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Turn basement into liveable, functional space

By Wangeci Kanyeki | January 22nd 2016

There are better uses of a basement room other than a dark and dingy place to dump your unsightly clutter. An underutilised and uninspired basement can be transformed into a multi-functional comfortable and stylish area.

Homes have numerous needs for additional space and proper utilisation of the basement space will free up ground space for other uses. Depending on the size of the basement, you can turn your eyesore of a basement into a singular-function room or a multiple-function room.

Media zone

Create a relaxation entertainment area with space for TV watching and lounge where family members can relax and unwind. Position a set of sofas, ottomans to act as footrests or provide additional sitting space and a beautiful or striking area rug to create a comfortable ambience.

For optimal entertaining, you could add a bar area to one end of the room to enable easy access to refreshments and double up as a breakfast or brunch bar.

Workout zone

It is not always possible to go to the gym to fulfill your New Year’s resolution to keep fit, so it helps to create a work-out area with vital tools for your exercise routine such a treadmill, weights and skipping ropes. Leave enough free floor space for aerobics or Zumba exercises and add mats to facilitate comfortable floor exercises.

If you have teenagers, then you know what a dilemma it is to find a spot for them to hangout with their friends. A basement area can be transformed into game areas where they can play board games or pool and if coupled with a media zone, it provides the perfect place to watch movies or play games.

A convertible sofa bed could be used as a sitting space during the day and stretched out into a bed on the nights when the teens decided to sleep over.

Quality of space

Whichever way you choose to utilise your basement, it is imperative to improve the quality of space by using an open-plan layout to permit as much daylight into all areas of the basement.

A good lighting scheme is essential such as a large rooflight. Use neutral colours like cream, soft white and pastel as background colours in the basement to enhance light and space. If the basement has small windows, you can create an illusion of space by using floor-to-ceiling drapes.

To fully enjoy the basement space, consider using professionals to incorporate electrics, plumbing and fire escape stairs as well as proper ventilation to prevent a musty smell.

Efficiently use the area beneath the stairs by placing linear storage units such as a credenza or a desk and chair to create a home office or study area.

You can also place a keyboard for the children to practise their music. Alternatively, fit the area under the basement stairs with shelves and wine racks to create an attractive display, practical storage and serving surface.

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