5 Ways to Create a Basement Family Room That You Will Want To Use
Hi Friends! Welcome back to Postbox Designs. I’m Kristin, mama to three, wife, and Doodle owner. If we haven’t met before, I ditched my full time job as an interior designer about three years ago when the work-life-balance got out of wack. With three kids it was tough to balance everyone’s schedules. Then I realized so many people were just like me: multi-tasking rockstar women who were just trying to fit in their To Do lists everyday. And while so many women wanted a beautiful home…who has the time to do the buy-and-return cycle? Or it was so overwhelming, they left that dreaded task to another day…then three years went by and they still have an unfinished room. So I started working exclusively via Online Interior Design. Now I design rooms for clients all over the country. They can pull together their room on THEIR schedule and budget with their room-inside-a-box (and I get to work around my kid’s schedules). It was a total win-win.
Real Postbox Project: Teen Basement Family Room Makeover
And speaking of busy multi-tasking Moms, that was exactly who my client was for this recent Basement Family Room Makeover. This mom is rocking it in the corporate world while raising two teenagers. And her teens wanted a space they could hang out with their friends, play video games, and watch movies. The kids wanted a space that was fun, but still felt grown-up.
So How Do You Create a Basement Family Room You Actually WANT To Use?
If you are lucky enough to have a basement, you want it to feel like the rest of the house…not like an underground room. So there are some definite tricks you can use to make your basement Family Room feel just as comfortable as your upstairs. And if you have kids, like this family, I’ll show you some ways to make the space so fun that they will never wanna leave.
5 Ways to Create a Basement Family Room You Will Want To Use:
Basement Family Room Tip #1: Focus On the Seating
Chris Loves Julia
Don’t get the image of the “That 70s Show” basement stuck in your head. For so many people, the basements become a dumping ground for unwanted furniture, ugly hand-me-downs, and sofas on the last breath of life.
Now hear me out: If you need to use existing furniture-that is totally fine! All I’m suggesting is to use furniture that people want to sit in. And if you are reading this blog, I’m guessing you want a Basement Family Room that is actually beautiful and inviting, not just a place to throw odds and ends. The basement is no longer a last thought, but it really can become a second Family Room for your home.
I love the Basement seating area by Chris Loves Julia (see above), they anchored their basement with a modern, neutral sofa that would work just as well upstairs. When selecting a sofa for a Basement Family Room: think comfort and think large groups of people.
It’s Hard to Beat a Sectional Sofa for a Basement Family Room.
I think a Basement Family Room is the perfect place for a sectional sofa. I like to use ones that are a mid-to-dark color to help hide stains. If you have it in the budget, I love using “performance” fabrics that are stain resistant, like this one from West Elm (#4). My client wanted neutral furniture but wanted to add pops of color in the decor. So to make her Basement Family Room fun and teen friendly we used tons of throw pillows layered with different colors, textures, and designs. And we also used this large round velvet ottoman which can double as extra seating AND a coffee table.
Basement Family Room Tip #2: Make It Fun with Accessories
For my clients, this Basement Family Room was mostly for their teenage son and daughter, so it had to be fun as well. They requested a SoCal look with some Boho accents…without being over the top or too “theme-y”. Creating an Instagram wall (#2), light-up signs (#12), and her daughter’s #1 request: twinkle lights (#13) add some fun elements without going too juvenile.
We kept the Boho/SoCal look going with lots of fringe (like the curtains and pillows), and some SoCal artwork. If you scroll to the second Mood Board for this Basement, word art, a ceramic peace sign, and “Nope.” wood plaque are all nods to the teenager life style.
