Is It Time to Reclaim Your Basement?

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Tips on creating a space to welcome family and guests to kick back, relax, and enjoy life at home.

Story by Ann Butenas

It’s been said remodeling a basement is one of the most cost effective home improvement projects you can complete. With a basement remodel, you don’t have to consider any additions to your home, as the basement can include any combination of the following, depending on layout and size:  home office, gym, game room, theater, craft room and more. The options are endless and are only limited by your creativity.

Finishing a basement is a widely-desired project for some homeowners. Sure, there is a bit of planning involved, but when turning your basement into another living area, it can be a great way to boost the value of your home.

We spoke with Georgia Jones, interior decorator with A&M Home Furnishings, and squired some fun advice and tips from her on how to furnish your new lower level. This is an opportunity to either continue with the current design style of your home or to break into something new, fun and different.

KCH&S: What are some decorating themes you might see in a basement remodel that might be different from the rest of the home?

JONES: Themes are more casual and personal in a basement. Perhaps you have a fitness enthusiast, sports junky, movie buff, music lover, or wine aficionado  It’s fun to create a space that speaks to whatever is most important to the homeowner. Also, some individuals like to display collections they might not want to showcase on their main floor.

KCH&S: What are some types of rooms being asked for in basement remodels now?  Guest rooms? Work out rooms? Media rooms? Craft rooms?

JONES: Every project is different. Craft rooms, romper rooms and media rooms never go out of style. I think there will be a renewed interest in workout rooms now as some shy away from gyms.

KCH&S: What are some great colors to incorporate into a basement remodel? Is it necessary to remain neutral?  Will darker colors make the space seem small?

JONES: I might use different flooring, wall color, furniture or art to delineate spaces. Some people are happier with neutrals and others enjoy color. I don’t feel darker colors are a mistake in a lower level, as they can give a rich, warm and cozy vibe, especially with sufficient mood lighting! Also on trend are interesting textures, such as wood planks, tile, brick and stone, depending on the look/mood one is wanting to achieve.

KCH&S: What are some creative storage solutions for a basement remodel?

JONES: If the basement remodel is in the finishing stage, then opt for built-ins, of course. Good looking baskets, bins, and floating shelves are also great options.

KCH&S: What are some great uses of lights/lighting in a basement remodel?

JONES: As everywhere, dimmers are a must! They are important for lighting, not just overhead, whether sconces or lamps. There are lots of interesting lighting ideas to explore for bar areas. Good lighting, along with use of color and texture, carpet or rugs can help make the space cozier and emphasize focal points.

KCH&S: Any advice for those who might be on a budget but still want a fun and engaging lower level space?

JONES: If you are on a budget, consider scouring consignment stores and Facebook Marketplace for pieces that still have some style and life left in them. Facebook Marketplace is also a great source to find foosball, ping pong and pool tables. If you want some art pieces, convert a travel photo to a black and white photo and then hand tint it for character. You can also refresh older wood pieces and lamps. Another great source is to check out the sales at local home furnishing stores!

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