If you’re standing there, after the contractors have left, looking at the dust and debris, wondering what your original basement renovation plan was supposed to look like, you’re not alone. Somewhere between pipes, plumbing, heating, electrical outlets and those unpainted walls and columns are your drafts of dreamy basement ideas – the ones you sketched with excitement before calling the construction company. Now, you need to turn those what you see into functional living space with aesthetic appeal.
Where to begin? This is easy if you didn’t go over budget with the renovations and still have a furniture/decorating fund set aside. But, if what happened to me is also your story, then you’re standing with a picture of what you wanted in one hand and a construction bill that’s drained your savings in the other. What now? Here are some suggestions:
Most basement renovation projects created a space for a kitchen, bathroom, spare bedroom, office, children’s play area, family room/bar/entertainment center or a combination these. No matter what your original basement ideas were, take a step back and decide which of these you can finish. No matter what the purpose, spend all your remaining effort and budget on …
Basic Basement Ideas
1. light fixtures to brighten the space
2. enhancing natural light
3. sealing and painting the walls
4. heating and flooring
4. storage and organization
Even if the space isn’t furnished, it can be a practical space if you have:
(a) light – use light appliqués, halogen lamps, mirrors – brighten the area
(b) Keep the windows free of clutter – don’t put up old curtains “just for now”
(c) Paint the walls with the highest quality paint possible – choose bright warm colors
(d) Invest in a gas or electric heater and area rugs for the floor
(e) Avoid the common trap that the basement reverts back to a catch-all clutter zone – invest in cheap shelving units and organize. The best basement ideas will evolve in an atmosphere that’s organized.