When you think of your basement do cold concrete and cardboard boxes come to mind? They shouldn’t. One look at these lower level man cave retreats and you’ll want your own.
From traditional lounge couches to pricey pads with their own bowling alleys, a basement can be home to just about anything you can imagine.
If you’ve been considering a basement remodel these top notch design ideas will surely help. You’ll find an oasis of entertainment rooms, wet bars, and much more. All of which make for a great addition to virtually any home.
Interestingly enough, there’s a neat study by Sam Gosling, a professor from the University of Austin, Texas. In it he explains that a dedicated man cave, or basement retreat for that matter, is good for any man’s emotional well-being.
Of course, finishing your basement can be a lifesaver too when it comes to tornadoes.
Basements can be a dreary, dark place. They can be cold and wet, and remind you more of a medieval dungeon than a warm place to toast with friends. If done right, however, a basement renovation can tear the scary off of the walls and create one of the most amazing living spaces your home will ever see.
We’ve broken these awesome basement spaces up into categories so you can hone in on what looks good to you. Grab a drink, have a seat, and dig into these great home basement design ideas.
1. Basement Bar Ideas
What better place to enjoy a few drinks with your friends than under your own roof? Sure, your living room and kitchen will work, but a space dedicated to good spirits drinking good spirits is even better.
There are some finer points you should pay attention to when you’re creating your own below-grade watering hole. While you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars, you do want the space to look good and feel even better. There are ways to accomplish this on a budget, but they’ll take some work. Sometimes you can find what you’re looking for by checking classified sites like Facebook or Craigslist.
Remember though, bars are really just assemblies of cabinets. Some basic carpentry skills should get you on your way to building your own custom bar that not only meets your needs but also fits your space exactly.
We’ve put together some shots of amazing home-bars for you to take some style cues from. It’s perfectly fine to pull a few ideas from different pictures, but also challenge yourself to come up with some of your own. This is your personal pub so make sure you put your spin on it.
2. Basement Ideas for Sports Fans
Let’s face it: Sports fans get excited. We yell, we carry on, we get passionate. We love our team and we turn our noses up at our rivals. There’s something very personal about a sports fan and his team.
A basement is a perfect place for a sports fan to call the shots, and there are so many ways to do it. You can choose your favorite team’s color for furnishings and wall paints. You could frame your favorite jerseys and incorporate them into the theme. You might even get one of those cheesy football helmet telephones. Whatever your favorite sport or team is, accessorizing the fan-cave is essential.
Even more important than fan gear is one item: The flatscreen. The TV is king in all sports fan haunts. The bigger, the better. The more, the merrier. All the cliches fit here. Whether you want to see your favorite pitcher stare down a batter over the tip of his glove, or track that long pass through the air in the highest resolution possible, you’re going to need a good TV.
Check out these great fan caves for some inspiration, and when you’re ready, check out these Samsung TVs available at Walmart.
3. Basement Game Room Ideas
There’s no denying that men love games. We like to challenge our closest friends to games of wit, skill, and luck. It’s in our blood, and we’ve been doing it since the dawn of time. Creating a game room in your basement could make it the next battleground for you and your friends to try your hands.
Games of all sorts will fit in when it comes to a basement game room. You can go ultra-traditional and purchase a poker or pool table. Shuffleboards like this Barrington Shuffleboard Table are great options as well, plus they look great pushed up against an empty wall. If you’re going for nostalgia, a home arcade will always draw a few quarters from your friends’ pockets. There’s no greater bragging right than your initials at the top of the high scores list.
The photos that follow should make you want to go all-in on a game room, but you don’t have to spend thousands. Just create a cool space for the guys to challenge each other, and you’ll be happy with the results. Used arcade games can be unbelievably expensive, but you can also build your own arcade cabinets. Get to work and you could be a hosting Space Invaders tournament in no time.
4. Basement Billiards Ideas
Pool and billiards deserve their own mention when it comes to basement design ideas. While this is a game of skill and strategy, billiards rooms have a distinctly different feel from your basic game room.
We’re not aware of any good DIY pool table plans, so you’re going to have to shell out the dough for a table. There are some cheap options available like this Fat Cat Trueshot 6’ Pool Table. In general, pool and billiards tables are expensive, so make sure the room you design around it compliments your table as its centerpiece.
Classy touches like hardwood racks are the perfect way to display your expensive cue sticks, so don’t leave them piled up in a corner somewhere to warp. Matching dartboards also look great if your budget allows the extra expense.
You need adequate lighting over the table, but don’t just hang any old fixture over your pride and joy. Consider going a little more premium on this and choosing a light that adds style as well as function.
Take a look at these billiards-style rooms below to get an idea for what you like. Keep in mind, the table draws the lion’s share of the attention in a room like this, so basic finishings for the rest of the room will work and help save the budget from going too far overboard.
5. Rustic Basement Ideas
There may be no better style for a basement renovation than the rustic aesthetic. It lends itself so well to basement spaces that there’s almost no need to look anywhere else for inspiration. The pictures below will make you want to throw a pencil behind your ear and grab some knotty pine paneling.
