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Decorating Ideas for your Basement

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Basements can add useful livable space to any home, but if your basement is unfinished, there are precautions you'll have to take before trying to do any kind of basement remodel.

Don't start until it's dry

Before you begin framing out walls, adding insulation and sheet rock, make sure that there won't be any water issues that could cause damage.

Basements are generally damp, dark and dank spaces but once the necessary precautions are taken, it can become warm and welcoming for you, your family or guests.

  • Go outside and inspect the exterior walls for moisture problems, making sure the ground is sloped away from foundation walls. Double check your downspouts, if they're clogged you could be getting more moisture in your basement than you think.

  • When framing out the walls for sheetrock, be sure to leave space between the interior wall and the moisture on the outside wall.

  • Keep any moisture from seeping in with polyurethane sheeting or consider using insulation that's completely enclosed in a vapor barrier - you won't have to deal with itchy insulation fibers (an added bonus!).

  • Use a drop ceiling so that you'll have access to plumbing and electrical systems once it's in place, otherwise you'll have to create access panels with a drywall ceiling.

  • Leave the furnace and laundry room unfinished to save money. There should generally be about two feet of space maintained around the unit.

  • Before placing flooring down, put down a vapor barrier then frame out a base for the floor to rest on and insulate in between the beams. Then lay plywood over the insulation leaving you with a smooth, insulated sub floor to lay down carpet, wood flooring or any other kind of flooring you have in mind.

Once your basement is finished, you'll have a blank canvas for decorating. Think about what you would want to use the extra space for. Here are a few ideas to start with:
  • Home Theater

  • Extra TV/Living Room

  • Kids Playroom

  • Man Cave

  • Game Room

  • Guest Room

  • Basement Apartment - For a basement apartment, make sure you research any building codes, ordinances or policies your town/city/state may have about below-ground apartments.

Home theater

Home theaters are a great idea for basement remodels. Since they're below ground, they usually only have one or two windows which let in minimal light reducing glare on your TV or move screens.

If you're going to transform your basement to a home theater or TV room, think of the interior of your favorite movie theater - dark colored walls covered in fabric to absorb the sound - and mimic that in your basement. Start off with a darker shade of paint for your walls, and then hang heavy curtains to block out the light from any windows in a coordinating color.

Don't forget the comfy couches! Choose a plush sofa with lots of room to relax and watch a movie in.

Since you'll have a dedicated space for watching movies, games or just your favorite Saturday night lineup, why not jazz it up with some of your favorite movie posters and movie memorabilia?

Consider These Additions: A movie projector and screen, surround sound, mini-fridge, popcorn maker

Kids playroom

If you'd like to turn your extra space into a kids' playroom, choose bright colors for the walls and if you've chosen to have wood flooring installed in your basement, playful area rugs are a great addition to the space and will muffle any noises from tiny feet.

Painting one of the walls with chalkboard paint is a great idea to let their creative side out without having the hassle of drawing on walls.

If your kids are big fans of playing dress-up, consider having area to put on shows for you along with a small stage and curtain.

Guest bedroom

If the idea of having an extra bedroom for when the in-laws come over or when your kids flock back to the nest after college sounds perfect to you, then consider turning your finished basement into a guest bedroom.

If you have access to plumbing systems from the basement then it shouldn't be a problem to add in a small half or full bathroom, creating a completely private space for your guests.

Once you furnish the room with a comfortable bed, a simple dresser and a few light fixtures, it can quickly become a space that your guests won't ever want to leave.

Ana M. Ferrer  Posted by Ana M. Ferrer on May 14, 2014

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