“The basement is a common space that homeowners elect to remodel because it is both an effective way to increase a home’s property value while substantially increasing the amount of livable space in the home,” said Paulette Sodemann, CKBR, Senior Designer with Callen Construction, Inc. This is especially true if a choice is made to transform an existing basement into an exciting family room space. “To ensure a successful remodel, it’s important to consider the individual and collective roles the floor plan, color scheme, lighting, and furnishings play in the new space,” said Paulette.
In order to maximize a basement room’s dimensions and functionality, it is typically best to opt for an open floor plan, as too many basement walls will disrupt the flow of the space, making the area feel small and confined. “If you plan on catering to the individual preferences of individual family members, design elements, such as lighting and furniture, can be strategically placed in such a way to make clear distinctions within the space, all without losing out on precious livable space that a wall would otherwise occupy,” she said. “For instance, dimmable lighting and a comfy sectional indicates a space for lounging, while task lighting and a round activity table with chairs signals a craft space. Implementing strategic design techniques such as these will not only free up space, but will also help create a multifunctional family room.”
Historically, basements have been seen in a negative light because they’re often associated with a cool, damp, dark, unwelcoming space. One effective way to debunk this outdated misconception is to select a light neutral color scheme for the walls and ceiling, such as ivory, beige, and gray. “Not only are light neutral colors hailed for their ability to create an inviting atmosphere by emanating warmth and light, but they’re also known for their unique trait to make a room appear more spacious than it is,” Paulette said.
As expected, proper basement lighting also contributes to brightening the space. Since most basements are situated below ground level, windows are either smaller sized or, in some cases, nonexistent. In other words, this space commonly receives the least amount of natural light compared to the rest of a home, which serves as all the more reason a well-lit basement is integral to a family room basement remodel. “Generally speaking, basements have a relatively low ceiling height, which means recessed lighting or low-profile flush mounts are popular choices, as they help save on crucial basement space,” said Paulette. “However, if room allows, ornate light fixtures are another option and can significantly add to the aesthetics of the space while expressing personal taste and style. Additionally, mirrors are perfect for brightening a room thanks to their innate ability to reflect light.”
Whatever the purposes of a basement family room, it’s helpful to draw inspiration from the rest of the home when finishing this space. “It’s advised to decorate with comfortable furnishings, such as overstuffed armchairs and large plush area rugs, as well as add personal touches, such as family photos, to help emphasize a welcoming and relaxed environment,” she said. “Remember to take guests into account, so be sure there is ample seating to accommodate visitors.”
Moreover, all family rooms should have a focal point. “Whether it’s a TV, a fireplace, or a piece of art, be sure to have a main attraction in mind,” Paulette said. “While on the topic of TVs, a quality entertainment center and sound system along with a strong internet connection is essential, if you choose to incorporate such elements, as they significantly enhance the space’s connectivity and functionality.”
“The ultimate goal of a basement family room remodel is to create a space that fulfills your family’s lifestyle needs while encouraging you to make lasting memories with loved ones,” said Paulette. “This is most easily achieved when the space is both comfortable and functional. When seamlessly combining the floor plan, color scheme, lighting elements, and furnishings, they work together to create a personalized basement family room that is sure to be enjoyed by your family for years to come.”
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