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Renovated basement with built-in cabinets and wood-panneling.

Finish Your Basement with These 20 Renovation Ideas

Completing your unfinished basement? Finishing your basement is a great way to add livable square footage to your home, make it more attractive to buyers, and provide a place for entertaining guests. While the upfront average cost to finish your basement can be pricey, the return on investment may be up to 75%! Get started with these 20 basement remodeling ideas.

Utilize Natural Light

Basements can typically be pretty dark, but there are plenty of ways to brighten up your space in your basement remodel. Paint the walls with pale colors and add mirrors to help maximize the amount of light that can be reflected—this will help create a more open and airy feel, especially if your basement is a small area. You can also consider incorporating wall-to-wall exterior sliding doors, large glass windows, or even a cool garage door to your walkout basement to allow more natural light to flow in. Not to mention— having an additional basement entrance offers value due to the safety and convenience of having an extra exit!

Dress Up Basement Windows

Not everyone thinks of the small emergency windows as something to improve when giving their basement a makeover. Build deep sills, add a dark wood trim, and switch old latch closures for ones with gold or matte finishes to amp up the style of your basement windows. You can also dig down to create larger windows and allow more natural light into the basement.

Include Light Fixtures

Since having plentiful natural light isn’t always an option, adding artificial ambient, accent, or task lighting is a simple finished basement idea that won’t break the bank. Install bright pendants, track lighting, chandeliers, or even neon signs depending on the theme. Smart bulbs are perfect for recessed lighting fixtures, and you can even control the brightness from your phone or smart speakers. Basements are usually fairly dark, so adding nice lighting can drastically improve your basement design and add a cozy feeling.

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Divide the Space

large stone archway leading to another basement area photo by Instagram user @manorbrook

Photo via @manorbrook

If you’re looking to use your basement for several different purposes, consider how you can add separation in your basement remodel. Installing arches is a smart way to add design flair while also creating distinct zones within your space—these DIY drywall arches can be installed between existing doorways or to support columns. If you’re looking to divide your space on a budget, adding bookshelves or sliding doors to your basement layout also allows you to create the feeling of extra rooms without the expense of building complete walls.

Get Creative with Flooring

gray flooring in a basement with a full counter and bar photo by Instagram user @forteflooring

Photo via @forteflooring

Choosing the right flooring should be at the top of your basement remodeling ideas list. Create a cozy basement space with wall-to-wall carpeting, a modern look with ceramic tile and bright area rugs, or combine multiple floor types to stand out and create different zones! Vinyl plank flooring gives the stylish look of hardwood floors for half the price. If your basement is a bit dark, choose lighter-colored flooring that reflects light well to make the space seem bigger, brighter, and more welcoming.

Explore Different Wall Textures

Basement walls are the perfect opportunity for you to get creative! Mixed wood walls are a budget-friendly wall idea that will give your space a cabin-like feel. Charcoal stones, brick, or tile are great options if you want to experiment with texture. You can also try textured wall painting techniques such as sponging, rag painting, or lime wash walls. However, if you’re not ready to make any drastic wall changes, a neutral wall color paired with colorful crown molding will do the trick every time.

Add a Bathroom

Adding a bathroom is a worthwhile upgrade when considering ideas for the basement—no one wants to climb a flight of stairs just to use the restroom. Though you’ll have to think about plumbing, electricity, flooring, and ventilation, it may well be worth it—in fact, an extra bathroom can boost your home’s value by 10% to 40%! If no one will be living in the basement, a half bath might be sufficient. Or go all out and include a shower with a tub and built-in shelves for towels and other necessities.

Turn a Basement Space into a Bedroom

basement bedroom with four bunk beds and small childrens chairs nearby photo by Instagram user @remodelaholic

Photo via @remodelaholic

Have regular visits from extended family or a teen that’s tired of sharing a bedroom with their sibling? Creating a basement bedroom can give someone the space and privacy they need for a good night’s rest. If you want a spare sleeping area but have a smaller basement, consider creating an alcove with a built-in bed and shelves. Just be sure your basement plans include adding an egress window to the bedroom in case of emergencies.

Go Big with a New Living Room

small basement living room with sectional couch and TV photo by Instagram user @madebycarli

Photo via @madebycarli

A basement living room is the perfect place to get together with the family, entertain guests, or simply unwind. Having more than one space for relaxing is especially convenient if you have kids—your kids and their friends can hang out without it feeling like they’ve taken over the house. You could also use this space to create a fun basement game room by adding a pool table, foosball table, and dart board! Creating a basement family room is an attractive and functional way to spruce up your basement design.

