If you're starting to feel cramped in your house, the basement might be the perfect place to expand a bit. While most basement remodels tend to showcase huge, cavernous basements, if your basement is small it can still provide enough space for you to add on a guest suite or pursue your favorite hobby.
The main challenge you're likely to encounter when redoing a small basement is a lack of light and the unsightly but necessary inner workings of your home. Many basements house exposed ductwork, wiring, and appliances such as water heaters. Working with or around these elements will be vital in making the most of your small basement.
If you're ready to start tackling a small basement remodel, keep reading for inspiration on how to make your basement look like it was designed as a livable part of your home and not a spooky space you'd only enter on a dare.
For The Guests
If you frequently have guests spending the night but don't have an extra bedroom, a small basement is a perfect place to put a guest suite. Your guests will enjoy the privacy and comfort, and your kids will appreciate not having to share a room whenever their favorite aunt comes to visit.
1. Colorful Retreat
This bedroom proves that you don't have to go with all white walls to achieve a light and airy look in a windowless room. This homeowner didn't even install can lights, which is a viable option but can be expensive. Instead, lamps and mirrors are used to ensure there is plenty of light. Walls in two shades of teal provide a boost of color, but enough of the walls are white to reflect the light and keep the room from feeling closed in.
2. Shiny Glamor
If part of your basement is above ground, then windows may be an option for you. This room augments a little bit of natural light with lots of recessed can lights. The room has been finished to the same standard as the rest of the house.
Details such as a drywall ceiling, baseboards, and flooring mean that this room can be included in the house's square footage. The all-white walls and furniture, as well as the mirrored accents, make this room seem larger and brighter.
3. Private Bath
Even a small private bathroom will make your guests feel pampered and will make for less crowding in your main bathroom. This small bathroom uses a wall-mounted sink and glass shower walls to maximize the space. Luxury finishes such as natural stone tiles in the shower are much more affordable on a small scale.
The light grayish-green paint gives the bathroom a custom look but doesn't darken the room. The wall sconces reflect light off of the white ceiling to illuminate the entire room.
For the Kids
It's no secret that kids' toys multiply while you aren't looking. Turning a small basement into a playroom will help contain the kids' chaos and encourage their creativity. You may even be able to walk across the living room without stepping on Legos. No promises, though!
4. Outside In
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This fun kids' room brings all the fun of a playground inside. It's great if your kids are full of energy and bouncing off the walls. And, truthfully, what kid isn't? The climbing wall is made by mounting climbing holds into studs. It will free your child's inner mountain climber, while the mat on the floor will protect them from any falls.
The platform "treehouse" and play kitchen will provide hours of creative play. The astroturf rug and faux plants add a charming touch.
5. Crafty Kids
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The little artists in your life will thrive in this room. The large table and adorable Eames-style mini chairs give kids lots of room to spread out and work together on big projects. The shelves provide storage for plenty of art supplies. Put supplies like crayons and paper on the lower shelves for easy access. For messy or potentially dangerous items that require supervision, use the top shelves.
The chalkboard wall adds a pop of color and creativity to the otherwise white walls. The gold polka dots accent the sputnik chandelier that brings a lot of light to this small space.
6. Play Cafe
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The pretend kitchen is the heart of dramatic play for preschoolers. Kick it up a notch and expand the play possibilities by adding an awning and some shelves. With the addition of just a few accessories, this space can be a kitchen, a grocery store, a restaurant, or a bakery.
7. Smarty Pants
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A basement study can provide your little scholars the ideal place to read or do homework. This modular desk and shelving system allows plenty of space for school projects. The rolling desk chair will let your child work in comfort, while the hanging hammock offers a place to relax after a hard day.
For the Adults
If kids have taken over the main floors of your house or have moved out, you might want a space for the adults to relax and enjoy themselves. Consider turning your basement into a bar or theater where you can entertain friends.
8. On the House
This basement bar plays up the industrial feel many basements have by accentuating the brick walls with torch lighting. The metal rails on the stairs and pendant lights over the bar enhance the look. Your basement may not have these fabulous brick walls, but you can fake it with faux brick panels.
The built-in aquarium may be a bit out of reach for a basement remodel, but if budget is no concern, it adds a lot of style and personality.
