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Decorating Your Finished Basement

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Whether you did it yourself or hired a contractor, once your unfinished basement has become a finished room, decorating is the next step. A large space could have a few uses. Add value to your home with the right touches. Check out these savvy decorating tips to turn that plain basement into a family game space, home office or man-cave getaway you've dreamed about.

Man-Cave Getaway

What guy wouldn't want a place to get away from it all? Today's properties feature "man caves" as the go-to manly spot. Decide the theme (e.g., media, gym, gaming, music) and how much of the basement is needed for each theme. Show your personality.

  • Purchase weights, big-screen television, poker table and/or pool table to fit the theme(s).
  • Put throw rugs on the floor for a media or gaming room or exercise mats for a gym.
  • Get the lighting right for the usage: brighter light for gym or game room, softer light for media or entertainment space.
  • Install sound-proof insulation for media/entertainment rooms so that the family or neighbors are not bothered and for the best acoustics.
  • Place dartboards, sports memorabilia, antique beer signs or other items on the wall that fits the theme, but in moderation.
  • Try tiered seating for the best view in a media room.

Family Recreation Center

A family recreation center can include gaming consoles with plenty of controllers for multiplayer gaming, ping-pong or foosball table, antique pinball machines, board games and much more. Make it fun for the entire family, regardless of age. Store a few sleeping bags and pillows in the basement for those impromptu sleepovers.

  • Buy a round table for card or board games with several chairs.
  • Have a sturdy card table for putting large puzzles together over several days that can be taken down when not in use, saving space.
  • Provide a refrigerator to store drinks and healthy snacks.
  • Use couches, thick rugs and large pillows, bean-bag chairs or special media rocking chairs to provide comfortable, yet fun, seating for a variety of ages.
  • Paint with two to three brighter colors to enliven the space.
  • Light to set the mood with brighter lighting in game areas and soft lighting in the media area.
  • Create a soft, carpeted space in a corner where kids ages one to five can play and still be seen.
  • Hang chalkboards, corkboards and other items on the walls to spark creativity. Have colored chalk and craft items handy to design those special visual art creations.

Home Office Money-Maker

Home offices are a popular addition in the 21st Century and work best in a small basement. For privacy and quiet time, a larger basement office may need to be partitioned off in a portion of the room. If the office is in a finished room, avoid adding a closet or an egress window will be necessary according to law.

  • Make a comfortable and soothing home office when those work days get hectic by using warm earthy tones.
  • Install plenty of outlets for all your devices and Internet access.
  • Use soft lighting overall, but have bright lights available in work spaces when needed.
  • Try an open counter-style built-in desk against the wall to maximize space.
  • Add a small conference table and/or couch to discuss business with clients.
  • Hang art prints, photographs or other artsy piece that reflects your business, but use only a few pieces so the room does not appear cluttered.
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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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