How to make your basement comfy, cozy and functional for everyone

  • A basement blends a space for lounging and sleeping. Design Recipes—TNS

  • A living room that doesn’t receive much light feels bright and fresh through the use of white furnishings. Design Recipes—TNS

  • A lower level lounge space feels warm and inviting. Design Recipes—TNS

  • A bedroom located in a lower level feels bright and airy. Design Recipes—TNS

  • A basement level children’s playroom feels bright, fun and festive. Design Recipes—TNS

  • An unfinished basement is made to feel comfy and cozy by creating a lounge area. Design Recipes—TNS

  • A basement bedroom feels cheery thanks to the use of color. Design Recipes—TNS

Tribune News Service
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Dungeons, caves, "no man's land" — these are just some of the descriptors that may come to mind when thinking of the basement of a home. But why not use every space in your home, as opposed to having what in many cases is a large area that is often underused?

In many parts of the country, having a home with a finished basement is a desirable selling feature. In other areas, where space may be at a premium, ensuring a basement is fully functional and used to its fullest may be an absolute must.

Typically basements are generous in size, often the length and width of the entire home. Instead of having just one large open space, why not create various zones?

Some options include:

Lounge zone

Play zone

Workout zone

Study zone

Ideally, a basement should be a space a whole family can enjoy. Creating various zones can help ensure that it is appealing and welcoming for everyone.

One of the commonalties in a lot of basements is they feel cold, damp and dark. There are a number of ways to help a basement space feel comfier and cozier.

Some top Design Recipes tips include:

Add plenty of soft surfaces. Whether it is wall-to-wall carpeting or an oversized area rug, adding soft surfaces will instantly warm up a space.

Mix both fabric and leather furniture pieces. While leather is a durable choice, so is fabric when the proper fabric is selected. Look for hospitality or commercial grade fabrics for upholstery items; they are long-lasting and will come in a variety of textures and colors. Fabric furniture pieces add softness and warmth to a space, while leather selections may potentially make a room seem colder.

Add a dehumidifier. Basements often retain moisture differently than other parts of a home. A dehumidifier can help reduce moisture and in some cases improve air quality.

Let there be light! Lighting can truly go a long way in making a space feel bright and cheery. In a basement or lower level, the more light the better!

Select light rather than dark colors for your furniture and accents. Instead of dark and gloomy, opt for bright and cheery color palette.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices
in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Visit her website at www.cathyhobbs.com <http://www.cathy-hobbs.com>.