20 Finished Basement Ideas
Holly Shuffett10-minute read
July 07, 2022
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A finished basement can be an amazing asset for your home’s overall functionality and enjoyment, by adding square footage to your home or allowing for a bonus room that you otherwise wouldn’t have. To make the most of your space, consider trying out one of these finished basement ideas.
Is Finishing My Basement A Good Investment?
A finished basement can be a valuable addition to your home. Check out similar real estate listings to estimate a selling price per square foot for your home, and see how increasing your home’s finished space can quickly make it more valuable.
The way you finish your basement might also affect how much value it adds to your home. For example, a basement remodel which adds an extra bedroom and bathroom is likely to increase your home’s value more than just adding extra living space. However, if you have to run plumbing to the basement if it doesn’t already exist, you’re looking at a larger cost. It might be worth it, but consult with a local REALTOR® to find out what sells best in your area.
20 Finished Basement Designs
Once you have a finished basement, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do with all the new space. Take a look at the other spaces in your home and decide what you’re lacking or if there are any annoyances that can be solved with some new organization.
Do you have toys all over the place that you want to contain? Is there a treadmill in your bedroom? Do you have a hard time fitting the whole family together to watch a movie? Identify current problems in your home to pinpoint the best possible uses for your new finished basement.
Here are some great ideas for transforming your finished basement to help get you started.
1. Home Theater Room
With a rise in streaming-only movie releases, a home theater could be the perfect way to fill some extra space. Most basements make for great movie rooms since they’re usually dark, providing optimal viewing conditions at all hours of the day.
The central focus of a movie room should be a big television, a blank wall or a projector screen, perfect for showcasing your favorite films. Arrange some comfortable seating like a plush sectional, bean bag chairs, or even theater seats, and your basement will be ready for your next home feature. Keep snacks nearby in a mini fridge or cabinet, adorn the walls with your favorite movie posters, and get ready for the moving-going experience from the comfort of home.
2. Game Room
Board or tabletop games are a great way to build some social time and fun into your schedule. If game nights or DnD campaigns are a regular part of your lifestyle, a dedicated game room is a must-have for entertaining friends and family. Make your basement game-ready with lots of table space and comfortable seating. Buy a table that will best serve your favorite games in size and shape, keeping in mind how many guests you usually have over.
Another thing to keep in mind is storage. Whether you have just one favorite game or you’re a fan of many, you’re going to need a convenient place to store them when not in use. If your basement has a good closet, consider adding wall-to-wall shelving specifically sized for your games. No closet? Invest in a storage cabinet or easy-to-access shelving.
3. Home Gym
If fitness plays an important part in your life, consider building a home gym in your basement. Not only can this save you money on a gym membership in the long run, but it will also make working out more convenient.
Furnish your home gym with your favorite workout equipment: a treadmill, free weights, or even a ballet bar. If you currently go to a gym, take notes on which features or equipment they have that you enjoy most and see how you can bring them into your space.
You may also want to install rubber flooring or rubber stall mats, especially if your basement has carpet. That way, you can wipe them clean and avoid sweat soaking in. Also make sure there are plenty of fans and adequate ventilation to ensure a safe and comfortable workout area. If space allows, you could even add a bathroom with a shower to freshen up afterward. Finally, consider adding a water tank or a small fridge to chill some water or post-workout snacks.
Sick of toys taking over your home? With little ones running around, this problem isn’t likely to disappear completely but having a dedicated playroom can help with toy control. One of the most important parts of a playroom is organization – get easy-to-reach large baskets or bins to make cleanup easy.
Customize your playroom according to your kids’ ages and interests. Art easels, Lego tables, reading nooks, and homework stations are all great options. Make sure that any storage you install works for the height of your child.
5. Living Space
Sometimes all you need is a second living room. Maybe you want to keep your main living space more formal for guests and want somewhere to kick back with your family. Or maybe you have a big family that could do with more space to spread out in.
For the perfect secondary living area, a comfortable couch is a must-have. Don’t forget a TV and entertainment center with enough space to enjoy movies or video games. Storage ottomans are a great way to keep blankets and pillows nearby for an extra cozy feel.
6. Guest Room
If you frequently host friends or family for visits, the best use of a finished basement may be a dedicated guest suite. This can give your visitors a bit of privacy and separation – perfect for extended stays and an enjoyable experience.
In an ideal world, a guest suite will have a bedroom with an attached bathroom. Include a comfortable bed with plenty of bedding, a chest of drawers, and a chair or bench. Make sure there’s ample closet or drawer space for your guests’ belongings. It’s a good idea to even spend a night in your guest room to gauge if there’s anything missing or any way you could make the space even comfier.
7. Storage Room
While it’s not the ideal use of an entire finished basement, if you’ll have multiple rooms, one of them might be perfect for out-of-season storage – especially if your property lacks a storage shed.
The best way to fit storage into a small space is to work vertically. Install built-in shelves that go up to the ceiling and store your items in large, labeled bins. Try to avoid leaving items all over the floor – that’s how storage rooms quickly become junk rooms.
8. Billiards Room
If you’re interested in billiards, pingpong, or air hockey, the basement might be the only place in your home that can accommodate such large tables. Don’t tuck them away in the corner – make them the star of your space, right in the center. Just be sure to plan ahead how you’re going to get a large table into the basement in the first place.
In addition to the large game table, provide some seating for your guests. Make sure that there are high tables where people can easily set snacks or drinks while waiting for their turn at the game. Have storage for snacks nearby and don’t forget speakers so you can listen to music while you play.
9. Craft Room
Avid crafters know how many craft supplies you can easily accumulate. If you have the space for a dedicated craft room or crafting area, this can be a great way to keep the rest of your home clutter-free.