9. Let's Go to the Movies
While a lack of light is a deterrent in most rooms, for a home theater, it can be a boon. Converting your basement into a home theater can take advantage of what would otherwise be considered a flaw. You don't have to spend a fortune to outfit a home theater. This homeowner has installed a screen and used a projector rather than investing in an expensive, oversized television. Add some comfy seating and snuggle in for a movie marathon.
10. Game Night
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If you'd rather spend the evening playing games rather than watching movies, a game room could be the best use of your small basement. This one features a gorgeous game table for playing poker or board games as well as some arcade-style games. The homeowner has used faux brick panels to give the room a cozy feel.
11. Working Out
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Exercising in a home gym is a lot more convenient than having to schlep to the local Y. Putting in a home gym can be a simple affair if you want a place to run on the treadmill. If you're looking for something a little more comprehensive, you can add free weights and a mirror. A chair to relax in between sets is a welcome addition.
For Your Hobbies
Hobbies provide hours of enjoyment and satisfaction for many people, but the supplies can quickly expand to take over your house. Building a hobby room in your basement will free up living space and let you store and organize your hobby supplies so you'll have more time to spend doing what you love.
12. Sewing Room
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The shelves and desk in this sewing room offer plenty of places to file patterns and fabrics. This homeowner has chosen an unusual take on a drop ceiling, putting up a frame without the tiles that usually accompany it.
13. Art Studio
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This basement didn't need much work to turn it into an art studio. The overhead fluorescent fixtures bring plenty of light to this otherwise dark area. By adding a large table to work on and plenty of storage for art supplies, and you'll be ready to start churning out masterpieces in no time.
14. Canning and Preserving
Whether your garden is overflowing or you want to stock up when you find a good deal, the cool, protected environment of a basement is ideal for storing and preserving food. Putting up shelves will give you plenty of room for jars of preserves. You'll also have room to store your bulky canning supplies.
With everyone carrying around a camera these days, film cameras are now the province of dedicated hobbyists. Setting up a darkroom in your basement is another example of working with the room's structure. A basement with no windows is a developer's dream. This tidy darkroom has a place for everything without any unnecessary clutter.
16. Wine Cellar
This small space has been turned into a gorgeous wine cellar with the addition of custom shelving. The cool basement will make it easy to keep these bottles at the right temperature and away from direct sunlight. A small table and a few stools have been added to offer a place to work on cataloging and organizing the wine.
For the Chores
Sometimes you just need a little extra space for all of the household necessities or extra room to take care of chores. Handling these things in the basement means there's less clutter in the rest of the house.
17. Laundry Room
This stylish, modern laundry room could almost make you enjoy laundry day. Laundry and cleaning supplies can be stored in the cabinets and shelves, while the countertop makes folding clothes a breeze. The brick has been painted white to lighten up the room for a fresh, clean feeling.
18. Storage Room
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Seasonal decorations bring joy to holidays, but they can be cumbersome to store during the off-season. By installing shelves in the basement and using large bins, this homeowner has solved the problem of storing decorations and other items that aren't used daily but are still needed. This organizational system makes it easy to find what you need when you need it.
19. Add a Kitchen
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If you cook a lot and frequently find yourself short of space, adding a small kitchen in the basement can give you another cooking space and some room to cook big meals. This lovely kitchen makes the most of a small space by putting a sink, dishwasher, and cabinets in a little nook that would otherwise be wasted space.
For Extra Room
Having an extra family room or den in the basement can give your family room to spread out. While togetherness is great, sometimes having a little space makes for happier families.
20. Hidden Nook
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This family room includes a bed tucked under the stairs. It can double as a guest room for sleepovers or just a place to catch a few winks during a long movie.
21. All-Purpose Space
A luxurious chaise serves as the focal point of this multi-use basement room. There is a table for working or playing games and extra seating for hanging out. The side tables double as extra storage, adding even more functionality to this space.
22. Minimally Modern
This stunning room proves that a basement room can be as stylish as any other room in the house. The modern furniture and clean lines in this room make it anything but frumpy.
23. Industrial Studio
With everything placed just so, this basement room packs in a lot of room for living in a small space. The industrial design ties everything together for a cohesive, stylish look.
Basements are endlessly versatile. The benefit of waiting to finish your basement until after you've been in your house for a while is that you'll know exactly what you need and how to best use the space.
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