There are tons of great ways to achieve the perfect rustic look in your basement. If you’ve got the room overhead, dressing up your ceiling can give your basement hang out a cabin-like feel. Further than that, rustic pine flooring (check out Home Depot’s selection) looks amazing stretched out across wide-open spaces, so a basement floor with just a few columns can be the ideal candidate for this look.
There are practical reasons why rustic works so well in basements. Basements are hardly ever perfect. Sometimes the floor slopes or the walls are crooked. Maybe there are some exposed mechanicals that you just can’t hide no matter how hard you try. For these cases, the rustic look can make those problems feel like features.
If you’ve got a challenging space to deal with, consider the rustic aesthetic. These pictures below will appeal to your inner woodsman and provide some inspiration.
6. Sophisticated Basement Ideas
Maybe it’s more likely that you’ll have a few friends over for a quiet night than a Super Bowl party. Maybe you prefer scotch and jazz over beer and nine-ball. If that’s the case, consider designing a basement space that you can retreat to with a good book or your favorite album.
The important features of a sophisticated basement space are actually pretty simple. You should have some refreshments easily at hand, and comfortable furniture arranged in such a way that conversation is easy.
Avoid loud colors and keep technology limited to the essentials. While being able to dim your lights and enjoy surround sound is sophisticated, the blue ring flashing on your DVR and the hum of your wifi router don’t feel quite as refined.
That being said, these basements don’t have to be boring. Consider taking the time to learn some finish carpentry skills and install some wainscoting or a tres ceiling. Look to some of the pictures below to get an idea of what you can do with your basement space.
7. Basement Theater Ideas
If basements were designed for only one thing, we think it would be for home theater systems. They’re the perfect places for watching a classic movie with surround-sound audio and dialed-in lighting. The seating can be super comfortable without drawing away from the main part of the home’s design aesthetic. It seems like a good fit to us.
There are other reasons why a basement may be the perfect place for a home theater. When it comes to planning, running your necessary speaker and power wires through an exposed ceiling is so much easier than retrofitting through finished drywall. Also, for the best experience, acoustical wall panels can be used in the theater area to really submerge you in the cinematic world. These panels aren’t always the most attractive wall-types, so hiding them in the basement theater is a perfect balance between form and function.
You can also display all of your favorite memorabilia on the walls. Your Empire Strikes Back poster probably clashes with your living room’s color palette, so you may be better off hanging Luke and the gang downstairs on your basement theater wall.
8. Basement Recreation and Hobby Ideas
Now, this is where things get really creative. If you have a hobby that you’re passionate about, maybe you’ve considered how you can spend more time participating in it without leaving the house. Utilizing your basement for this purpose may provide you that opportunity. Whatever your pleasure, finding a way to expand upon it in your basement would be incredible.
We can’t tell you exactly what you should do with your basement as we don’t know what your hobby of choice might be. The photos below are a pretty good round-up of activities normally reserved for the outdoors, so maybe you can take some inspiration from that.
We’ve got a few shooting range options, some bowling alleys, a pool, a couple of gyms, and even an indoor skate park. While these are all ridiculously cool basement features, they’re also pretty expensive. You may want to try to figure out how to build a space with a design inspired by your hobby with photos and memorabilia. Or, you can build a semi-workshop for your hobby and the equipment it requires.
Peruse through these absurdly cool ideas and see what makes sense for you. You may not have the space for a shooting range but you might find the safe to be an interesting feature. And maybe you don’t have the room to pull off 360-tailwhips in your basement, but you could build a bike repair space for when you realize you can’t do 360-tailwhips outside either.
9. Basement Ideas for Musicians
How do you tone down your rock-and-roll enough to create a sophisticated place to hang out with friends and enjoy yourselves? The pictures below show some really unique ways to display your musical prowess without looking like the backstage of a Motley Crue concert.
If you have a coveted instrument, whether it be a guitar, saxophone, or even a harmonica, building a custom cabinet for it can be the perfect way to show it off. There are several display cabinets throughout the photo array below, so pick one with a style that appeals to you and set out to learn how to build it.
Artwork of your favorite group is also a step up from less-refined tour posters. You can get some album-cover prints like these on Red Bubble and incorporate them into your design can really help it stand out.
One other piece of advice when designing your music-inspired basement space: Get a great stereo. You don’t have to turn it up to 11 to hear the difference between good speakers and great ones. Make sure you can enjoy your music in the most clarity you can afford. You won’t regret buying a great stereo, but you might regret buying a cheap one.
Home Basement FAQs
How much does it cost to finish a 1000 square foot basement?
This all depends on the level of finish you’re looking for in your basement. If you’re looking for builder-basic materials like vinyl flooring and simple trim, you can probably get away with spending around $6 to $7 a square foot. If you’re planning on using premium materials like granite, hardwood, and ornate moldings, the price per square foot could easily climb over $35 to $40.
What should I put in my basement?
Think of how you enjoy spending your time. If you like playing pool, put in a pool table. If you’re a big sports fan, purchase a nice couch and hang a TV on the wall. If you’re a gamer, create a wall of nothing but video games and gear. It’s all about making yourself comfortable in your own basement and enjoying its design.