Drab to fab basement ideas

Drab to Fab: Basement Decorating Ideas

January 30, 2020

We get so caught up in furnishing and decorating all of the rooms in our homes that we often forget about the basement. Basements can begin as extra space, but with a little planning, these blank canvases can be transformed into almost anything! This blog will give you tips, tricks, and ideas on how to transform your unfinished basement with some savvy decorating.

Unfinished Basement Tips

Safety First

Check in with your local building department before you make any commitments to decorating an unfinished basement, as you may need a permit. Other safety precautions may include having a safety exit in your basement or a minimum ceiling requirement. Be sure to check for water damage and any foundation issues before you start redesigning so you don’t have to tear anything down in the future.

Air Purification

Because humidity and condensation can be serious concerns for a basement, seal any air leaks and consider investing in a dehumidifier. When choosing flooring, keep in mind that non-wool carpet tiles are easier to replace and trap moisture and humidity. For walls and ceilings, consider using drywall or sheet rock, as they have similar anti-humidity properties.

Storage space under stairs

Unfinished Basement Tricks

Once your basement is safe and sound, you can start thinking about colors, layout, storage, and lighting. Here are a few unfinished basement ideas to help you create a more welcoming space.


Light neutral colors such as gray, taupe, and white are easy to complement and can make your space feel more expansive. Stick to neutral color palettes when brainstorming basement decorating ideas. You can use bursts of bold and vibrant colors to add character to your room through accessories such as throw pillows, curtains, and rugs.

Open Concept

Keep smaller basement areas open to maximize space and make them feel larger. Avoid adding walls and decorating around any columns that create the foundation for your home. Instead, designate different areas of your basement by switching up the color.


Most basements serve as general storage areas. Incorporate shelves and cabinets that go from floor to ceiling to give the impression that the room is larger and to maximize the available space. Furniture that also acts as storage space is a plus. Think ottomans with hidden compartments, murphy beds, staircase storage, or side tables with drawers.


Basements are usually underground, which means they often lack natural lighting. By adding in lighting strategically, your basement will feel bigger and you will easily make up for the lack of windows. Use string lights, table lamps, and floor lamps and place mirrors to reflect any light in the room.

Finished Basement Ideas

Ready to decorate and furnish your basement? Take a look at these cool basement ideas and get the inspiration you need to choose how to use your space.

Basement guest space

Extra Guest Space

Ideal for families who love to host guests or anyone looking to generate a little extra money by renting out the space, guest bedrooms can be a great basement idea. One thing you may want to consider for your basement bedroom is the bathroom. You can incorporate either a full bathroom or a half bathroom so your guests don’t have to venture upstairs and lose out on any privacy.

At-home office space

Work and Play Areas

At-Home Office

The basement can be the perfect escape from distractions, while allowing you to clearly define your workplace as a separate area from the rest of your home. Make sure to think about the noise level above and consider adding sound-absorbing panels to your basement walls for peace and quiet.

Craft Corner

As far as unfinished basement ideas go, craft nooks are a simple yet rewarding option. Create individualized craft stations for the kiddos or set up your own personal space and let the glitter fly! Your basement storage will be ideal for organizing all your supplies.

In-home entertainment space

Entertainment Space

There are so many different basement ideas that revolve around entertainment, from having a pool or ping-pong table to a dart board or karaoke area. You can transform your space into an at-home theater with just a projector and bean bag chairs. Add in a mini-bar and a few cabinets of snack foods and your friends and family will be begging to come back!

At-home gym

At-Home Gym

A more ambitious unfinished basement idea is to build an at-home gym. No matter whether you want a space for your free-weights or a comprehensive gym complete with machines, you can eliminate the monthly membership costs and the time you would normally spend traveling to and from your workouts. Set up your equipment just the way you like it and blast your favorite tunes for your best and most convenient gym sessions yet.

Kids cave

Personalized Spaces for Him, Her, and the Kids

Man Cave

No space is too small for your perfect man cave and there are a bunch of cool basement ideas to consider. Cheer on your favorite sports teams from the comfort of your own home by designing your ideal sports-themed man cave, complete with jerseys, logos, flags, and themed furniture. A video game room will allow you to focus and enjoy your experience without disrupting others. Another basement decorating idea is a lounge space filled with comfortable furniture, a large television, a full bar, a poker table, a dart board, or a pool table.

She Shed

Live out your wildest Pinterest dreams with one of these unfinished basement ideas for her. Create your own reading nook with ample lighting, cushions, and bookshelves. You can take advantage of your extra storage and build a personalized fashion studio complete with a tri-fold standing mirror. Thinking of creating a lounge space? Find some comfy, bold-colored furniture and complement it with simple throw pillows or a soft rug. Text the girls and get ready to host a wine night (or two).

Kids Cave

By creating a kids cave, you’ll give your children ample room to slay dragons and live out their fairytale dreams in a designated space. Transform any dull basement into a wonderland by filling it with lots of lighting, bright colors, and, most importantly, your children’s favorite toys and games. Other items to incorporate include soft flooring, easy-to-reach toy storage, and versatile furniture.

Finishing up your basement may seem like a time-consuming task, but it is well worth it. Finished basements provide you with extra living space and increase your home’s resale value. Consider all of these basement ideas as you create and execute a decorating plan for your unfinished basement! You can also check out our home renovation tips here.

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