An unfinished basement is like a clean slate! With endless options and thousands of ideas on Pinterest, it can start to feel overwhelming trying to decide what to include in your basement remodeling design. Let’s take a look at three design elements that will turn your subterranean storage room into a playful and entertaining area of your home.
Do you love a good movie? Sometimes there’s just nothing better to melt away the stress of the week than kicking back and watching a great film. Also, what better way to do that than to create your own space grab some popcorn and drink in the comfort of your own home. Since there’s usually minimal windows or none at all, and it separated from the rest of the living areas, the basement is often the perfect place for a theater room.
The first step in deciding on the best viewing location for that new TV. Wall mounting it can be a great way to get a minimalistic and clean look to your room, but don’t forget the connections for your components. Will your theater room double as a gaming area for the kids? You might want to consider some built-in cabinetry in the entertainment area to keep everything together and organized and to hide all those pesky wires.
From a viewing perspective, avoid mounting the TV on a wall with any windows, or at least be ready to install light-blocking window treatments if you cannot prevent it. Any backlighting or lights from cars will make it hard to see the screen and detract from the experience. Make sure to consider pre-wiring for your components before all the new drywall goes in. Things like gaming consoles, Blue Ray players and surround sound speakers can be remotely located with easy if they are accommodated before the walls are closed up.
Everyone at the movie theaters knows that the movie is about to start when the lights dim, and if it’s your theater, you don’t even have to wait for all those previews to be over. For safety reasons and for decreasing the chance of a spilled drink, lighting needs some thoughtful consideration in your theater as well. If you’re using the space or other purposes as well, those lighting needs will need to be considered, and dimmable lighting might be the single most important aspect of the design. Dimmable lighting will give you the dark movie experience without sitting in total darkness and tripping over the dog when you go to get that refill.
Speaking of drinks and snacks, no theater is complete without a concession stand, and the best part about yours is the prices! Not to mention no lines. Consider including space for a mini fridge and storage for things like candy, popcorn, and other snacks. Who wants to run all the way upstairs for another Twix bar? A small bar area can be a handy concession stand for your theater and pull double duty when you’re entertaining. More on the bar elements below.
Last but not least, let’s talk about seating. For starters, will your theater be a dedicated space, or double as a family room and gaming center? If it’s a dedicated space, individual theater seating with cup holders and even raised platforms may be just the thing. If the kids are playing Xbox when you’re not there, a perfectly sized sectional may be your best bet. Seating is a design element that will be more flexible that moving walls, so keep in mind how your family’s use of the space may change over time as kids get older.
Having a place where the kids can be kids and not have to worry about how loud or crazy, they’re being can be a great relief for them. And you! The kids gain some independence without you feeling nervous about where they are or what they’re up to. Let’s take a look at some of the things to consider for your basement remodeling project.
Kids like games and games come in a lot of shapes, types, and sizes. And the games they like are sure to change as they grow. With that in mind, consider including a place to store all of these fun things when they’re not in use. Depending on their ages and the games they play, a dedicated game table and chairs are an excellent addition as well. That way that never-ending game of Monopoly or that 2000 piece puzzle can wait for them to come back to it when they’re ready to finish up. And best of all, it’s not on your kitchen table.
For those kids with a quieter, more contemplative side, a reading nook just might be what you’re looking for. Consider creating a secluded space, like under the stairs, with built-in bookshelves and cozy place to cuddle up with their favorite book. Stuff it full with pillows, blankets, and a place for a drink, and you might not see that kid for a week!
One of the best parts of childhood is sleepovers. Watching movies, playing games, and goofing around with best friends. If this is a staple in your kid’s entertainment fun, built-in bunk beds can be a great addition to the playroom. The kids can hang out, play games and go to sleep all in the same space. It’ll keep parents from having to send sleeping bags along, and make clean up for you a whole lot easier. All of these ideas are of course to achieve your evil parental plan of having the kids want to play at your house where you know they’re safe! We get it; your secret is safe with us. Also, the kids get a great place to have fun and feel some independence while they create memories that will last a lifetime.
On a more aesthetic note, keep your color choices bright and cheerful to help make your basement feel more open and light. Include plenty of overhead lighting and some accent lighting so you’ll have options for when activities change. For some fun, consider adding a chalkboard wall where kids can draw and write anything they want. The kids get to express themselves and will love having control over their own space. A painted mural is another way to add character and fun to a basement playroom using characters from their favorite movies or make it a jungle theme, so they feel like they’re on a safari! Including the kids on the planning process can be exciting as well, and help to make the space something they love.
Including a bar area to your basement design will create a space where you can entertain in the winter months, or be just the thing for your man cave. Invite the gang and watch the game in your own sports bar. Like buying a car, a bar can be many things, so let’s explore a few options to consider.
Just like designing a kitchen, bars can have a very different level of finish and amenities, and cost and space will be your biggest limiting factors. The first thing to consider is the appliances you’d like to include. These will range from the obvious, like a refrigerator, to the nice to have like a microwave, ice machine, wine cooler, or even a beer tap. Once you have a handle on the functions you’d like, the design can start to take shape for how it all fits together and what the costs may be.
Want a great place to watch the game with friends? Be the host of poker night? A common finished basement option is, of course, the trusty billiard table, but don’t forget other like foosball, air hockey or a poker table. Also, typically when you’re hanging out with friends and sipping some brews, you must have the game on somewhere. Planning the seating and TV placements so everyone can enjoy the game while enjoying one another’s company is critical. Get these pieces right, and the big game and poker night will always be at your place if you want it to be of course. Above all, have some fun, but think through the spaces in advance to be sure to maximize the bang for your buck, and the fun you’ll have later.
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