6 Fantastic Things to Do With an Unfinished Basement

If you have an unfinished basement, chances are you’ve thought once or twice (or more) about finishing it. There are plenty of benefits to a finished basement, of course, including increased home value and increased living space—not to mention it looks a lot better.

But there’s a lot you can do to turn your unfinished basement into a beautiful, useful, livable space. And you don’t have to hire someone or do major renovations yourself.

Check out our 6 mini-renovations that give big results without too much cost or labor.

Elegant Storage

An unfinished basement is anything but elegant, but you can change that by building storage into your space—as long as it’s the right kind of storage, and it’s in the right place. Under the stairs is the perfect place to add storage that you can hide by installing a door or heavy luxury curtains.

Plus, there’s no reason you can’t cover good amounts of those cinderblock walls with high-end bookcases and other shelving that goes way beyond the usual and less attractive versions. IKEA hackers have all sorts of great ideas for creating the look of built-in shelving for less.

Chic Ceiling

Exposed ceilings are not pretty to look at. But actually installing a ceiling is a big job. The draw of an exposed ceiling is that it’s more visually interesting than a level ceiling to begin with. Why not use that to your advantage?

Instead of covering the ceiling, paint it: white if you want to brighten things up, gray for an industrial loft feel, or stain if you want a more rustic look.

New Walls

Of course, we don’t mean putting in new walls. But we have a couple of tricks that can make your walls like new.

Cover the walls with attractive wood paneling, or even beaded board paneling. Or waterproof the walls and paint them too look like natural stone or brick. If you’re less interested in painting, install curtains. They can go clear across the wall or at intervals to visually break up the space.

You can use curtains to literally break up the space, too, by hanging them as makeshift walls if you need to partition a room.

Place to Play

An unfinished basement is a great space for kids to have as their own, and it makes it easy to keep untidiness contained and away from guests’ eyes. Cover the floors with interlocking flooring to keep bare toes from getting cold and to protect against slips and falls. Then add tents, a playhouse, or even an indoor jungle gym.

Cozy Floors

A bare basement floor can be cold no matter what the weather, so definitely cover it up. Interlocking foam tiles are a great choice for simple DIY installation, and they aren’t just for kids. They also come in sleek faux hardwood.

Or, to keep it even simpler, add a few coats of stain to the concrete floor for a super sleek modern finish. And always add rugs to make sure the space feels comfortable and inviting.

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