Whether designed to host a party, catch up on the latest blockbuster or cook up a storm, a basement provides endless possibilities. Here are 10 ideas we’ve gleaned from the year’s most popular basement photos so far.
1. A place to go bold. If adventuresome design defines your home, there’s no good reason to deny your basement the same treatment. Conversely, if your design aesthetic runs to the tame side, why not push the boundaries down below? This basement on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, uses bold blues and fabulous wallpaper by Porter Teleo to draw folks downstairs.
2. A wall with a view. Since many basements have no windows, the views are going to have to come from the inside. A gallery wall can be a great way to offer visual interest. This basement in London lines two floating shelves and the floor with a collection of black-and-white photography that’s likely to make people forget about any lack of windows.
3. Formal attire. There’s no reason that a basement can’t be just as formal as your upstairs living room. Since a basement is sometimes the largest room in the house, it can make a terrific place to host a large number of guests. Keep it as well dressed as your upstairs spaces, and no one will complain that the party is happening underground. This Philadelphia basement features crown molding, recessed lighting and matching sofas.
4. Kitchen or kitchenette. If you really want to attract people to your basement, a kitchen is likely to do the trick. You may have a large kitchen upstairs and just want to add a kitchenette in the basement so the kids can make a snack. Or you may want to forgo an upstairs kitchen altogether and add your full-time one downstairs. This blue-and-brass kitchen in Utah has all the allure of any kitchen that’s located a floor above.
5. Stylish storage. If you’re an avid cook and don’t have enough room upstairs to house your cooking supplies or extra food, a basement is a wonderful space to add shelves and extra refrigerators. This basement in Russia lets the homeowners pickle and store vegetables, along with clay cookware, in a well-lit and temperature-controlled space.
6. Banquette dining. If you’re going to add a kitchen or extra food storage, you may also want a space to eat all that grub. Banquettes are a fun way to gather friends and family around the table, whether for eating or playing a board game.
7. Movie theater. One of the most popular uses for a basement is as a media room. The relative darkness, a large-screen television and comfy seating combine for a theater-like experience.
8. Rustic refinement. This industrial-style basement in Denver has a few windows for natural light, but it still provides a comfortable media room for the family. It also includes a wall of reclaimed wood, which seems to be a popular design material in many basements these days.
9. Walkout wonder. If you live on a hill or a mountainside, a walkout basement is a fantastic design feature. Although it doesn’t come cheap, having the ability to walk directly from your basement to the outdoors dramatically increases the room’s entertainment value.
10. Craft corner for kids. Perhaps the biggest advantage of a basement is its out-of-the-way location. This is especially true if you desire a space that can host a pack of rowdy kids bounding with energy and creativity. Having a place for them to create art in a safe environment may be the best use of a basement. This one in Seattle includes a craft table, cubby storage and even a stylish tepee.