Last week we talked a little bit about the logistics of a basement remodel, so now it’s time to have some fun. A basement is a big, open space that can be transformed into a quiet sanctuary or a spectacular play place for everyone to enjoy. All you need is a little imagination to create an exciting space for everyone in the family to look forward to coming home to. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
Traditional rec rooms conjure up images of big screen TV’s for movie nights and some serious video game competition. These are fantastic ways to make the most of a winter day, but I also like the idea of keeping active with Wii Sports or enjoying some downtime without a screen. The ideal game room should have a mix of digital entertainment and old school board games, checkers, or chess that can be enjoyed by both kids and grandparents. Of course, a foosball or pool table makes for great family fun all year round.
Designing a space for creative kids is a great way to allow them to explore art without making a huge mess of the house. It’s also a versatile idea that can be updated and upgraded as the young ones grow. A simple table with coloring supplies can easily be replaced with easels for the budding Picasso or even a pottery wheel for the ceramicist in training. Best of all is that art spaces don’t need a lot of fancy renovations and can be kept rawer for easy cleanup with no stress.
This one is for the adults. If your house is the go-to spot for a fun Friday night, a custom bar and entertaining area is a great way to keep the party going without spending the weekend cleaning the whole house. I’d suggest installing a kitchenette with a refrigerator, sink, and mini dishwasher to keeping running up and down the stairs to a minimum. A small wine storage unit adds a sophisticated touch and be sure to design plenty of storage to keep bottles and glassware off your countertops.
The Fit Fam
A home gym is a great way to stay in shape all year round, but exercise equipment is bulky, unsightly, and not exactly a home design dream. Luckily, the basement is the perfect place to create a fun fitness retreat that can be enjoyed by the whole family. My own home gym occupies a good part of our basement and I can go downstairs to get my morning workout in without disrupting everyone else in the house. Plus, no one gets upset if I forget to rack the weights.
The Zen Masters
While most rec rooms are used for fun and festivities, many people like the idea of using the extra space as a retreat to get away from the world. With yoga and meditation rooms gaining in popularity, designing a zen space for quiet contemplation can offer huge mind and body benefits. Best of all, it can be easy to transform a dull nook into an inspiring oasis. Giant floor pillows and warm Moroccan lanterns add ambiance while candles and curtains create a warm intimacy that can help the day melt away. Up your relaxation game with an infrared sauna and you’ll be far away from the real world in no time.
Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Ask the Pro.” All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit http://www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.