Planning a basement or basement conversion and need some basement ideas?
In this blog post we’re going to share with you no less than 35 different rooms, spaces & ideas that you can use your basement for.
After you go through this blog post your brain will be exploding with basement ideas!
How About This For A Basement Idea: An Aquarium?!
At the last Grand Designs Live Show in London, George Clarke (the guy from The Home Show & Amazing Spaces on TV) told me a very interesting story.
He told me that he had to visit a man’s house in Nottingham as part of his show Amazing Spaces and to his surprise the guy had a pond in his living room.
Except it turned out it wasn’t a pond, but was in fact the entrance to a massive storey sized aquarium he had built in his basement!
And in this aquarium he had stingrays, turtles, catfish and the 4ft alligator gar fish!
Here’s what one of those look like!
Not many people know this but George is a bit claustrophobic and he had to get the wet suit gear on and get into this thing.
And let me repeat this is some blokes basement!
And once he is down there, the turtles proceeded to take a fancy to Georges toes and there wasn’t much he could do except push his face up into a 6 inch gap between the water and the underside of the living room floor pleading to get out!
Needless to say he wasn’t happy!
But the real interesting part of this story is that the guy who owned the house had built all this himself.
All the demolition, all the structure, the aquarium itself, everything.
Now I’m not sure I would be too happy about someone building something like that beside my house as I’m sure you wouldn’t be too keen on it either.
But the fact is the guy knew exactly what he wanted to use his basement for and it formed the basis of how he built his basement.
And you need to have this crystal clear clarity too when it comes to your basement.
So to help you with that, we’ve listed below a list of rooms & spaces that are ideally suited for a basement be it a new one built from scratch or converting one you already have.
We have hit on the main categories of rooms and you can view the text sections of this article by clicking on one of the links below to view the basement ideas from that section:
Ok let’s go down to the basement & get started!
Here are a few basement ideas for living spaces:
1) Family Room Basement Ideas
The family room is a room where your family can gather together and relax.
The number one factor for this kind of room is comfort and the space should be inviting and a natural place for the family to get together in the evening.
Here’s a great video from Deco Bliss outlining some tips for a great basement living room:
2) Pantry Basement Ideas
A dry cool basement is an ideal place to store food.
Here’s a cool DIY Pantry rack from The Wood Grain Cottage:
(photo © The Wood Grain Cottage)
3) Wine Storage Room Basement Ideas
A dry cool basement is also an ideal place to store wine.
Basements without heating generally stay at around 12 or 13 degrees centigrade which is ideal for storing wine.
Humidity should be kept between 50% & 70% and the room kept dark.
The middle of the basement is an ideal place for this kind of space.
The guys at Sebring Design Build have this down to a fine art, check this one out:
(photo © Sebring Design Build)
4) Kitchen Basement Ideas
This might come across as an odd one but I have seen several basements that had seriously equipped kitchens in them and they worked really well for the house as a whole.
There are issues with fire protection, smoke extraction and multiple means of escape for the basement but these are all easily dealt with.
If you want a self contained flat then you will need a kitchen and where else to put it than the basement?!
The good folks at Roundhouse designed the one you see below, just look at how much light is getting in there!
(photo © Roundhouse)
5) Laundry Room Basement ideas
The middle of a basement tends to be quite dark unless you specifically design for getting natural light into the space.
This lack of light makes the middle of a basement an ideal spot to locate rooms that provide a specific function but aren’t a place to hang out in.
A laundry room is an ideal example of this.
Here’s a rather beautiful one from Reverb:
6) Utility Room Basement Ideas
A utility room is more of a multi-purpose room than a laundry room.
For example you could store kitchen euipment to save you cluttering up your kitchen.
It could be a cleaning storage room with a dishwasher.
It could be partial pantry & wine storage.
Or a boot room.
Or a mixture of all the above!
It’s really up to you.
Here’s a nice one from Jane Lockhart:
(photo © Jane Lockhart Design Communications Inc.)
7) Storage Basement Ideas
Or maybe you just want more storage space.
A trick to use here is to keep the ceiling of the storage room unplastered so you can use the floor joists to hang extra storage cabinets for various bits and bobs.
