According to City-Data.com, large homes have finished basements more often, found in nearly a fifth of those homes. While one would think those who own smaller houses could really use that extra space, just 5 percent actually do so.
If you’ve just purchased one of the houses among the Birmingham homes for sale, or your basement has just been neglected, why not take advantage of the space, transforming it from dark and uninviting to a creative, useful room? These are just a few of the fun ideas to consider.
Having an art studio is a great way for budding artists to practice and for the experienced to indulge in their passion. You’ll want a place to organize your supplies like built-in shelving or storage desks. If your basement is dark, with a lack of windows or windows that are too small, consider adding larger windows or tubular skylights on the roof to bring sunlight in. Painting the walls in a light color and adding mirrors can also help make it more light and airy. As this will be a special personal space, you might want to make one wall bring in a splash of vibrant color and add a surround system so you can play music for inspiration.
If you want a space for entertainment, a game room is ideal. Many homeowners make the mistake of over-filling it, but you need to have space to play – remember that most table games like air hockey need to have about four feet of additional space around them. Lighting is important too, so rather than one overhead light, include accent lighting strategically placed around the room. Different colored lights can create a fun and even more engaging atmospheres, such as blue and red ambient lighting for video gaming. If you include a big-screen TV for gaming, be sure to add ergonomically designed chairs. Stools and ottomans that can easily be moved around are a good idea too.
In a gaming room, loud cheers or music can be a problem for those in other rooms of the home, so you might want to make it more soundproofed by insulating the ceiling with fiberglass drop ceiling tiles and adding a solid wood door.
Speakeasies have been making a comeback, so if you’ve been thinking about turning your basement into a bar, going speakeasy-style is a really fun idea. Draw inspiration by Googling speakeasy images from the 1920s, which often had upright pianos, old-style iceboxes, and dark wood billiard tables. If you can afford to change up the floor, consider black and white ceramic tiles or linoleum. Adding nooks that are hidden by bookcases and secret doors heighten the drama. Of course, you’ll need a bar with modern conveniences like a mini-fridge and cabinets for your beer, wine, and cocktail glasses. You’ll want some space for a keg of beer and taps too.
When searching for speakeasy-style decor, check out antique stores, vintage shops, thrift stores, and consignment stores. Search eBay for old newspapers with headlines related to the prohibition that can be framed, as well as old bar signs. Wine colored drapes and valance, along with a hidden speaker loaded up with tunes from the 1920s and ’30s, can enhance the atmosphere even more.