Ideas for up­dat­ing your bor­ing base­ment space

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - REAL ESTATE - By Staci Gior­dullo

In some homes, base­ments are light and airy, with ad­e­quate win­dows and space to help you for­get you’re in a sub­ter­ranean room. Oth­ers might need some help. If your base­ment feels musty and dank, check out these ideas on how to breathe some new life into the space. Make sure win­dows are sparkling clean and un­ob­structed from the ex­te­rior to let nat­u­ral light in, and ap­proach base­ment light­ing as you would any room — just re­mem­ber you’ll likely need more.

Re­cessed and un­der­cab­i­net lights work well in ar­eas where you might have food and drinks, such as a wet bar or kitch­enette. A pen­dant light or chan­de­lier above a ta­ble is ideal for spot­light­ing the im­me­di­ate area. Around the TV, use dimmable light­ing. Have a cozy read­ing nook? Put a lamp nearby. Con­sider a strand of bare-bulb lights or hol­i­day twin­kle lights for ex­tra sparkle. Open-con­cept is all the rage when it comes to pri­mary liv­ing, din­ing and cook­ing ar­eas. Ex­tend the same idea to the base­ment to pro­vide a sense of spa­cious­ness.

Start with the stairs. Re­move a wall (if struc­turally pos­si­ble) to open up at least one side of the stair­case and of­fer a view into the room. Get cre­ative with the beams and sup­port sys­tems to main­tain an airy feel. If you need to hide pipes, beams or wires, build a half wall or box to con­ceal the less slightly com­po­nents. Use decor to achieve a warm yet open and airy feel­ing. Strate­gi­cally placed mir­rors make the space seem larger and bounce around the beams from your new light­ing scheme, shin­ing light into pre­vi­ously dark cor­ners.

Dress base­ment win­dows with nor­mal treat­ments, which help the room feel fin­ished. If your base­ment is cooler, use a vent­less fire­place for warmth. These units are typ­i­cally free-stand­ing and don’t re­quire a chim­ney or flue.

Elim­i­nate any re­main­ing “dun­geon­like” vibes by bring­ing in some live plants. Some plants do well in low-light sce­nar­ios, and noth­ing says “fresh” like a touch of flora. Mold­ings, such as base­boards and chair rails, can also play a big part in defin­ing a space. Se­lect trim that’s ap­pro­pri­ately sized to make the room seem big­ger.

Lighter paint col­ors will make the room ap­pear larger, and there’s no need to make ev­ery­thing in the room beige.

Use your neu­tral-col­ored walls to fea­ture brightly col­ored art­work that’s spot­lighted with accent light­ing. Se­lect fur­ni­ture pieces that pop — maybe a turquoise couch or hot-pink bar stools. Add a com­ple­men­tary col­ored rug or plush throw pil­lows for a co­he­sive look.

Look for a fin­ish, per­haps in a book­shelf or cof­fee ta­ble, that’s lu­mi­nous and re­flects light (with­out be­ing too glit­tery).

You want to re­flect light and brighten the space. To ac­com­plish that, choose a pol­ished hard­wood, tile or shined con­crete that’s so­phis­ti­cated and some­what re­flec­tive.

Car­pet is the typ­i­cal go-to for a chilly base­ment, but if your wal­let al­lows and you want to rip out old floor­ing, con­sider ra­di­ant heat un­der the new floor.

Paint or stain can go a long way with both the floor and ceil­ing. Paint bare, ex­posed rafters for a dra­matic ef­fect. Or use a sten­cil to cre­ate a unique pat­tern and give floors some flair.


A change of light­ing and fur­ni­ture, as well as a splash of color, can re­ally change your base­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.