1. Decide on finishes first. Before furnishings come into play, you’ll want to decide on finishes. Hullinger suggests establishing consistency with other parts of the home by using the same baseboard trim, window molding or doors that are seen on the other floors of the house. The dark wood finish from the staircase is repeated in the woodwork of this basement.
2. Use can lighting. “Lighting is everything when it comes to achieving a great result from your basement remodel,” says Hullinger. He suggests using small can lights finished with a clear or haze finish alzak trim kit, which allows the can to fade into the ceiling. “Five-inch cans can provide great coverage,” he says.
3. Light up shelves for function. See which other areas in your basement, such as bookshelves, might benefit from extra lighting. “You can easily create drama in a built in shelving space by adding lighting to highlight family collections or prized artwork,” says Hullinger.
4. Know where your plumbing and other mechanics are located. “If you’re thinking about adding a wet bar before the renovation is complete or down the road, you can keep costs down many times by adding the new sink near a bathroom or laundry room,” says Hullinger.
5. Build in storage. “This is your chance to increase your opportunities for organization and storage,” says Hullinger. “Don't leave this out of your plans.” Built-in bookshelves across the wall of a basement can corral anything from toys to throw blankets to ski gear.
7. Enhance visual space. Create a sense of height by choosing light colors for the ceiling and flooring. “It tricks the eye,” says Hullinger.
8. Use color to create drama. Design a cozy and visually intense space by painting the ceiling and walls the same color. “This results in an enveloping feel, like a cozy den you might find in nature,” says Hullinger.
9. Consider carpet tiles. “Carpet tiles currently are a big trend for residential spaces, and many of the 24-by-24 inch tiles have a lifetime warranty,” says Hullinger. “If irreparable damage happens on the floor, you can replace the damaged tile one at a time.”
10. Use functional fabrics. Keep the space family friendly by using practical fabrics such as dark upholstery that hides stains, or slipcovers and fabrics that are easily washed. “This ensures that the whole family, including the pets, can hang out in the space without great worry for the upholstered items,” says Hullinger.