Make an Apartment Suite

Go for a full-scale transformation by turning your basement into an attached accessory dwelling unit. You can use it as an in-law suite, rent the space out to earn extra money, or let your college kids stay there in between living arrangements and jobs. Add in a kitchenette, a bathroom, a sofa for lounging, and a half wall or privacy curtains to create the boundaries of a bedroom. Utilizing this space as a basement apartment will provide extra privacy for both you and whoever lives in it.

Set Up a Home Office

If you need a designated space to work from home, your finished basement is the perfect spot. The basement is likely quieter than the rest of the house, and you’ll have more privacy for phone or video calls. Find the right desk and a comfortable chair, add proper lighting, and install shelves for organization and decor. Office storage cabinets add style and are also a great place to keep important documents and supplies.

Give Laundry a Designated Area

laundry room space with wash sink and washer and dryer photo by Instagram user @teamknoell

Photo via @teamknoell

A basement laundry room gives mounds of clothes and sports gear a designated spot off of bedroom and hallway floors. Adding an energy-efficient washer and dryer, tile floors for easy cleaning, and tall storage cabinets to store ironing boards and detergents are all great basement laundry room ideas. You could even DIY a wall-mounted folding table to help you do the laundry faster!

Create a Hobby Room

If you have a hobby or interest you love, why not create a room for it when developing your basement layout plans? Build your own craft room or home art studio by bringing in a work table or easel, cube and crate storage, and a pegboard wall for supplies. Soundproof the walls, bring in comfy seating, and use your instruments or record sleeves as decor in a home music room. Other hobby room ideas include a sports-themed room, home library, a yoga or meditation room, and more!

Enjoy a Theater Experience at Home

home theater space with nice reclining chairs and projector screen photo by Instagram user @woodys_soundup

Photo via @woodys_soundup

What better feature to include in your basement plans than a home theater? Basements often have few to no windows, making the dark space ideal for a theater room. Raise the floor to add rows of recliners, invest in recessed fixtures with soft lighting you can dim, and opt for a projector and screen instead of a TV. Whatever your style may be, there are tons of home theater ideas for you to try.

Sweat It Out in a Home Gym

home gym space with weights and mirrors photo by Instagram user @gardner.fox

Photo via @gardner.fox

If you want to add a workout room to your home but want to be able to move freely without making too much noise, a basement gym is the way to go. Stock your in-home gym with dumbbells, a treadmill, or even invest in the home steam room you’ve always wanted. Make sure you pick appropriate flooring such as wood floors, tile, or linoleum for your workout station—a hard surface will be easier to keep clean than carpet. Adding gym floor mats is another affordable basement flooring option and a smart way to protect the floor from heavy equipment!

Give Your Kids a Playroom

Cool basement ideas don’t just have to be for the adults—consider using your basement remodel to do something fun for the little ones! Stairs that turn into a slide, a rock climbing wall, and built-in shelves to house games and toys are all great playroom ideas to consider for your basement. Don’t forget to add a pop of color to your basement design to create a space where the kids’ imaginations can run wild!

Entertain Using a Basement Wet Bar

Building a bar is a fantastic way to renovate a basement. Install some cabinets with a built-in counter up against the wall to keep the space open. Or make your basement bar the main spot to socialize with wrap-around counters and cool bar stools. Add major style points with a built-in fridge, countertop beer tap, and lots of snacks! Whether you’re building the ultimate man cave or just hoping to entertain, an indoor bar is a great addition to any basement.

Show Off Your Wine Collection

Wine connoisseurs can show off their favorite selection of reds with unfinished basement ideas like a home wine cellar. A personalized space to store your collection takes strategic planning, but with the proper air system, shelves or racks, and insulation, you can have your dream DIY wine cellar! If you’re low on space, creating a wine wall and adding a small table and chairs for tasting can be both fun and functional.

Customize Your Staircase

Your stairs are the first thing guests see when they go down to your basement. Give them something to talk about with a staircase that’s one of a kind! Opt for a floating staircase, light-up stairs, or add glass side panels to give your basement stairs some style. Or make smaller changes by installing patterned carpet, decorative tiles, or a unique stair railing. You can also utilize the space under your basement stairs for storage, a small coffee bar, or even a cozy reading nook.

Incorporate Basement Storage

Your renovation project isn’t complete without basement storage. Keep your basement area decluttered and protect your TV equipment from getting ruined with DIY recessed shelves, floating shelves, or extra closet spaces. Storage cabinets are excellent for showcasing decor and books. You could even use them to build a custom snack bar! If built-in storage isn’t an option, create an area for organized storage bins, or use wall hooks for hanging larger items. You can also build a storage room if you still want to use your basement as a general storage solution.


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