Some houses are blessed with an extra floor underneath – a basement. Some basements are very small and contain the boiler, electric meter, and a few other similar items. Such basements cannot be used for much more than these utilitarian purposes. However, in other homes, the basement is a floor in itself and can even be divided into several rooms. In many houses, the basement is itself rented out as a separate apartment, with a separate entrance.
But what if your basement is bigger than the utilitarian type mentioned above, yet too small to be rented as an apartment? What is the best way to make use of it, and how can you decorate it?
A lot depends on what you decide to use your basement for. The two most popular purposes for a basement are as storage or as living space. You could base your decision on the following factors:
– Does the basement have a window? If not, and if there is no way to fit one, you are better off using it for storage because everyone needs proper light.
– How big is the basement?
– What would you want to store there? How practical, on the other hand, would it be to furnish it?
Purpose of the basement
If you decide to use the basement for living, or as a place for your children to play or hang out, you could do the following:
– If it is possible, construct windows and/or effective fans for ventilation.
– As most basements are dingy places even with windows, you need to make the place look brighter. Put in strong, bright lighting. Paint the walls in colors that will reflect the light, such as white or bright yellow.
– Many basement floors are very crude. Put down a linoleum surface to make it more comfortable. Add an area rug for comfort and extra warmth. Choose washable materials as some basements can be prone to damp. A good yellow area rug will add brightness and a splash of color. If your teenagers are going to use the place as somewhere to hang out, consider putting down a bright contemporary rug.
– Make sure that there is adequate heating, as being somewhat subterranean can make the place rather cold.
If your decision is to use the place for storage, consider the items that you are putting down there and adapt the place accordingly. For example, as basements tend to be damp, cold places, you should make sure that the conditions are suitable for keeping your wine collection. If you want to store wooden furniture down there, for example, you should first of all make sure that you have eliminated the sources of damp as far as possible.
In both situations, you need to make sure that you can link the basement to your electrical circuit and the water system. In some homes, that can be easier than others.
Your basement can be your greatest treasure, expanding the size of your home and giving you adequate storage space. With the right planning and preparation, you can gain maximal use from it.