Here’s a good & very tidy one from Case Design/Remodeling Indy:
(photo © Case Design/Remodeling Indy)
8) Toilet Basement Ideas
Toilets can be located in the middle of a basement too as they can function quite well without natural lighting.
However with basement toilets you will need a pump and mascerator.
Here’s a good one from Thetford:
(photo © Thetford Bathroom Anywhere)
9) Luxury Bathroom Basement Ideas
A basement is an ideal place for a luxury bathroom .
A good place to have one is right under the front entrance to the ground floor as you can put in a glass block floor which will get light into the space without compromising your privacy and you can of course furnish the bathroom anyway you see fit.
You can also have a jacuzzi or large tub in this space.
Basements are ideal places to locate large heavy tubs as they can be comfortably supported on the concrete basement slabs.
The number one reason for a luxury bathroom in a basement is of course privacy and is very much a space to escape from the world…
…or the kids!
Here’s a beautiful one from Classic Fire Services:
(photo © Miley Photos)
10) Self-Contained Flat Basement Ideas
A self-contained flat is essentially combining the kitchen & luxury bathroom above with a bedroom.
The bedroom can be located to the front of the house which is also where we have our luxury bathroom.
The kitchen can be placed in the middle of the basement but we do need to factor in ways to get natural light into the space which is very doable.
Here’s a cool video with tips and tricks on how to decorate a basement flat:
11) Guest Room Basement Ideas
Or if you don’t fancy a self-contained flat then we can omit the kitchen and keep the luxury bathroom & bedroom and use these spaces for guests.
It’s a great place to give them privacy.
You can also combine a guest room with other types of rooms to mke it multi purpose.
Here’s one from Cary Berstein Architects that combines a guest room with a playroom:
(photo © CB Studio)
12) Bedroom Basement Ideas
You can fit several bedrooms into a basement and because room layouts can be very flexible in the basement, we can get very creative with how we lay them out so we can either squeeze more in there add less with a touch of luxury to them.
Ideally the bedrooms should have windows which places them at either end of the basement but if that isn’t possible the room can still be livened up with bright colours and spot & overhead lighting.
Here’s a good example of mood lighting with this bedroom from Madison Taylor Design:
(photo © Madison Taylor Design)
13) In-Law Suite Basement Ideas
Or you can create an in-law suite to take care of an elderly family member or a member of the family that has a disability whilst also affording them some independence too.
This is a spin on the self contained flat but with a greater focus on mobility and usability for the person using the room.
Factor into the design things like wider doors, plenty of natural light to get into the space and a separate entrance than to the rest of the house.
Another important point is access to the suite itself which must be factored into the design if they have mobility issues.
Here’s a good example of such a suite from architect Candace Olsen:
(photo © Brendon Barre)
14) Rehabilitation Room Basement Ideas
You could also have a purpose built rehabilitation room for use by a recently disabled family member.
Again planning access, door widths and mobility in this type of space are important.
(photo © Karen Geswein)
Here are a few basement ideas for work rooms:
15) Home Office/Study Basement Ideas
A home office could pretty much fit anywhere in the house but they make a really cool addition if you build your basement to extend under your rear garden.
With this scenario you can create a link to the outside with your office or study which makes it an inspiring place to work.
The goal for any home office/study is to create an efficient work area where everything that is needed is within touching distance.
Here’s an amazing one where the office is hidden behind a fold down wall from E/L Studio:
Wall Is Down In The Photo Above
Wall Is Up To Reveal The Office In The Photo Above
(photo © E/L Studio)
16) Library Basement Ideas
Whilst not strictly a work room, I personally use my library as a work tool and dedicate 1 hour every day to studying various topics so am including it here.
Books are heavy when lumped together so a basement is an ideal place for a library as the concrete floors can take heavier loads than the timber floors above.
Here’s a beautiful one with a central staircase:
17) Art Studio Basement ideas
You can make your basement as open plan as you want so you can have a nice open space to use as an art studio.
If you extend your basement underneath your rear garden you can create a beautiful space with a link to the outside as we discussed earlier.
An art studio requires plenty of storage for supplies as well as good ventilation and lighting.
Here’s an amazing studio by artist Ashley Hackshaw:
(photo © Lil Blue Boo)
18) Photography Studio Basement Ideas
If you’re still using the darkroom for developing photographs then the middle of the basement is ideal for that.
