Ideas

How to Brighten your Basement Renovation Projects

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If you have recently finished a basement renovation or you are thinking about one, have you thought about how you will brighten it up once it’s finished? Many basements have few windows or natural light sources and can leave it feeling ‘cave like’. Sure, the renovation will make it feel better, but without bringing in natural light, light color palettes or creative artificial light sources, you won’t want to spend too much time in your basement! Here are tips to brighten you basement renovation project.

  • Try to bring in natural light:  Depending on what type of basement you have, will warrant if natural light is even an option. “Walk out’ basements are one’s in which are built inside of a hill on one side, and there is access to walk out onto land from the basement. For these type basements, incorporating windows in your renovation is a must. For basements that are completely underground on all sides, consider having window wells built at the ground level that will access the high end of the interior wall. This will help bring in light, even if very minimal. For areas that don’t have direct light access, use lighting fixtures that bring in focused light as well as ambient light throughout the basement.
  • Use colors to brighten: Basement renovations have the tendency to look dark and drab when only using grays and beiges. Try and give your basement walls an added punch of color to brighten up the space, and “trick” the mind into feeling like you are above ground in a well lit space. Opt for warmer hues of yellows, golds, oranges and warm tones of browns and muted rust tones. Consider using these colors in furnishings, area rugs, flooring and wall decor as well. The warmer it feels in your basement, the more likely your family is to enjoy it on a routine basis.
  • Don’t forget the ceiling: In many basement renovation projects, the ceiling can be extremely low or non attractive because of the floor to ceiling height. Consider painting the ceiling with a lighter color than the adjacent walls to give the illusion of height. For basements that have less constrictive height restrictions, consider adding a coffered ceiling, or even soffits to add visual interest to the ceiling. Add lighting to these areas to emphasize the ceiling and make the space more welcoming and inviting.
  • Get creative with lighting: For areas in your basement that need creative lighting, consider using recessed can lighting, indirect lighting fixtures behind soffits, or directional lighting on artwork and architectural niches. For many people the ability to transform their basement into a space that feels bright or even mysterious is the goal behind basement renovations. Home owners want to be able to entertain, have a media room, a recreational area, or even a home gym. Regardless of your basements intended purpose, get creative with the lighting. Many residential lighting specialists can layout a unique plan for your home project.

Your basement renovation project should be an exciting process, and you and your family should be able to reap the rewards when finished. When considering lighting, remember there are an infinite amount of solutions, first determine what your challenges are. Whenever possible, let in natural light and bring in inspiring warm tones and creative artificial lighting. Once you are finished, the basement may turn into the most popular space of the entire house!

Freshome readers how do you address lighting in your basement? Is your basement dark or bright and airy feeling? We’d love to hear your comments.

3 comments

  • Ann Johnstone February 12, 2011 at 13:13 PM Login to Reply →

    Great ideas – was especially interested in making the most of low-ceiling basements, as I’m presently (supposed to be) painting my tiny cottage basement.

  • RoniqueGibson February 12, 2011 at 23:34 PM Login to Reply →

    Yeah Ann! Hope this post helped, let us know how it goes!

  • TC February 13, 2011 at 21:31 PM Login to Reply →

    Great tips and ideas and what a gorgeous basement! I have always been thinking of renovating the basement, becuase it is probably the most unappealing place to be in my house. In a townhouse basement, the ceilings are really low and personally I feel it is what creates the “cave” like feeling. The tips on the lighting and use of color are really helpful. I am still unsure what I can do with the ceiling. The basement ceiling has a prickly treatment and kind of like tiny icicles…I am not quite sure how to explain it. Again, great tips! (: