Budget decorating
Oct 20, 2013

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

By: Martha Uniacke Breen

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas Author: Style At Home

Budget decorating
Oct 20, 2013

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

By: Martha Uniacke Breen

Basements are often the spinster relatives of the rest of the house, says designer Robin Siegerman, principal of Sieguzi Kitchen & Home Inc. and author of Renovation Bootcamp: Kitchens. If you have a finished basement but it's outdated and you want to make it more inviting, or drywalled and insulated (and therefore suitable as a casual living space) but otherwise bare, you can spruce it up without spending a lot of money. (If it is unfinished, however, consider this: A basement renovation may be a major project, but it’s a lot less expensive than an addition and could be just as spectacular.) Here are a few of Robin’s suggestions.




Photo Gallery

prev next 1 of 9

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

Before you begin

If you have a problem with moderate to severe dampness or leaking, deal with it before even considering turning your basement into a living space.

By: Martha Uniacke Breen Source: Paul Chmielowiec Credits: Style at Home

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

Consider installing ventilation

Another common problem, even with fully waterproofed basements, is mould, mildew and mild dampness. Consider installing or beefing up ventilation, ideally with ductwork or ceiling fans. A dehumidifier (portable or built-in) will make the air more comfortable in the basement as well.

By: Martha Uniacke Breen Source: Michael Graydon Credits: Style at Home

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

Consider replacing paneling

Dated paneling in good condition can be painted, and if it’s textured, the surface can look quite attractive with a fresh coat of paint. For a little more money, consider replacing the paneling with horizontal pine boards, for a seaside cottage look.

By: Martha Uniacke Breen Source: Donna Griffith Credits: Style at Home

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

Add full-length curtains

Because the average basement is below grade and windows (if there are any) are usually small, there are several ways you can make them look less stingy. Mirror tiles in the reveal (the recessed sides of the window) can increase the amount of light coming in, and adding full-length curtains will do a lot to increase their visual weight. If there’s room, add a curtain rod above the window and hang curtains all the way to the floor; if the top of the window meets the ceiling, install a smaller rod or attach it to the ceiling. If privacy is a concern, hang full-length sheers, or install micro-blinds within the window recess.

By: Martha Uniacke Breen Source: Tracey Ayton Credits: Style at Home

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

Install broadloom

If you install broadloom, a cozy alternative on a cool basement floor, choose a natural fibre such as wool if possible. Synthetics are more susceptible to the damp air of a basement, often produce off-gassing that can create an unpleasant odour, and are more difficult to clean if you have the gang over for a movie and something gets spilled. Other options include click flooring, which is easy to install and maintain; cork, which is warm, attractive, tough and comes in a myriad of design options; and linoleum, which you can buy in tiles or sheet goods and is a good sound-proofer.

By: Martha Uniacke Breen Source: Paul Chmielowiec Credits: Style at Home

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

Create storage

If you still want to use part of your basement for storage but want to combine it with living space, built-in units are more attractive than utility shelving and can be customized as you like. A less expensive alternative is to look to Ikea, big box or storage stores for attractive ready-mades. Buy plastic bins for storage (more protective than cardboard boxes, and certainly more attractive) or open wicker baskets if you want regular access to the contents.

By: Martha Uniacke Breen Source: Ashley Capp Credits: Style at Home

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

Install recessed pot lights

Installing recessed pot lights at about four-foot intervals will give you all the light you need without further reducing the height of the ceiling, and the recess within the lights creates an illusion of height as well.

By: Martha Uniacke Breen Source: Virginia Macdonald Credits: Style at Home

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

Resiste cast-off furniture

If the basement is meant to be a casual space for kids, resist the urge to put cast-off furniture down there; repair any minor problems like worn springs or loose frames, then slipcover or reupholster. It’s still less costly than buying new, and a lot more comfortable.

By: Martha Uniacke Breen Source: Michael Graydon Credits: Style at Home

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas

Paint the ceiling

If you have a low ceiling, paint it a dark colour. “People are astonished when I tell them to do this,” Robin laughs. In fact, because dark colours recede, painting the ceiling in a darker colour will seem higher than a white one. Dark ceilings (and even walls) add coziness as well, and create a sophisticated setting for a home theatre or TV room.

By: Martha Uniacke Breen Source: Robin Stubbert Credits: Style at Home

Share X
Budget decorating

9 budget-friendly basement makeover ideas