Get the Lowdown on Basement Remodeling Trends

Beth Orr Schroeder
Updated October 29, 2016
basement with bar and fireplace
Because basements are now used for everyday living, homeowners aren’t skimping on finishes. (Photo courtesy of Dover Home Remodelers)

Basements used to be damp, musty spaces relegated to seasonal storage.

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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. Our team 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). Gather basement ideas from what we’re seeing as the latest basement design trends. 

Established flow

In areas where people spend a lot of time indoors during the cold winter months, basements provide essential living space.

basement living room with fireplace
Homeowners are making the newly-fashioned basement flow as an extension of the home by repeating the same woodwork, trim and casing finishes throughout. (Photo courtesy of Dover Home Remodelers)

Wide open spaces

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.

Smart storage

pantry room in basement
Create a pantry in your basement. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Serradimigni/Develop Photography)

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

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 feel. 

Layered lighting

It’s important to get lighting right in the basement so it doesn’t feel like a cave. If the space is divided into zones, you’ll want the capability to adjust the lighting accordingly.

basement bar with stone detailing on wall
People are designing their basements with can lighting on dimmer switches, pendants, and floor or table lamps. (Photo courtesy of Dover Home Remodelers)

Basement bar

corner bar in basement
We’re seeing some version of a bar in nearly every basement remodel. (Photo courtesy of Dover Home Remodelers)

There are no rules; make it your own. Here are some popular options.

  • 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 for game night snacks and drinks

Basement bathroom

bathroom in basement
Adding a powder room or full bath makes the space more convenient. (Photo courtesy of Dover Home Remodelers)

In addition to just adding another bathroom to the house, which is always a win, there will be no more running up and down the stairs when you’re enjoying your new space. 

The best part about today’s basement trends is that they are inventive and personal. Making the space your own creates a functional and enjoyable part of your home.

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As of October 28, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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