Decorating a Refinished Basement

For many people, the basement is an afterthought, more a place to stack out-of-season sports equipment and patio furniture than to design with living, working, sleeping or entertaining in mind. However,many refinished basements have remarkable flexibility in terms of their use. Large, open spaces punctuated by supporting beams function like an open floor plan. Plan your refinished basement decor by considering the room's various uses, remembering to set aside a corner or a wall to store items.

  • Broom
  • Long-handled duster
  • Lint-free rags
  • Sealant
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Furniture
  • Accessories
  • Lighting
Tour your basement, examining walls, areas around windows and sections surrounding pipes for any potential problems. If your refinished basement has not been through a snow or rain season, you may be unaware of any leaks or areas that gather moisture. If you suspect you have a problem area, address cleaning out the damage, repairing any leaks and sealing the wood before decorating.

Clear out your storage so you can work with your space. Sell, donate or recycle anything you have not used for a long time. Sweep, dust and wipe down surfaces, getting the corners, pipes and tops of window frames that tend to gather cobwebs.

Paint refinished basement spaces with light and bright colors to maximize the natural light that enters the room. Many basements have low or minimal windows, so use a semi-gloss paint on the ceiling that can bounce some of the natural light that filters inside. A blue-based white has a cool crispness, while a rosy white or pale yellow exudes warmth. Have fun with some bold accent shades on a focal point wall, built-in shelves, ceiling beams or wall posts. Lime green, periwinkle blue, mango orange or lavender add style to refinished basement decor.

Create vignettes of space within the larger area of the refinished basement by creatively arranging furniture. Set a couch and a love seat in a perpendicular formation around a low coffee table. A tri-fold screen or tall, well-anchored bookshelf may hide a home office or a guest bedroom. Make the most of windows by placing cushioned benches, a floor lamp and baskets of books nearby.

Accent different sections of the room with lighting, textiles and accessories. Throw rugs, floor mats or modular carpet tile can help divide the space while also adding a pop of color or texture to drab basement floors. Wall sconces, pendant lights, chandeliers, table lamps, lanterns and floor lamps provide task, mood and ambient lighting. A large painting or a wallpaper mural can make a wall a focal point. Throw pillows, floor cushions, window treatments and upholstery in light, bright colors and patterns keeps your basement decor scheme upbeat.

Tips and Warnings

  • A simple curtain or screen can block off the section of the basement you use for storage.

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