The Down Low on Basement Renovation Trends

December 8, 2016

The American basement has come a long way. It used to be that basements were damp, musty spaces relegated to seasonal storage. But times have changed. Today’s basements hold a wealth of potential that, when tapped, provides livable square footage for everything from home theaters and fitness centers to sports bars.

The fireplace, crown molding and other architectural details dress up this basement area.

The fireplace, crown molding and other architectural details dress up this basement area.

Our team at Dover Home Remodelers in Northeast Ohio has seen basement renovation projects gain momentum, and with good reason. The finished basement is a relatively inexpensive remodeling project (as compared to a home addition). And, in areas where people spend a lot of time indoors during the cold winter months, basements provide essential living space.

Because basements are now used for everyday living, homeowners aren’t skimping on finishes. Here’s what we’re seeing as the latest design trends in basement remodels:

Establish Flow. Make the newly-fashioned basement flow as an extension of the home by repeating the same woodwork, trim and casing finishes throughout.

Open Wide. To avoid feeling like you’re walking into a tunnel at the bottom of the stairs, open up the base of the stairwell, or when possible, widen the stairwell to create a more inviting entry. Some homeowners are opting for a glass door at the top of the basement stairs or deleting a door altogether to create a more seamless space.

Urban Chic. Instead of adding a drop ceiling, leave the exposed mechanicals in place and paint the entire ceiling for a more open, urban loft-like feel.

Smart Storage. For most homeowners, the basement still needs to function as a storage area, so maximize space by adding custom, floor-to-ceiling shelving, hooks, slot walls, etc. to a dedicated storage room or closet.

The lighting design and stone wall make the room seem very light and airy.

The lighting design, stone wall, and open concept make this basement very light and airy.

Layered Lighting. It’s important to get lighting right in the basement so it doesn’t feel like a cave—and so that if the space is divided into zones, i.e. a theater and bar area, that lighting can be adjusted accordingly. The space should be designed with sufficient can lighting (on dimmer switches), pendants and floor or table lamps.

What we’re seeing in nearly every basement remodel:

The Bar. There are no rules…make it your own space:

  • Pub-style bar with sink, wet bar, TVs and barstools
  • Adult-friendly bar with wine cooler, refrigerator, sink and microwave
  • Coffee bar with barista machines, sink and display cabinetry
  • Family bar with mini-kitchen setup for game night snacks, drinks, etc.

The Bathroom. Adding a powder room or full bath makes the space more convenient—no more running up and down the stairs.

The best part about today’s basement trends is that they are inventive—and personal. Above all, making the space your own is what makes it a happy, functional part of your home.

The Best Is Yet To Come,
Beth Orr Schroeder