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Bring your basement bedroom ideas to life successfully, and these spaces can be as stylish as the other bedrooms in your home. A basement location needn't be an impediment to a room that’s both comfortable and chic.
Additional bedrooms always prove a boon, and locating them in the basement can have benefits on top of simply boosting their number, providing privacy that guests or older kids who still live at home some or all of the time will appreciate.
We’ve put together our favorite basement bedroom ideas here, and they’re accompanied by expert advice to inspire your own rooms whether you’re working with a designer or compiling your own basement ideas list.
Basement bedroom ideas
A basement location for a bedroom can give the occupier a sense of welcome separation from the family’s bedrooms. However, there are design challenges to address, including optimizing light, creating a cozy atmosphere and, perhaps, making the space feel larger. Be inspired by these bedroom ideas – they're ideal for basements.
1. Let light into a basement bedroom
Basement bedrooms shouldn’t lack any of the appeal of bedrooms elsewhere in your home. ‘Basement bedrooms don’t need to be dark or dim,’ says Maggie Griffin, founder and lead designer of Maggie Griffin Design. ‘With a beautiful window for natural light and pretty furnishings, make the most of the small spaces by outfitting the room with all of the creature comforts of main floor bedrooms.’
Avoid window drapery that’s bulky to let in maximum daylight, and opt for shutters which will provide privacy but can be opened to increase natural light.
2. Brighten up basement bedrooms with mirrors
Another of our favorite basement bedroom ideas designed to avoid gloom? Decorating with mirrors – mirrored furniture will multiply the light in the room, as well as giving it an opulent finish. Team with a wall mirror: it’s a must have for a bedroom, of course, but will also bounce the light around so the room is bright. With more natural light, a basement bedroom will also appear larger, so these are sound strategies for compact spaces.
3. Build storage into basement bedrooms
Basements can provide good additional storage space for a home, but if you’re including a bedroom in your basement extra furniture for this purpose might compromise its sleek and calming lines.
To avoid the issue, follow this room’s example by building bedroom storage ideas in behind the head of the bed. It’s the perfect place to tidy away items like holiday decorations, and when the time comes around to get them out, moving the bedside table out of the way to access the storage is easy.
4. Opt for wall lights
One of the issues that can prevent you executing your basement bedroom ideas is low ceilings. If there isn’t sufficient height in the room, hanging an elegant pendant or chandelier can be impossible.
The alternative? Fit recessed lights into the ceiling, then add attractive wall lights to the room in order to include decorative lighting in the design. A swing-arm design, as here, is highly functional, since it can be moved into the ideal position for nighttime reading. Either way, good bedroom lighting ideas are a must for basement spaces.
5. Create a cozy atmosphere
When light colors are preferable, it’s important to consider the ways in which a bedroom can still feel snug. It’s perfectly feasible, though. ‘Even basement bedrooms can be small but chic and cozy,’ says Maggie Griffin.
Consider a warm off-white for walls rather than a bright version along with a range of neutral shades to dress the bed alongside white linens. Bring in pattern with a plaid in neutral tones for a warmer feel, too.
6. Add height to a basement bedroom
Drawing the eye upwards is a neat way to make a basement bedroom feel loftier. One of the easiest ways to make use of this designer tactic is to hang a fabric panel behind the bed.
In this room the effect is enhanced by using a botanical fabric that ‘grows’ up the wall. Its organic color is repeated in both the wall paint, bedside table, and pillows for a room that’s naturally calming.
7. Provide hanging room
If a basement bedroom is a place for guests, ensuring they don’t need to live out of a traveling bag is critical to its welcoming feel. There might not be room for a closet to hang clothes, so consider this room’s solution of incorporating a peg rack that provides hanging space. Here it’s painted to match wall paneling for a sophisticated finish.
8. Exploit darker shades
If pales aren’t your decor preference, basement bedroom ideas can involve a darker palette.
‘We recommend embracing a basement bedroom’s natural darkness, creating a cozy and warm feel,’ says Louise Wicksteed, design director of Sims Hilditch. ‘We achieved this in the guest bedroom of our Parsons Green townhouse by installing wall paneling which brings to mind a country interior, as well as a charming linen wall covering.
‘We threaded splashes of yellow throughout the room – in the upholstery of the armchair and bedside lampshades – to inject a cheerful and inviting aesthetic into the space.’
9. Locate the bedrooms on the basement’s perimeter
Remodeling and deciding how to make the most of your basement? ‘Utilize the perimeter of the basement for sunny bedrooms and the interior for the main living areas,’ says Maggie Griffin.
For your own convenience and to ensure visitors feel at home, consider planning these options into your design as well. ‘A second laundry room nearby is perfect for turning over beds after having a full house, and a stocked fridge always keeps guests happy,’ says Maggie.
It makes sense, if you are making space for a bedroom that you investigate basement bathroom ideas, too – this will be a must.
10. Add a seat
Add an armchair to a basement bedroom if the floor area permits it. It provides space for guests to relax away from family activities if they need to, and a bedroom chair is useful when getting dressed.
Velvet upholstery is always a winning choice with its smooth feel, and it can add a pop of color to the bedroom.
If a chair won’t fit, an ottoman for the end of the bed can be a great alternative.
Is it OK to have a bedroom in the basement?
It is fine to have a bedroom in the basement so long as local building codes are followed. Safety is crucial and there must be emergency exits from the bedroom of the correct proportions and in the correct place. As well as providing escape, these would allow a firefighter to enter the space, when interior basement stairs aren't accessible.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends that every bedroom be fitted with a smoke alarm, and a basement bedroom should be no exception. Additionally, note that there should be smoke alarms on every level of a home, and that includes the basement.
How do I make my basement bedroom cozy?
The right design strategies can make a basement bedroom cozy. Think color for a warm ambience. Both light and dark hues can make it welcoming, but pay attention to the underlying tones of any color so it has a warm effect: think pink or yellow undertones for whites, for example.
Also crucial are bedroom lighting ideas: a layered scheme will make a basement bedroom feel cozy, and wall sconces can be part of the lighting selection where the ceiling is too low for a pendant or chandelier.
Think warm flooring as well with carpet underfoot or rugs layered on to hard floor surfaces. Consider the textures of other materials in the room, too, with soft and tactile choices to please the sense of touch as well as the eye.
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Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.
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