Give yourself a large work surface – tables on wheels are great for giving you flexibility, depending on the project you’re working on. Look for furniture with lots of storage space, and group similar small items together. Also make sure to create a well-lit space for effective crafting.
10. Home Office
If you’ve grown familiar with working from home, chances are you’re aware how easy it is to get distracted with a kitchen table office or when working on the patio. The best way to foster productivity is a dedicated home office. Having a finished basement might give you all the square footage you need to separate your work and personal spaces.
For a basic home office you’ll need a desk, a computer, and a comfortable chair, but everything else will depend on your line of work. You might need space for paper storage, a large whiteboard for brainstorming, or a second chair for clients who come to consult with you. Customize your space to best meet your daily needs and keep your office exclusively for business-related endeavors.
If you do have regular clients coming to visit, consider adding a door to the outside. Enabling clients to enter directly into your office without having to go through your home is much more professional.
11. Separate Apartment
If you have the space and a dedicated exit, consider transforming your basement into its own apartment that you can lease out or list on Airbnb. This could be a great way to fund your basement renovation and earn some extra income.
You’ll need to be sure your apartment has everything it needs to satisfy local zoning laws. Most tenants will expect at least one bedroom, living room, bathroom, and a kitchen. Decorate the space as clean and neutral as you can to appeal to most renters. If you plan to rent the space furnished, invest in some durable pieces.
Be sure to sound-proof the apartment, as well. This could mean adding extra insulation or closing up interior doors. This will give privacy to both you and potential renters. Deciding to rent a portion of your home is a big decision, but can pay off big time down the road.
12. Wine Cellar
Wine lovers will immediately recognize that basements can be the perfect storage place for wine. The dark, windowless rooms make for safe conditions to keep wine pristine. If you want to turn your basement into a wine cellar, don’t just stack boxes up – add custom shelving from floor to ceiling and make the room spectacular.
In addition to wine storage, you might want to include a basement bar – complete with a dishwasher or sink for easy clean up. Include enough seating for guests and stock the bar with plenty of glasses. Also consider budgeting some space for displaying your most prized bottles.
Voracious book lovers rise up – a finished basement may finally allow you the space for your very own home library. Create flexible and comfy reading areas or nooks, complete with ample lighting. You can also install custom bookshelves to store and display your collection from wall-to-wall.
14. Laundry Room
If you find yourself wishing for more space to hang dry items or sort and fold clothes, consider putting the washer and dryer in your basement. Not only can this give you some extra wiggle room for laundry day, but it can also block the noise from the machines and offer extra storage space for detergents, hampers, and baskets.
15. Gaming Room
Not to be confused with a game board room, a gaming room is perfect for homeowners who enjoy PC or console video games. Give yourself ample desk space for multiple monitors or a big TV fit for your favorite console. Decorate with colorful lights or posters, and invest in a comfortable chair and under-desk foot stool or pouf.
16. Music Room
If being a musician plays a big role in your or a loved one’s identity, consider creating a space perfect for practicing scales or jamming out. Dedicate enough space for your instruments of choice and any recording or production equipment.
The most important part? Soundproof your basement accordingly. Lay down rugs if your basement isn’t carpeted and install acoustic sound-proofing foam to the walls. Decorate with sheet music prints, beloved records, or vintage band posters.
17. Yoga Studio
What better way to unwind than with your very own yoga studio? The extra space and coolness of a basement makes for a perfectly calm atmosphere fit for breathing exercises and practicing your tree pose after a long day.
Install studio mirrors that stretch along your wall, allowing you to better view and practice your form. We don’t recommend carpeting for a studio space – try hard wood or tile that will give you the stability you and your yoga mat need.
Whether you just want a space for bulky power tools or a workbench for your latest project, a basement workshop could be just what you need. Build a workbench to fit your woodworking or project needs and include ample storage space for tools, safety equipment, and works-in-progress.
19. Indoor Garden
For homeowners with a green thumb, an indoor garden could be a perfect addition to your home. Your finished basement can give you just enough space for propagating new plants or germinating vegetable seeds before relocating them outdoors.
Invest in ample light sources to keep your plants happy and, depending on which plants you have, you may even want a few heating pads. Include a sink or keep a nearby watering can and you’ll have a thriving garden in no time.
20. Photo and Filming Studio
Content creation is on the rise – whether it’s curating a YouTube channel, blogging, or other social media, having your very own photo studio can be super convenient for a clean and attractive background.
Invest in a good photo backdrop and studio lighting to make for some professional-looking portraits, or if your medium of choice is video, consider getting a greenscreen to really let your creativity shine.
How Much Does It Cost To Finish A Basement?
The cost to finish your basement depends on a variety of factors, including the current state of your basement, what you want to add, and the cost of labor in your area. For a more accurate estimate, get a quote from multiple contractors and compare your options. Also consider getting quotes with and without certain features – like a wet bar or a bathroom – to see how different upgrades will affect the cost.
In general, the cost to finish a basement is around $40 – $50 per square foot – though your location, the type of project you have in mind, and how much you plan to DIY will all impact the final price tag.
The Bottom Line: Browse These Basement Setup Ideas To Find One That Fits Your Needs
The options available to you when it comes to finished basements are limitless. Book lover or wine lover, craft enthusiast or pool shark, you can find a way to make your basement a place where you love to live.
Your next step after brainstorming about the form and function of a newly finished basement in your home will likely be financing the renovation. Cash-out refinances are highly popular paths to financing basement renovations, as they can provide a large amount of cash at what will likely be a low interest rate. A cash-out refi can also be an opportunity to secure a lower mortgage rate. If you’re interested, why not start the process to get a cash-out-refinance today so that you don’t lose momentum on your decorating dreams.
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