Basement Family Room Tip #3: Give Them a Place to Eat
Eating and teenagers go hand in hand. My client wanted to re-create a version of this wall mounted counter and bar stools in her Basement Family Room makeover. If you are tight on space, this is the perfect way to fit a lot of seating into a small space:
Pinterest, Source Unknown
For her design we used these modern barstools (#22), inexpensive white top (#20) and plug in sconces (#21) to give some light above the area. I suggested hanging photos of the kids (#19) or fun artwork above it as well. Check out what I selected for her below:
Basement Family Room Tip #4: It’s (Probably) All About the TV
Shades of Blues Interiors via Hunker
When I think of a Basement Family Room-I think of movie nights. With popcorn. So whether your Basement is for movies, video game playing, or watching the Big Game…it is probably going to revolve around the TV. So instead of just plopping a flatscreen on the wall, give some thought to create an entertainment area that will actually look finished and polished.
I love this tutorial on Hunker, using inexpensive bookshelves (think Ikea) to create a custom looking TV area on a budget.
For my Basement Family Room makeover, we used an inexpensive modern looking cabinet (#30) with a floating white shelf over it (#29). The shelf is the perfect area to add some fun decor items (#28) without blocking the view of the TV.
Basement Family Room Tip #5: Let There Be Food
Whether you have space for a full kitchenette, or just for a dorm fridge and microwave…there is something to be said about having a little spot for food down in your Basement. It really does make it feel like a separate apartment (and saves you a bazillion trips up and down the stairs). You can do something as simple as a countertop with shelves above it, with baskets of snacks. I love this kitchen above that uses just a few feet to create a mini kitchenette, while still looking like it belongs.
In my client’s Basement, they had room for a fridge, cabinets, and microwave (but no sink), and needed some ideas of how to pull together a budget friendly kitchenette without a major remodel. Using a mix of Ikea cabinets, stick-and-peel tile, some glam cabinet hardware, and open shelves (a huge savings over cabinets), we created a mini kitchen that is going to score big points with the kids.
How To Arrange Furniture In a Basement Family Room
When I share client projects with you guys, I don’t normally include the floor plan since it is usually specific to the project. But today I wanted to share their Basement Family Room floor plan because it is so similar to a lot of basements. Most basements are usually typically open, and tend to be more long and narrow. They are usually large enough for multiple groupings and functions….but a lot of people don’t know how to lay out their furniture. This is a drawings I always include in all of my Postbox Packages because it shows how to lay out every piece of furniture, shown to scale, and how to pull it all togther.
So if you have a basement, I think you can relate a lot to this furniture arrangement! We included:
-A Seating Area (the sectional in the corner)
-TV area (directly across from the sectional sofa)
-A Game Area (the fooseball table)
-Kitchen (they had a little niche we could tuck a mini kitchen into)
-An eating area (the long, narrow bar along the walls allows multiple seating while taking up little floor space. I like using swivel bar stools so people can easily turn around to still see the TV)
Basement Family Room Bonus Idea:
If you are a DIYer, the Basement is the perfect place to add in a little DIY project-especially if kids are going to be using the space. I love wall decor ideas that are meaningful to the family. So I loved this interactive DIY Push PIn Wall Map. You can find the entire FREE tutorial how to make this DIY Map. As you travel with your kids, you can add pushpins to all of your spots. I can imagine planning out our next car trip by checking out the map to see where we need more pins!
Come Back for Part II of This Boho Basement Family Room Makeover
And guess what? I only showed you half of this project today! With all of my Online Interior Design Room Packages I always create two different designs! So while I shared Version #1 with you today, be sure to come back to check out the totally different Version #2 of this same Basement Family Room Makeover. But while you are waiting for that…do you still need more ideas of how to create your own Basement Family Room? I have some more Postbox Designs makeovers I think you’re gonna love:
Love Design Freebies?
Yup, me too. If you are feeling motivated to upgrade your Family Room after this, I have just the thing to get you started. I created this FREE Guide + Shopping List: 10 Starter Items for Your Home. These are classic, neutral pieces that will give you the basics to your Family Room. Then you can start to layer in accessories and decor items…but let’s build the foundation first. You can grab this freebie, along with dozens of others in my Free Resource Library:
P.S. Already a member? You can log in with your password right HERE
Enjoy and Happy Shopping!