If you ask people what their ideal house is like, some answers will probably start with “as long as it’s on the beach…” or “I prefer a top-floor apartment overlooking the city”. And while people’s perceptions are different, it is clear that everyone has a vision. And whether you’ll add some antique furniture, or keep it more simple, it doesn’t matter. It’s important to have an idea. But what if the circumstances don’t allow some of the mentioned options? What if you need to go an alternative way, and live in a basement, for instance? Now, no matter how unattractive this may sound, there are so many great ways how to conduct a complete home renovation project and turn this basement into your perfect vision of a dream home.
Privacy matters in a basement apartment
Whether you are looking for a basement to turn into an apartment when preparing for moving, or you already have one, it’s important that it provides the security and privacy of a real home. It would be best if the basement had a separate entrance. If it doesn’t, but for some reason, that basement suits you, then think about making the entrance on your own. The downside is that it might add a lot to your costs, especially if you’re trying to trim them. Once you have a separate door, you should have it additionally secured. One of the ways to burglar-proof the door is to install a deadbolt lock or to reinforce the door locks that have already been installed. Replace the door if it’s already old and damaged.
Know the limits of your budget when renovating a basement apartment
Renovating is never really easy and it can be quite time-consuming. So, if you are planning to move into the basement, start working on the renovation as soon as possible. However, don’t start with anything unless you have your budget set. Converting a basement into a pleasantly liveable space will definitely require some investments. Putting numbers on paper will show where you stand regarding the budget, and how much can be done for the amount available. You also need to figure if the investment will pay off should you decide to rent out the unit once you finish it.
It’s true that you will have to hire professionals when renovating, but there are still ways to lower the expenses. For instance, you can be your own plumber and check whether the pipes are in a good state, or whether there are some leaks that need to be fixed. Also, save some money on hiring a decorator. Instead, find some tips on decorating an apartment on the Internet and you’ll surely get some interesting ideas.
Plan how to use the basement space
Once you know your budget, you can move on with the implementation of the plan. Have a blueprint of the basement space and propose your ideas to an architect, if you’re collaborating with one. The point of this step is to make the most out of the space that you have. With smart planning, even the space with the smallest square footage can turn out to be much more functional. But first, you need to free the space and find a way to remove junk on a budget and then see what you have at your disposal.
Bring in the light
You’ve probably heard many times before, that for smaller and unlit rooms, brighter colors do the trick. Apartments in the basement lack natural light, so you need to ensure that your apartment won’t stay dark, thus unwelcoming. Make sure to install more windows to let the sunlit enter the space. This will not only make the room brighter, but it will help you pass the building inspection and the legal check.
As for the selection of colors of the walls and furniture, go with neutral but brighter colors. They will create an illusion of a larger space. You would be surprised to know how much colors can affect the mood. While bright colors can lift your spirits up, darker tones can do quite the opposite.
Another way to make an illusion of a bigger space is by having high ceilings. Actually, it is a standard for basement apartments to be renovated in such a way that the ceiling height is 7 feet and more.
But sometimes, this kind of renovation is simply out of question, so you need to use other ways to enhance the quality of the living area. If this is your case, take a look at some of the following ideas:
- Choose a wall to place a big piece of art which will create the illusion of a high ceiling.
- Install thin and tall bookshelves. They always come in handy, and here they will only make the area look nicer.
- Get lower seating. If you are a fan of ottomans, this is a perfect situation to buy one. Play with the design and texture.
- Don’t consider bulky furniture as it will only occupy more space.
The whole idea is to make the space in the basement apartment look less restricted. The more you need to lift your head up, the larger space will seem.
Have an open-concept layout
If it is possible, make sure to remove all the walls that visually reduce space. This way, you will create a more attractive layout. Talk about this with your contractor and see whether you can pull it off. Having an airy space brings many possibilities for furnishing the place and creating a cohesive area. Without obstacles in sight, the whole apartment will look large. You can decorate it to your own taste, maybe even install a fireplace which can look very modern and attractive. Furthermore, it will help the place look warm, unlike most basement apartments which are cold.
When you start thinking about undertaking a project such as creating a basement apartment, make sure to take these pieces of advice into consideration. Hopefully, they will contribute to making the apartment look just the way you imagined.