairs and avoid the “tunnel effect” will make the basement feel that much more inviting.

  •  Equip For Audio & Video

There’s no better time to equip your basement for audio and video equipment than when you’re remodeling. Do you have a large flat-screen television in mind or perhaps a surround-sound audio system? Plan ahead for where you want this equipment to go and install the necessary wiring while you renovate. Even if that dream TV doesn’t come right away, get the cables in while you remodel so that they’re in place and ready for hookup in the future.

These are just some ideas you, as a homeowner, can use to start planning your finished basement. There is a wealth of possibilities open to you to create the perfect use of additional space in your home. If you’re considering finishing just a portion of or the whole basement of your home, be sure to contact the experienced professionals at MDV Remodeling for a free estimate!

*image credit: Kyle Murphy/Flickr