Tips for cozy basements and lower level

In many homes, basements and lower levels often feel cold and uninviting, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. What many people often overlook or ignore is the fact that a lower level is usable space.

Especially during a time when people are looking to maximize how they use their home, using all aspects of a living space is key. Whether a basement or lower level, there are a number of ways that to add warmth and appeal to make the space more inviting and appealing, and as a result, more usable.

Here are some top Design Recipes tips to make lower level spaces attractive and special.

— Treat your lower level as part of your home. So often a basement or lower level is used or perceived as storage.

— Create functional spaces. One technique is to incorporate zones that allow for various levels of activity — for example a play zone, entertainment zone, or game zone.

— Think about the entire family. Many homeowners wish to use a lower level as a family room, so creating an environment to appeal to the whole family is important.

— Pre-plan. From creating a potential floor plan layout to selection of colors, preplanning can play a key potential role in ones success.

— Focus on color. The proper color section can have a huge impact on your space. If a lower level or basement doesn’t get much light, be sure to go bold and bright.

— Add soft elements such as area rugs and toss pillows to your space. This will help prevent the space from feeling too cold.

— Incorporate extra lighting. Lighting is key when it comes to lower levels, which often don’t get much natural light.

— Don’t forget to provide comfortable seating. If a space is comfortable and inviting, the more you and your family will want to use it.

— Avoid overcrowding your lower level or basement. Less is more.

— Begin by selecting your largest pieces first, then be sure to add attractive finishing touches such as artwork and accessories.


Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at .

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