Cold Minnesota winters allow us to find ways to enjoy life indoors. If you have an unfinished basement that looks dark and uninviting, why not convert it into a bright living space you can enjoy?
Just because your basement is underground doesn’t mean it has to be dark. Finished basements feel light and open. They add value to your home and bring loads of enjoyment to you, your family, and your friends.
Here are some ways to revitalize and refinish your basement.
10 Ways to Brighten up Your Basement
Do you currently have heavy curtains, dark window blinds, or thick landscaping hindering light from entering your basement? Does your basement have small or no windows, leaving it dismal looking? Are soffits or decking blocking the light that should be teeming into your basement? The solution to these and other dark basement dilemmas is simple.
1. Go with an open-concept layout
Walls inhibit light from traveling, and in the basement, you want to take every opportunity to brighten things up, so go with an open-concept layout, and you’re off to a good start.
2. Add all the natural light you possibly can
Several window styles can work well in most basements. Make sure you hire a reputable contractor (and if you are in the St. Paul and the Greater Minneapolis areas, we can help!) to install your windows because it will be necessary to obtain a permit and ensure your windows meet code and are safe. Here are some common window styles for basements.
- Awning windows—This small window hinges at the top and opens outward. One of its perks is that it can even be open in the rain!
- Hopper windows—The bottom of this small window opens inward from the top. It’s commonly installed as a basement window and is usually found in pairs on either side of a door or along the bottom of casement windows.
- Glass block windows—These thick blocks of glass are fixed in a window that doesn’t open. They are translucent but not entirely see-through, giving you privacy yet allowing natural light into your basement.
- Sliding windows—These windows open by sliding horizontally. Also called gliders, these feature two panels side-by-side rather than on top of each other.
- Glass doors—If your basement has a door to the outside, replace it with a door with windows. Install a sliding glass door or French doors to make way for even more natural light.
3. Use reflective surfaces
Mirrors and other reflective surfaces brighten up your basement with ease. Mirrors make a room look bigger and reflect light, making them a perfect accent to your finished basement. One large mirror or a series of small mirrors can be integrated into your décor.
Shiny metal accents are another way to use reflective surfaces to brighten your basement. Planters, lamp bases, and candle holders made of metal can reflect light and make your space more cheerful.
4. Paint your walls a light color
White or light-colored paint will brighten up your basement in a hurry, making it a much more desirable place to spend time.
5. Install light-toned flooring
A cold, unfinished concrete basement floor looks unattractive, and walking on it can be uncomfortable. It’s the perfect canvas for installing gorgeous, light-colored, low-maintenance flooring. Luxury vinyl planks in a faux wood finish or light-hued tile create a brighter, lighter space that will withstand the higher moisture levels common to basements.
6. Layer your lighting
Begin with installing recessed lighting on your ceiling so you can direct light down over the length of your basement. Then, layer lighting to make the room bright and cheerful. Floor lights work well in dark corners, and track lighting works well over sitting areas to add more light.
LED lighting is an energy-efficient choice that lasts longer and comes in more sizes than traditional bulbs.
7. Choose light furniture
Create a positive atmosphere in your basement by incorporating bright, light-colored furniture and decorative artwork that adds a pop of color. Paintings and collectibles are examples of vibrant accents that can be used to brighten up your space.
8. Add elements of nature to your décor
It’s always refreshing to bring some of the outdoors inside. Find plants that don’t need much natural sunlight to thrive, or get artificial plants that look real and add them to your finished basement’s décor.
A simple way to keep your finished basement looking brighter is to keep clutter at bay. Simply put your organizational skills to work as you design your basement, and everything will have a place where it belongs. When everything has a place, it’s easier to keep a decluttered look in your space, which is one more way to make it inviting.
10. Create space between your home and your landscaping
Beautiful greenery can make your home’s curb appeal soar, but it can darken your basement if it’s too close to your home’s walls. Do everything you can to keep natural light teeming into your basement, including keeping landscaping well-manicured and planting greenery further away from your basement windows. This will enhance the look of your basement and keep damaging water at bay from your home’s foundation.
Enjoy the Beauty and Versatility of a Finished Basement
Your unfinished basement’s square footage can be converted into a well-purposed space for you to enjoy. Make it a private bedroom suite, a recreation room, a home gym, a theater room, a craft room, or more.
At VL Builders, at our initial meeting, we provide you with a sales folder with our licenses, credentials, and references, so you feel confident moving forward with us. And we do a ninety-day check-in after completing your project to see if anything needs to be adjusted.
Learn more about our basement remodeling services.