A comfortable, functional finished basement relies on 3 critical elements – regardless of the uses of the space. Without good lighting and temperature control, a finished basement will be a cold, dark, uninviting place. Storage remains one of the most important uses of basement space. No matter how you design your basement, storage should play a key role.
Natural light makes lower level spaces more comfortable than any other type of light, but not all basements enjoy that luxury. If you have large egress windows or even full-size windows, your basement designs can maximize the light by keeping the layout open with few interior walls. Homeowners with minimal natural light can take advantage of new LED lighting technologies that save energy and provide a range of light colors for a warm, soothing environment. Some lights even let you change the color of the light with your phone!
Most basements are entirely underground, which means they stay cooler than the rest of the house. That’s great in the summer, but can make lower levels less inviting in the winter months. A gas fireplace can add a beautiful touch to any basement space and provide comfortable warmth all year long. Building that fireplace into a custom mantle or entertainment center makes the fireplace a showpiece and can offer important storage options.
Every home accumulates stuff. Holiday decorations, cleaning supplies, off-season clothes, games and toys often find their homes in the basement. Storage space for these items is essential to any good basement design. Walk-in closets with lots of shelves can keep most of these things out of the way and easy to access. Basements also offer unique storage under stairs and in the furnace room. A well-designed entertainment center can also provide excellent storage for electronics, games, books and toys that the family uses regularly.
No matter how you plan to use your basement, your design should consider lighting, temperature control and storage first and foremost. Our design team has helped hundreds of Minnesota families create the lower levels of their dreams. You can see some of their work here.