One day in the not-so-distant future, my husband and I are going to invest the time and money into finishing our basement. Though our house is spacious, three children are quickly driving us to the garage and bathrooms to find a moment of peace and quiet. "To the basement," will be our battle cry! Here are five ideas we're considering for fun, functional basement remodels.
A basement game room is a fun and practical choice for a family, whether the kids are 4 or 14 years old. Think beyond a couch, TV, and video gaming system. Consider checkerboard tile for the floor and life-sized chess and checker pieces. Paint one wall with chalkboard paint so you can keep a year-long tally of who wins Go Fish. Draw your own scrabble board on one wall. Install shelves that you stock with nothing but every board and card game that you own. Kids and grown-ups will love this fun(ctional) game room.
If my husband had his way, our basement would be include a movie room, complete with leather movie chairs and a wall-mounted television. We'd have our own popcorn maker and buckets, surround sound, and the ability to make the room almost pitch black (easily done, in a basement). Save money with inexpensive carpeting and paint-they won't be the focus of this basement room.
If your basement remodel is a necessity, clear up room in the bedrooms and family room by adding an office/playroom combo in your basement. My sister has two small children, but needs somewhere her husband can work from home. This basement room was a must-have for her family. From a practical standpoint, her husband can have a desk (think roll-top to keep little fingers off of important papers) and an area when he needs to work. From a fun standpoint, the room is a great place for my sister to contain the kids' mess! Stick with a practical, stain-resistant carpet and make sure your paint choice will hold up to the occasional crayon.
The gym is a standard basement staple, especially if dad likes to lift weights or mom likes to run on the treadmill. There's more to your basement gym, however. My daughters are gymnasts, so I'd love a basement room with foam mats on the floor (less expensive than pricey carpet or wood floors), a balance beam for them to practice, a mini climbing structure for my toddler, and a small indoor trampoline. They'd have a blast and I might get to enjoy a few minutes on the bike while they're working out, too.
Three kids and the parents quickly fill up all of our bedroom space, so there's simply nowhere to put house guests when they visit without displacing the kids. A bedroom and bathroom (especially if your basement already has a rough-in) is really a practical choice, but don't discount the fun. Think about two sets of bunk beds for when your sister visits with her children. Or consider a themed bathroom (the beach is a popular choice) that can spread out into the bedroom, too. The possibilities are limitless!