Building & Renovation

Beautiful basements made easy

With cold weather upon us, homeowners may wonder whether they have enough space to accommodate their families, pets and holiday guests all winter long. Additions can be notoriously time-consuming and costly, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel cramped in your current space. To add livable square footage to your existing home, look to a space you may not be using to its full potential: the basement. With a bit of strategy and a few tools like this, you can add significant functional space in no time:

WallsA fresh coat of paint is widely accepted as one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to spruce up the appearance of any space. However, choosing the right paint for the job is just as important as the colour. Basement walls are more prone to moisture, mold and mildew damage, so the better paint companies have developed protective coatings. Very popular is one by Pratt & Lambert called Blok-Tite Masonry Waterproofing Paint. Used for both interior and exterior application, the waterproofing coating is formulated to create a nearly impenetrable barrier to common moisture conditions and can even be applied directly to masonry walls and cinderblock. Don’t forget to paint trim, molding and window casings for an instantly refreshed look.

Flooring It may seem a daunting task, but updating your basement floor covering will do wonders to improve the look of this space and make it a cozy, usable area. Again, moisture can be an issue in sub-ground spaces, so consider water-resistant options such as stained concrete, natural stone or porcelain tiles. If you are working on a budget, you may also look at today’s laminate and vinyl tile options, which are available in a wide variety of finishes and styles; some even imitate the popular look of hardwood and luxurious stone. Carpeting is also a great option to make a space cozier, but be sure to have an adequate sub-floor in place to avoid water damage and replacement down the road. Add bright area rugs or mats at the garage entrance or stairwell to give the room a warm, welcoming feel.

FurnitureNo matter how you plan to use your new living space, some sort of furniture update is likely in the cards. Whether it’s a game room, family area, playroom or man cave, you’ll need solutions for seating, storage and entertainment. Even if you don’t have the budget to invest in new furniture, you can easily make old pieces or garage sale finds like-new. Sand and refinish wooden pieces, or paint them a matte colour for a more modern look. Re-upholster an old sofa or simply purchase a furniture slipcover for an instant fix. Re-cover old chair and couch cushions, and add decorative pillows and throws for a stylish flair.

Light Basements don’t offer much natural light, so updating this space will probably call for a significant lighting overhaul. If your ceiling itself calls for a makeover, installing recessed or overhead lights in the process shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. If you don’t plan on redoing the basement ceiling, you can avoid the complications of electrical rewiring and instead use a variety of standing lights, table lamps and wall sconces to brighten even the darkest of lower levels.

By focusing on a few key areas of basement space, you’ll have a brandnew room to enjoy.

The following two tabs change content below.
Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.