Basements are undergoing a renaissance right now. “Traditionally, basements were filled with a sectional, a big screen television, a pool table and a mini fridge for small refreshments,” according to Patrick Garrett, real estate broker at H&H Realty in Trussville, AL.

However, he says the basement is now transitioning from man cave to family room. “Many modern-day homeowners are now going for the ‘wow’ factor,” Garrett explains. From movie theaters to offices and even kitchens, homeowners are using their basements for way more than storage.

Here are some imaginative ways that you can transform your basement.

Home theater

You can bring Hollywood home with a basement home theater. “From mass in-home family game rooms to full-blown home theaters, you can expect to see oversized recliner theater seating, high-resolution LCD projectors which produce theater quality images mounted to ceilings, and images the full width and height of the walls.” Garrett says. You could even add a popcorn machine to complete the movie theater theme.

Multipurpose game room

“Homeowners are also creating multipurpose fun areas and using a vast array of lighting options to brighten or soften the atmosphere,” Garrett says. “In my opinion, basements are still a highly sought out home amenity, even if just for the luxury of entertaining guests and friends.” This basement game room offers multiple areas for guests to hang out and relax.

Home office

It doesn’t take much to create a home office in the basement. A table and a chair or two are all you need to create a nice, quiet place to work without distractions.

Basement bar

A basement bar adds another level of entertaining.  For complex basement redesigns, it’s especially important to plan ahead. “If you’re planning a basement remodel, establish your budget in advance,” advises J.B. Sassano, president of Mr. Handyman. Whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring a professional, he says it’s important to make sure that any work meets local ordinances.

Basement suite

When you transform your basement with a separate bedroom and bath that is this inviting, be advised – guests may not want to leave. “If you are adding another bathroom, you will need to hire a licensed plumber,” says Sassano. “If you are simply enhancing an existing bathroom, some paint, a more modern vanity, new fixtures, towels, and accessories can make a huge impact,” he says.

Basement kitchen

Garrett says another trend he’s seeing among homeowners is kitchens in the basement.  If your basement is cold, air may be seeping in, according to Sassano. “Hold a wet hand in front of a light switch plate or outlet; if you feel air, you have a leak,” he says. “Installing foam gaskets behind all the light switches and outlets can stop these energy leaks.” Other ways to boost your energy efficiency in the basement include using low-VOC caulk and foam strips around windows and door frames that leak air, advises Sassano. “Also, add door sweeps and door shoe gaskets around the threshold and exterior doors,” he says.

Craft and laundry room

This laundry room provides a central location for everything laundry-related. The large dirty clothes hamper helps to keep the room neat. Shelves hold all of the laundry supplies, and the ironing board is off the floor and out of the way.  The spacious table provides plenty of room to fold laundry, and the cabinets provide extra storage.

Kid-friendly basement

The best way to keep your house neat and clean is to give the kids their own space. This room is light and airy, with plenty of natural elements.  “It’s important to determine the scope of your basement remodel, since load-bearing walls play an integral role to your home’s structure,” Sassano says. This can be a factor in how to best use the space when you plan to transform your basement.

Home gym

You’ll never have an excuse for not exercising when the gym is downstairs in the basement. Durable floors are important when putting a gym in the basement.

Do any of these ideas inspire you to transform your basement? Let us know in the comments.