Reimagine Your Basement
In the past, basements were considered dark and uninviting spaces that are used for storing anything you don’t want to be seen. Our grandparents may have had dirt basements in their homes or small, low ceiling spaces without heating or air conditioning. As times moved on basements were included in many homes but were kept unfinished without climate control. What we have found in current times is that it can be a great place to acquire additional living space without the cost of an addition. This is especially true if you don’t have enough land around your home for additional expansion.
How To Plan Your Remodel
Consider how to finish the larger spaces such as floor, ceiling, and walls. Is your basement unfinished? More than likely you have cement block walls, exposed ceiling joists and poured cement foundation. Planning how you wish to finish the space will set the stage for all that comes afterward. In remodeling your basement you are choosing to increase the value of your home by expanding the living area. Enhancing your family’s lifestyle should be considered when choosing the materials that you use to remodel.
This family’s home included a very large unfinished basement area. (above) Having young children gave the homeowners motivation to create a space that could facilitate their children’s playroom but also incorporate a grown-up play area! Take a look at the transformation of this space.
Step One: What should your basement include?
Think of the elements you wish to have in your remodeled basement and how you want them placed. This client chose an open concept that includes a pool table and a small beverage center for the adults to enjoy as well as a drink rail. The television seating area can be enjoyed by all ages and due to the open concept offers participants in either space to visit with one another. Even the kitchenette with a seating island is incorporated into the plan and allows the basement to be a place for entertaining a large crowd. Meal prep and serving are easy and keep the hostess from running up and down the stairs to the main kitchen.
Step Two: What needs to stay?
Certain items will need to stay such as central heating and air units, water heaters, well and sump pumps, electric panels, pipes, ductwork, support columns, and beams. It is possible to move some of these items within the space but discuss this with a professional who can advise codes and practicality. Columns are major items that must stay put. No worries if you have columns or beams in your basement area they can be camouflaged by boxing them in or creating a look so they are included in the overall room design.
Step Three: Waterproofed?
Is your basement waterproofed? This is a critical evaluation if you want your basement to stay free of mold and mildew. Address this first before any remodeling takes place. A professional waterproofing company is a way to go if you see any of the following signs:
- Water stains on the floors or walls
- Musty or moldy smell
- Mold growing on items stored in the basement
- Any rotting wood framing
- Cracks or crevices in the floor or walls
Step Four: Create Space Planning
Work with a professional space planner to incorporate your dream basement into the allotted space. Keep in mind the fewer walls or partitioned areas the more space you have to work with. Framing and drywall will take up space when dividing your area that could otherwise be used for your family fun. As in the client’s basement images above they chose an open floor plan so that the entire family could enjoy being together while doing separate activities.
With this in mind, there may be certain activities you wish to be more private. Several such areas could be a home gym or home office. These are great additions to a home and can be included in your basement design. Another area would be a gaming room for the kids (or adults) where the noise level could be prohibitive. In the images below you can see where this same homeowner chose to incorporate both a home gym and a game room in separate areas.
Step Five: Choose Design Elements
Interior Designers can help you choose the wall, ceiling, and floor products that would work best in your remodeled basement. As you can see in the home gym a particular flooring is needed for setting the equipment and also for noise absorption. The gaming room has built-in shelving to hold all the electronic equipment and accessories needed. This room also has gaming chairs that sit low to the floor and are a real delight to those who are serious gamers. These rooms are also insulated for sound so that those enjoying the main basement space are not disturbed.
Choosing color is also an important part of the finishing touches to any family living space. The interior designer can help integrate all the spaces so they are aesthetically pleasing and coordinate nicely. If you are interested in interior design services for space planning or decor please contact our office.