You’ll also need to use sealed doors to prevent light entering although this is less of an issue the nearer the middle the basement you are.
Other requirements are a ventilation system to remove chemical fumes, a sink and plenty of storage and a low intensity red light so you can see what you’re doing without ruining the photographic paper.
However as most photography is digital these days the set up below would probably suffice.
This studio is by Dave Dugdale:
(photo © Dave Dugdale)
19) Recording Studio/Rehearsel Room Basement Ideas
The middle of the basement is a perfect area for a recording studio as you can sound proof that portion of the basement most effectively.
It could also double up as a rehearsal room too.
Material finishes are something to consider here as you don’t want too hard or soft surfaces to either bounce around or absorb the sound.
A good rule of thumb is if the floor is soft (like a carpet finish) then the ceiling should be hard (such as a plaster finish).
Glass surfaces are a no go in a music room.
Basement Remodeling have done loads of them and here’s a cool one they did:
20) Dance Studio Basement Ideas
Again because basements can be as open plan as you want, you can create the ideal open plan dance studio.
Here’s a video from Basement Dance Studio:
21) Candle Making Room Basement Ideas
I included this one because I designed a basement a few years back that had a candle making room and it had candle wicks all over the place.
Storage is important for this type of room as is ventilation.
Here is one from Penn & Beech Candle Co.:
(photo © Penn & Beech Candle Co)
Here are a few basement ideas for hobby spaces:
22) Woodwork Room Basement Ideas
For the wood working enthusiast, this would ideally be located to the rear of the house although access for material & equipment deliveries would need to be considered.
Adequate storage is a must and can be provided by plenty of shelving.
A neat trick is having a workbench that can be folded up or moved under a countertop when not in use.
Here’s a great video showing how Matthias Wandel created his:
23) Remote Controlled Car Room (or any kind of man cave) Basement Ideas
Again you can create a really cool remote controlled car room.
In fact you could make it any kind of man cave, here’s a list of what we have seen to be the 13 of the more popular ones: 13 Basement Man Cave Ideas
But seeing as we are talking remote control cars, here’s a video from The RC Element:
24) Beer Making Room Basement Ideas
How could we forget the creation of nectar from the Gods!
Here’s a cool video from Kal of The Electric Brewery making his:
25) Sewing/Quilting Room Basement Ideas
A sewing room needs a bit more space than a knitting room so you can spread out the quilts or clothes.
You also need more storage too for all the supplies.
Good lighting and a nice relaxing place to sit should be factored into the design and laminate timber flooring makes a sensible choice as it’s easy to spot and pick up needles that get dropped on to it.
Here’s a home made one by Tasha from By Gum By Golly:
(photo © By Gum By Golly)
With a bit of thought you can design some really cool places to spend time in and here are a few basement ideas for recreational rooms:
26) Home Bar Basement Ideas
I once worked on a job where the client had a traditional English style pub built in the rear of his basement and it was linked outside to a retro barbecue area he had constructed on top of the basement roof slab.
Now that is the life.
There’s a load of them in this video from the Decoration Channel:
27) Home Cinema/Entertainment Centre Basement Ideas
One of the more common rooms found in larger basements is the movie room.
You can fit a fully equipped screen and surround sound system and if you’re worried about noise you can sound proof the room too.
These can be placed towards the middle of the basement as natural light isn’t such an issue with these types of rooms.
Here’s video with a load of home cinema ideas from Grig Stamate:
28) Games Room Basement Ideas
Snooker or pool tables, ping pong tables, arcade machines, games consoles, darts, etc
The scope for this type of room is ridiculous and it can be placed pretty much anywhere in the basement that you like but a room like this does require a good bit of space.
One thing though is to provide comfortable seating next to games tables as some games do involve standing for prolonged periods of time such as snooker and pool.
For adult games rooms these do tend to go well when mixed with a bar & music room
For teenagers you can remove the bar!
Here’s a retro one from Digs Digs:
(photo © Digs Digs)
29) Children’s Playroom Basement Ideas
If you’ve got young kids you can build them a nicely designed playroom with lots of nooks and crannies for them to discover.
A room like this needs plenty of storage and safety is a design consideration.
