(NAPSI)—Look up “basement” in the dictionary and you’ll see cellar, vault—even crypt. But with a little effort and some design flair you can make your basement come alive—and reclaim valuable living space.
Create the workout room you always wanted. A dramatic home theater. Or a spacious office, playroom or craft area. If you can re-imagine your basement, you can remodel it. Here are hints on how:
1. Make a plan: An accurate floor plan will help you visualize the end result—especially if you’re dividing rooms, adding a pool table, a large sectional or a projector and theater seating.
Dozens of design apps can help you create a virtual, 3D floor plan. A few to consider: Home Designer Suite, Sweet Home 3D, Home Design 3D and Google Sketchup.
Check to see if you’ll need a permit for improvements.
2. Banish water: Does your basement pass the smell test? If your lower level has moisture problems, your nose will know.
Besides a musty smell, moisture leaves other clues: dark, saturated concrete block walls, flaking paint or condensation. Consult a basement waterproofing contractor if you have any concerns before you begin remodeling.
3. Elevate your ceiling style: Stained or sagging ceilings also point to excess moisture. Identify the cause and make repairs. Then replace the old ceiling with coffered ceiling tiles. With the look of sunken panels, they add depth and distinction. Some of Armstrong Ceilings’ coffered options resist moisture and mold and stand up to humidity.
Like the look of wood? Check out Armstrong WoodHaven Ceiling Planks. They’re available in a variety of finishes, although WoodHaven Classic White planks is the DIY favorite. These wood-look ceiling planks can install over drywall, plaster or joists and can even cover an existing drop ceiling grid.
4. Beautify floors and walls: Beautiful, versatile flooring options are abundant today. Before you choose, think about how you’ll use the space. Consider structural issues, too.
Creating a playroom or cozy retreat? If moisture isn’t a worry, add warmth and softness underfoot with carpeting or an area rug.
If your sub-floor is smooth and even, vinyl is hard to beat. Whether in tile, sheet or plank form, the styles are versatile and the material is water-resistant or waterproof.
If you’re adding a basement gym, consider rubber interlocking tiles. They absorb shock and you can install them yourself.
You’ll discover abundant wall-covering options, too—such as wainscoting, paneling and beadboard. Subtle grass cloth wallpapers add sophistication. Peel-and-stick cork wall tiles create design interest and absorb sound.
Whatever your choice, be sure to waterproof the walls before you cover them.
5. Make a statement: Once you’ve landed on the look you love—whether it’s traditional, farmhouse or mid-century modern—personalize your décor to make it your own.
Display cubes or built-in shelving with lighting are great options for showing off your trophies, baskets, pottery or collectibles. For color and warmth, mix and match a variety of pillows and plush throws.
To personalize your walls—without making a permanent design commitment—consider wall decals. Their elegant patterns and bold images add instant interest. You can even make your mark with an inspiring, oversized quote.
Use every type of lighting—general, task and accent—to bring your basement out of the shadows. Mirrors are another great way to add light—and the illusion of space.
DIYers have never had more versatile design tools and materials to choose from. So don’t let your lower level go unloved and unused any longer. Let the transformation begin.