How to Renovate your Basement?

After last week’s tragedy with Hurricane Sandy, it’s great to see faith in humanity restored as people donate their time and things to those in need.  The devastation of Sandy came as a shock to me and many of those whom I spoke to these last few days. Power outages that lasted days, people stranded without fuel, and worse of all, families left standing on empty lots where there homes once stood.

I spent hours this week sliding through photos of stylish rooms, luxurious homes with over the top decor, and I realized this weeks topic really such reach back to the basics. Back to the foundation of interior design, literally. The Basement is a space in your home that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here are a few tips when designing your basement for old projects, and new.

Keep things white and clean for brighter space. The real issue with the basement is the lack of light, so brighten the space by using light colors, white looks great in the basement and spruce it up with small burst of color.

Another example of the same basement renovation. The designer wanted it to look clean and lack clutter so we created a secret door that hides your homes mechanics.

Loved the build-in shelf that frames the Television. The added storage helps you gives your basement personality by adding family photos and souvenirs.

It can look like this…

Instead of this…

Section off the room by placing the couch in the middle of the room so give your basement more purpose. This should be done stratigically. Brainstorm the things you hope to use your finished basement for, and then map out your ideas in a floor plan.

Here is another basement that sections the space off into specific areas. The bar/entertainment area is separate from the rest of the room where you relax on the couch.

Loved this room that again creates zones. A large basement can easily handle several activities.

Insulate. The last thing you want is a noisy and chilly basement, especially if you are using the space for a bedroom. Spend a little extra and add good insulation to the walls, it is more time consuming and expensive but worth it.

A great tip is to use every nook and cranny. Under the stairs can prove to be an ideal spot for a desk and file storage, an extra closet or built-in shelving to hold craft supplies. You may find you have more of these little spaces then you thought. And again, brainstorm your layout so that you don’t waste what you have.

Make sure your floor products are appropriate for the space. Used products that are coated and sealed off…most importantly, cement. Or use carpet tiles where moisture or flooding could be an issue.

Carpet tiles currently are a big trend for residential spaces, and many of the 24-by-24 inch tiles have a lifetime warranty. If irreparable damage happens on the floor, you can replace the damaged tile one at a time.

This is very important!! Create emergency escape routes. Before beginning construction, check your local building codes to learn what your basement’s escape requirements are. The necessary routes can also enhance the room like installing large windows to add natural light.

If you live in a high risk area, don’t be pressured to finish the basement. It is okay to leave some things uncovered, as long as its not safety and insulation.

If you don’t have the light, make it up! This is a LED light wall which looks like real natural light is coming in through an semi opaque window. Put this wall on a dimmer and you have instant ambiance.

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