Placing the kids room near the home office or family room will allow you to supervise them to make sure they’re ok.
If this isn’t possible then you can get a home monitor or intercom to keep in contact with them as they play.
Here’s a video with a tonne of ideas from our friend Grig Stamate:
30) Gym Room Basement Ideas
Gym equipment lends itself to sitting on concrete floors however a gym room does usually need to be towards the front of the house to get the equipment in as some of it like treadmillls and the like can be very big and heavy.
My advice with these types of rooms is get the equipment in early whilst there is room to do it, don’t wait until the basement is finished as you’ll have a nightmare getting all the gear into the place.
If you do it early you can also have the gym room out the back of the house, becuase you’ll need good airflow but that can be done mechnically as well.
In both situations make sure that the entrance doors that lead to the gym room are wider than normal to get the gear through.
Here’s a great one from Brandon Architects Inc:
(photo © Brandon Architects Inc)
31) Spa/Sauna/Steam Room Basement Ideas
Spas can be a wonderful space to relax in but make sure they are separated from the rest of the spaces in the basement so the daily traffic doesn’t disturb your quiet time.
Steam rooms are generally the same size as a bathroom and utilise humid heat rather than the dry heat of a sauna.
Steam rooms have all sorts of health benefits and you can even use essential oils with the steam delivery system so can use this room for aromatherapy too.
Here’s one from Elite Stone and features a heated pool, jacuzzi, gym, sauna and steam room!
(photo © Elite Stone)
32) Swimming Pool Basement Ideas
Swimming pools tend to be built with double height basements as the size of a swimming pool will take out a large area of the basement, however you can just as easily build them in a single storey basement if you are ok with having less room to use for other spaces.
But don’t under estimate what it takes to constrcut one of these.
They are notriously difficult to construct and the video below from Will Bergen from Carecraft outlines just that:
33) Yoga Room/Meditation Room Basement Ideas
You can also create a chilled yoga room, you can even create a bikram yoga room if you wish, fully equipped with the relevant heating systems to get things warmed up.
You will require ventilation for that kind of room so either the front or rear room of the basement is best.
Alternatively you can create a chilled out meditation room fully equipped with an audio system to play some meditation music or trances to get you in the right state.
Here’s a very chilled one from Sharon Taftian:
(photo © Sharon Taftian)
I’ve seen dog rooms, cat rooms & aviaries over the years.
I’ve even seen a squirrel room, am not kidding, and it was the fattest squirrel I’ve ever seen, it was like a sumo squirrel!
Here are some basement ideas for animal spaces:
34) Pet Room Basement Ideas
These spaces do work well when there is good access to outdoors so the obvious place is to the rear of the basement especially if you build out underneath your garden.
The one below isn’t the most glamourous but yes that is a dog house underneath the stairs!
35) Aquarium Basement Ideas
Remember the aquarium I mentioned at the start of this article?
Well the reason it works is because the heavy loads from an aquarium do suit basement floors and here is a video of that very aquarium that was built in a basement in Nottingham:
So there you have the 35 basement ideas for your home!
Now as you may appreciate a lot of these rooms can be put in several categories and not just that, a lot of them can be mixed and matched or you could design a room to perform double duty by having 2 or more functionalities built in.
So when you think about that, the list suddenly becomes exponential and I have left quite a lot of rooms out too.
The only limit is your imagination.
Bonus 01 – 40 Basement Ideas
As you might guess by now, we like to over deliver on our content!
Here’s a video that will give you a load more basement ideas for your home!
Bonus 02 – 60 Basement Man Cave Ideas
Here’s a video that will give you a load of basement man cave ideas for your home!
Bonus 03 – 30 More Basement Ideas
Here’s a video bursting with even more basement ideas!
Bonus 04 – Basement Decor: 45 simple and stylish ideas
Here’s a video with a load of interior design ideas for your basement
Thanks for checking our Basement post! If you have any questions then just pop them into the comments section below.
Want To Know How Much Your Basement Will Cost?
The most common question we get on this site and from our clients is “how do I get a ball park figure for my building work so I have an idea on how much it will cost me before I start?”
And there hasn’t really been an easy answer to that…
Well if the question above also applies to you then you need to check out our Ultimate Basement & Basement Conversion Costing Toolkit.
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