How To Decorate A Basement Apartment [5 Wonderful Tips]

Maybe you just signed a lease for that cute basement apartment and you're on the hunt for ideas that will make it a great entertaining space. Perhaps you're already moved in and are just now realizing that what works for a first or second-floor apartment doesn't quite work for a basement-level dwelling. We're here to save the day. We researched to find some great ideas on how to decorate your space!

Here are five things to remember when choosing how to decorate your basement apartment.

  1. Make it bright
  2. Let there be light  
  3. Accentuate the height
  4. Art that moves you
  5. Color accents

Do you still have more questions on how to execute these tips? Stick around and keep reading for more on how to make the most out of your unique space!

A lively and beautiful white living room with a blue accent wall, white loveseat sofa, and a small blue accent chair, How To Decorate A Basement Apartment [5 Wonderful Tips]

How To Decorate A Basement Apartment

1. Make it Bright

A small yellow colored loveseat sofa with flowers on the sides and a tall white colored floor lamp

Since basement apartments tend to have less natural light, it's really important to keep the walls a very light color.  White is always a good choice because it will brighten up the apartment but it also gives you unlimited options when it comes to choosing accessories.

This picture above is a great example of how white walls both brighten up the living space and allow more freedom in choosing furniture. This sofa, in a bit of an eye-popping yellow, makes a statement and brings a bright spot of sunshine into the room. 

2. Let There Be Light 

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Lighting is key when decorating a basement apartment. One thing many basement apartments are lacking, because of their location, is windows. Even if a basement apartment has windows, they are often smaller than normal windows or too high up on the wall to provide much light to the rooms. 

Even worse,  the absence of windows by itself can make even a large room seem claustrophobic. To combat this problem you can DIY a faux window using a lightbox and curtains to create the illusion of a window with daylight streaming in. Another option is to choose a faux window that allows you a view of your favorite European city. 

3. Accentuate the Height

A large library with books filed in a tall white colored bookshelf

Because basement apartments generally have a lower ceiling they can feel small. A way to combat this is to install floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. You can also vary the height of the books and the colors of the spines to give the piece a more eclectic arty look. Using the entire wall from top to bottom also creates the illusion of a higher ceiling.   

4. Art That Moves You

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An oversized print such as this one of the New York skyline creates a good focal point in the living room. By choosing a picture with lighter colors you also brighten up your living area. It's also a good idea to choose a print that makes you feel something no matter how often you look at it. A large print is an investment so it's important you get something you will want to look at for years to come. 

5. Color Accents

A lively and beautiful white living room with a blue accent wall, white loveseat sofa, and a small blue accent chair, How To Decorate A Basement Apartment [5 Wonderful Tips]



We mentioned above how important it is to have walls throughout your basement apartment be a lighter color to avoid darkening the space. An accent wall is an exception that proves the rule. If everything in your entire apartment is exactly the same color, that will shrink a room no matter how light the color is. By adding the pop of color, like the blue above, on both the accent wall and in small touches throughout the rooms it gives the eye something to focus on without being overwhelming. 

Now that we've gone over some of the basics of basement apartment decorating, let's touch on some different scenarios that will require slightly different decorating advice. Keep reading to find out how to solve common decorating problems.  Once you're done you'll be prepared for almost any decorating situation. 

How Do I Decorate A Small Basement Apartment?

A blue sofa inside a spacious living room with gloss wooden flooring

When you are planning how to set up your smaller basement apartment, all the rules above still apply, but even more so. The biggest key to creating a livable small space is to remember is that less is always more. While you may be tempted to add just one more object d 'art, clutter will only make your small space seem even smaller. Fight the urge to try and show off all your treasures at once. Instead, rotate the items you want to display throughout the year to give your apartment a fresh look every season without having to spend more money. 

How Can I Make My Basement Apartment Cozy?  

Different colored throw pillows on a sectional with small blue rugs underneath

If your basement apartment is one large room or it just feels like it, you can give it a cozy feeling by creating different 'zones' based on your needs. Use items like rugs and tables, shelving or lamps to define each space. This allows you to create faux rooms at different levels of cozy within a larger space. Architectural anomalies that are specific to your apartment can also be used to create a seating area or a window seat. There is no one right way to organize it just arrange it to suit your life. If something changes you can always adapt.

How Can I Brighten Up My Basement Apartment?

A beautiful pantry inside a basement pantry with wooden cabinetry

Great lighting is key to creating a basement apartment that feels light and airy. Recessed lighting has many advantages in this environment since the light filters in a way that seems more organic since it is coming from multiple areas.

A single light fixture or ceiling fan can end up creating unintentional gloom by creating shadows anywhere outside the main circle of light. It is also important to use daylight white bulbs whenever possible in your basement light fixtures since they are made to mimic natural sunlight. 

This decorative light cover skylight film covers a flat panel ceiling and mimics the view of a daylight sky.

Click here to find this item available at Amazon

How Can I Keep my Basement Apartment Warm?

Since heat rises, living in the basement can get very cold. The standard fix for this would be to make sure that your apartment is properly insulated and all the windows and doors are sealed to avoid drafts. If you are renting and don't have the option of making repairs you'll need to invest in a heater.

One option to solve this problem and create an attractive look is to purchase an electric fireplace heater. These are available with a TV stand incorporated into them,  but they also sell a standalone fireplace model. The best part is that since they are electric, all you need to do is plug them in and turn them on. These are safer than a space heater and they also give you the emotional comfort of sitting in front of the fire. Unfortunately, you can't cook s'mores over this fire.

The Ameriwood Home Carver Electric Fireplace TV Stand seen above is both useful and attractive.

This can be found at Amazon by clicking here.

Final Thoughts

Interior of a modern basement with carpeted flooring, a small working area, and a metal railing on the stair section

Now that you know most of the do's and a few of the don'ts of basement decorating, you're all set to transform your basement apartment into a showplace fit for you. Just remember to keep it light and bright, incorporate some color and fun art, and make it yours. We all want to impress our friends but when you're planning the space you're going to live in, the most important thing is that it's your space. Create a place you love where you're comfortable. Whether that means adding in a game room or a reading nook.; it's all up to you so go and create something amazing.

For a few more in-depth ideas for what to do with your basement, check out "17 Incredible Basement Interior Design Ideas."

If your basement space is small, you'll love "23 Spectacular Small Basement Ideas."

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