Some are unfinished, some are half-finished and still others are the most extravagant room in the house. Whether or not it is on your remodel radar, consider where in your home you and your family spend the most quality time. Likely, your answer is the living room or maybe the dining room. Now think…could your family use a larger, cozier place to play games, watch movies, and entertain? Realtor.com has created a list of ideas to help you make the most of the valuable but sometimes forgotten space in your home that is the basement. Being in real estate for more than twenty years, of course we wanted to share this list with all of you and had to add a few pro tips of our own!
Improve the Lighting
When you think of the word basement, what is the first word that comes to mind? Dark. Because basements are underground, they don’t have many windows, or the ones they do have don’t offer much in the way of natural light. Instead, a great way to improve the allure of your basement for you and your family is to add lighting. Inexpensively, this might mean a floor lamp and a few table lamps, but it could also be worth it to consider investing in recess lighting. Proper lighting can be comforting and welcoming. It will add to the value and livability of your home for you and future buyers if you ever decide to sell.
Improve the Climate
The second word that comes to mind is cold. Many basements, especially in older homes, do not regulate temperature very well. They end up being stuffy or drafty depending on the season. While it’s not the sexiest improvement, replacing or upgrading your heating or cooling system could be the most noticeable and impactful change you can make.
Improve the Smell
This could be as simple as lighting a few candles or as drastic as replacing the carpet. Basements are more susceptible to water damage. They are also heavily lived in by pets, children, and guests. All of these circumstances make them more vulnerable to dingy or funky smells accruing over time. Doing what you can to keep it a fresh and clean space will make your basement all the more frequented and enjoyable.
Brighten it Up
No, we aren’t necessarily repeating ourselves here. While lighting is important, coloring is what most effectively contributes to the mood of a space. Giving your basement a fresh coat of white or other light paint will work wonders. Something else to consider might be getting lighter toned (but still durable) furniture and textiles. Think creamy pillows and chunky knit throws to add dimension, texture, and an extra dose of cozy.
A good way to highlight the natural light your basement does have is to give your windows oversized treatments. Curtains that reach to the floor (or even past it and gather at the bottom) on a rod that reaches past the window horizontally will elongate your basement’s shorter ceilings and make your windows seem bigger than they are. Keep in mind the curtains offer more of a design effect than any actual functionality. Don’t limit the basement’s intake of natural light by closing the curtains. They should border the outermost line of the window.
Utilize the Space
Most basements are one gigantic room. This can be perfect if all of that space it is designated and given functionality with the right furniture. However, it can also be valuable to consider creating particular walls to make certain areas more useful. If your basement is big enough, the possibilities are endless. What does your family and their lifestyle need most? Maybe consider a game room, guest room, office, craft room, play room, home gym, or even beautiful laundry room complete with decorative tile and floating shelves. These rooms can be some of the spaces we use most frequently and there is no reason they shouldn’t receive as much of our creative attention as the rest of our home. It also adds great resale value and, despite an initial investment, makes your home work double duty in all the right ways.
Wet Bar into Kitchenette
Many older homes have a dated, typically unused wet bar. You can improve the usability of this aspect of your basement by upgrading it to a full kitchenette. It is usually already hooked up to plumbing and can transform your basement into a second source of income. Complete with fridge, stove, and sink, your unused basement becomes a stylish studio apartment you can offer to guests or rent out on a long- or short-term basis.
At Corken + Company, we provide real estate solutions without limits and sometimes that means finding innovative ways to make the most of your home. We are always looking for ways to enhance your family’s experience within your beloved home all while keeping its resale value in mind. Fun projects like the ideas above do both. Let us know which ones you decide to try and how they turn out!