A finished basement can be a fabulous addition to any home, creating another livable room for enjoyment, well-needed space, and storage. Not to mention the separation from the rest of the home can make your basement a great place to relax, entertain, or the perfect place to workout and practice yoga. The only challenge is getting enough of natural light in the room so that your basement feels more like a nest rather than a cocoon.
The area in the basement tends to feel more spacious and airy than the rest of the home because it’s not encompassed by walls separating room to room, but it is also famously dark. Although it serves as a great canvas to work with, the downside could be that unless you’re the prince or princess of darkness, you’ll feel as if you’re becoming dull and dreary after spending some time down there. Which is why finding ways to bring in more natural light and then manipulating your decor to creatively reflect what little sun you’re able to capture is essential to transforming this area. Bear in mind, that natural light isn’t only good for saving on energy bills and taking great selfies, it’s a healthy source of true energy. I mean, if it can make a plant flourish with life there’s proof enough that having sunlight pouring into the room is good for everything and anything.
Here are 10 easy ways to add natural light to your basement:
USE OF METALLICS
We’ve all heard the tip about using mirrors to make a room appear more spacious. That’s still true because mirrors mimic the look of real windows. But, how many mirrors can you put up to reflect enough light to make a difference without making your basement look like a circus funhouse? Use metallic, glass, and reflective decor pieces as they have the ability to reflect light the same way mirrors do such as, gold or silver vases and frames.
USE MULTIPLE SOURCES OF LIGHT
The obvious way to counteract darkness is by adding light. Integrate multiple light sources within the living area. Pot lights usually work best. Track lighting is an option but if the ceilings are particularly low the tracks can take up valuable space. Supplement your overhead lights with table lamps, you could never have enough lighting!
Another thing to note is to check that the wattage of your bulbs is correct. Often you’ll find a 40 watt bulb in a 60 watt which can actually make the light look so dingy.
INSTALL AN E-GRESS WINDOW
If you live in a home that has basement windows so small that it cannot fit an adult through as an alternate emergency escape route, you can benefit from installing an e-gree window.
An egress window in a basement dramatically brightens an otherwise dark, dingy room, but it also has a more serious purpose. It’s large enough to offer a safe exit from the basement in the event of fire or other emergency. Adding an egress window is essential any time you remodel your basement to make a new bedroom, office or other living space.
An accent wall can add a well-needed pop of colour and truly anchor the space. The colour of the accent wall doesn’t have to be subtle, but it should be airy and pure such as a polar white, soft blue, or yoga green. Not only will an accent wall create brightness in the room, it will give it dimension.
The type of flooring you choose for your basement is important because the dampness. No matter where you live, it is not uncommon to experience a damp environment in the basement so, with that in mind you’ll want to steer clear of hardwood and choose a type of material that can better withstand moisture and potential flooding. Opting for laminate would be a smart choice. Whatever flooring you go with, continue it throughout the entire basement area, including any bedrooms, living area, or kitchen. The continuity will make the space appear larger, changing between flooring may cause a visual break and makes a space appear slightly cluttered.
You can make your basement look as livable and cozy as possible but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the lowest room in the home and since warm air will rise, your basement will feel chilly and damp. This can often be remedied with heavy fabric window treatments, such as warm velvet.
Bear in mind that most basements have very small windows, making it tempting to install short curtains which would be a big mistake. Why highlight the fact that the window is tiny and small? Consider using a longer curtain can create the illusion of bigger windows. When choosing curtains, stick to light and airy colors to make your house look more appealing, heavy patterns are overwhelming and appear cluttered.
PAINT OLD BRICK
Some older homes have a brick fireplace built into the wall and often homeowners feel it’s more of an eye sore that a source of warmth and comfort. Turn this old gem into rustic glam, embrace the old world charm it brings. Consider painting the brick in a light, subtle shade like polar white or eggshell. You’d be amazed how amazing painted brick looks, it’s modern and will significantly brightens up the room. See gorgeous examples of painted brick fireplaces here.
With these tips, your basement can become your private getaway in the realm beneath your home. There really is no secret to styling your basement, simply continue to design with fun and comfort in mind as you did with the rest of your home. Feel free to continue the style from the rest of your house for consistency. No one wants to feel like they are entering the depths of the dungeon or a whole other world when they enter the basement. The more seamless the transition can be from upper floor to the basement, the more livable your basement will feel to you and your guests.