Empty Basement: From Creepy to Cozy

Aside from being an extension to your closet, laundry area and storage or worse, the musty, flooded part of your house where the center of creepiness situates, there are a lot of things you may consider doing to maximize this unused space – maybe a gym, a den, man-cave, a kid’s playroom, whatever floats your boat (or in this case, your house).

Creepy Basement

Creepy basement out, cozy basement in!
Photo courtesy: Tom Inglis via Pinterest

Game room is too typical, while home theater is quite expensive and wine cellar would be impractical since you’re not into those fancy Dom Perignon types of drinks. So, before you decide to bring on the hydraulic lifts and jack up your house, here are some creative, fun and unique basement ideas:

1. Library and study area – Certified bookworm? Then why not instead turn your basement into a catalog of classic novels, non-fictions, reference books, limited hardbounds and paperbacks? Yes, BOOKS! Go for those long columns of shelves by the wall instead of traditional aisle shelves to save space for the furniture. Of course, good lighting and ventilation is a-must, so be keen to that particular detail. You may also install a couple of cubicles for writing, and right in the middle are few chill recliners and a coffee table to saddle your body as you enjoy a laidback afternoon gazing every word while sipping your hot freshly-brewed espresso. Hey, might as well put an espresso machine!

2. Sporting and Fitness Hub – Because you will never know when your eldest son/daughter will be coming back and stay for the weekend. And the last thing they want is to sleep on the couch because their old rooms are already filled with your aerobics, pilates, yoga and exercise equipment. So, instead of messing up your kid’s room and ruin his/her childhood sanctuary by replacing their Backstreet Boys and Pearl Jam posters with Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda milieu, why not instead make your idle basement into a classy home gym and fitness hub? There, you can allot spots for your equipment, medicine balls Michael Jornda-inspired motivational posters and you extensive collection of spandex.

3. Music, Listening Room and Home Studio – What does Dave Grohl, Flying Lotus, Brian Eno and Trent Reznor have in common? Home recording studios. So for those music enthusiasts –“bedroom artists” and professionals alike – making your basement into an Abbey Road Studios won’t be such of a bad idea. To do this in an economical way, install egg trays and used foams onto the wall for soundproofing. Allot an ample space for your instruments, consoles, amplifiers, pro-studio equipment and a small booth for recording voice, as well as for listening to your favorite records. Also, you may need to allot a spot for your eclectic collections of rare recordings, vintage gig posters and concert photos.

4. Adult’s Room – In most cases, homeowners tend to make their basement a play place for their kids to hangout. This time, why not make your basement as a nook for adults so that they can have a sweet, uninterrupted quality time every once in a while? Or perhaps put the party there along with your poker buddies and margarita gal pals. Besides, you Splash a warm color motif, minimalist décor paired with assorted scented candles for mood-setting. Maybe a table for drinking and occasional poker nights, or install a ledge with a steel pole in the middle to spice up the party; anything goes! Just think of it as an exclusive room for adults. No kids allowed space.

5. Fully-Furnished Panic Room/Bunker – Better be safe than sorry right? In times of calamities, emergencies, intrusions and who knows, maybe a zombie apocalypse or a fallout, your basement is one of the best places to stay… At least for the time being. And since you may have to stay there for a period of time, it is best that you should furnish it the way a usual home setting looks and feels. But of course, with certain limitations in space as well as considerations in important parameters such as installation of reliable security locks, safety features, functional toilet, emergency lights, storage for food and an escape route or a bypass exit.


Hanging out, down the… err… Basement!
Screengrab from the TV series, That ‘70s Show

Basements are more than just a space for storing garage equipment, industrial tools, boxed memoirs, old, discarded newpapers/magazines, used clothes and other obscurities. Make the most out of your space. And of course, don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s your basement, after all!

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