If you have a basement, consider yourself lucky. Not everybody has that downstairs room of extra space and storage that can also be kept out of the eye of visitors. But with a little work, a basement can be converted into a comfortable, casual second living room. Don’t fall into the trap of letting your basement become an eye-sore of storage space just because it’s underground. Rather, take advantage of the space and turn it into a place you want to spend time and show off to others.
There are a few things to keep in mind when making your basement a comfortable dwelling space. You’ll want to control the air’s humidity with a large room humidifier to keep moisture at the optimal levels, and you’ll want to add decorative and practical lights to make sure the space isn’t gloomy or drab. So whether you’re aiming to transform your space into a den, a game room, a Man Cave or a She Shed, read on for our tips on how to make your basement a comfy place you want to hang out.
There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Seating
Ok, don’t take that too literally. You can clutter a room with too much seating. But if you’re aiming to make your basement a comfortable space, seating is one of the first things you should add. A big couch is a must, and in my humble opinion, an L-shaped couch is perfect for a basement hang-out spot if you have the space. But don’t stop at just a couch; basements are the perfect spot for fun seating that may not be as practical in other parts of your house, like different shaped bean bag chairs and other unique options that encourage lounging but might be too eccentric for other areas of a home. Take advantage of the fact that a basement doesn’t need to be as polished in its design, and use those creative colors and materials you love that don’t necessarily go with the rest of the house.
Add the Right Lighting
Depending on the vibe you’re going for, you can get pretty creative with your basement’s lighting, too. If you’re creating a cozy space to watch movies and hang out, consider string lights around the perimeter of the room; these are as decorative as they are practical, and are a great alternative if you don’t want to turn on overhead lights but don’t want to be in the dark. Lamps are another option, as they provide more lighting than string lights but won’t make a cozy room overwhelmingly bright. They also allow for some creativity, as lamps can come in all sorts of fun shapes and sizes. If you really want to give your basement a cool vibe, opt for something unique like a lava lamp, a neon sign, or DIY hanging lights made out of wine bottles or recycled beer cans over your basement bar. Ultimately, the message is to try something cool and new. Basement decor and lighting goes by its own rules. Pick a vibe and go for it.
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Add a Large Room Humidifier
A common issue that gets in the way of a comfortable basement hang out is dry, cool air that can make spending time in the room less than ideal. That’s why a large room humidifier is on this list; it’s not decor and it won’t exactly help you set the vibe, but if there’s one thing that will make your basement more objectively comfortable, it’s a large room humidifier. This device will ensure that the air you’re breathing, perhaps the most important thing in the room, is the optimal humidity level. Basement air that’s too dry can irritate one’s throat, skin, and nose while potentially exacerbating cold and allergy symptoms. Particularly in colder winter months, hanging out in a basement can actually become unhealthy. But not with a large room humidifier.
These devices also often have the added bonus of not only combating dry basement air, but also the musty basement aroma that’s all too common. Many large room humidifiers have a try to disperse essential oils, adding an aromatherapy component to the device and the room. So not only will a large room humidifier ensure you’re breathing healthy, optimally moist air, but it’ll also give your basement a calming lavender aroma. Or bergamot, or eucalyptus, or rose oil. Any scent you want, really. Who needs an air freshener when you have a large room humidifier?
Bundle up With Blankets
Another key to making your basement a cozy oasis is to have a plethora of blankets available, especially if you have a significant amount of seating. The power of blankets cannot be overstated; not only do they wrap you up and provide warmth and comfort, perfect if you’re using your basement to watch movies and hang out with friends, but they also provide decoration. Get blankets that go with the vibe of the room, and have enough so that if you had a group of friends over for a movie night, everyone would get some blanket coverage. This is a foolproof way to ensure you have a comfortable basement.
Stylize Your Storage
Just because you’re making your basement a comfy place to hang out doesn’t mean you can’t still use it for storage. You just have to be creative about it. Build into your walls, if possible, so you have drawers for storage without taking up space and being an eyesore. Utilize stylish floating shelves and ottomans with hidden compartments. And you don’t have to opt for traditional metal racks; try closed shelving to hide anything that might be less-than-ideal to look at in the open, or use a corner for shelving that you can put decorative curtains around. There are numerous creative ways to use your basement as both a storage space and a comfortable place to hang out; you may just have to put a little work in to make your space perfect for both.
The Bottom Line
A comfy basement is all about creating a vibe and sticking with it. If you have the time, it can be the perfect weekend project. But it doesn’t have to break the bank, either. Some of the best finds for basement decor (and DIY house decor in general) are at thrift shops, antique shops, and vintage stores. Check Facebook Marketplace too for items like old chests and lamps that can really add to the space. And at the end of the day, don’t be afraid to get out a hammer and nails and get your hands dirty. It is a basement, after all.