A Complete Guide on How to Design Stylish Basement Apartment

A basement apartment seems to be a bit short on lighting and space for dwelling. As a result, below-ground home brings a hard challenge on how to make the most of a tiny area.

However, you can apply a smart design to turn the underneath-street-level building into some extra rooms.

By a little effort on constructing or remodeling an idle basement, some challenges such as dampness, flooding, low ceiling, and lack of natural light can be overcome.

Grab the following guide to design the ground floor interior, and find lots of treasures in your cellar.

Redecorate Basement Apartment

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The first stage in remodeling or renovating a basement is planning to finish some works that include plumbing, waterproofing, installing electrical power, and adding exit doors or windows.

Bear in mind to apply the proper installation techniques and also the best materials to build a new cozy space.

Color Schemes

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White walls will create a contrast to the basement apartment layout. Therefore, you can add various pops of color with carpeting, sofas, tables, and other furniture. Also, this neutral hue enhances the brightness of the darkroom.

Since the basement apartment has less lighting, avoid painting the room with vibrant and dark hues. However, combining a reddish-purple with light gray is acceptable as long as you mix the bright color with soft tones.

See Also: The Other Ideas of Applying Color in Home Decor

Likewise, prevent the room from colorful, busy-patterned, and textured walls since those ideas will make your cellar look crowded.

Alternatively, you can also bring throw pillows with striped or any unique decorative patterns to spruce up the bare sofas’ design.

Exit Doors and Windows

Exit doors and windows for basement apartment (googleusercontent.com)
Source: googleusercontent.com

Installing an exit door or window in a walkout basement apartment is recommended. This egress requirement will result in an escape channel if there is a fire case. 

Therefore, you need to build a large egress window if your cellar does not feature an exterior door. Define the best location to install this exit route so that the full-service basement finishing can be accomplished.


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In a narrow and darkroom, applying a white textured wallpaper will create a brighter space.

Then, to lengthen the area, choose shipboard siding and install it horizontally. Besides, attach wood panels can be another choice for easy installation.


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Since flooring can reflect light, it can establish an illusion of open space even in a small basement apartment.

Therefore, you can opt for faux wood or hardwood floors to give a vigorous blotch of illumination. Those lustrous reflective materials eventually will evoke the appearance of natural lighting.

Furnish with Versatile Things

Turning a basement into other comfy rooms requires some furniture to add more value and also functional use. Therefore, you can add a bed, ottomans, or sofas to experience better sleep in a bedroom.

Meanwhile, utilize a drop leaf table with a bench for a flexible dining area. Additionally, if you wanna be more versatile, you can extend the use of this furnishing item with a few more chairs in the living room.

Storage Solution

Bring versatility in the basement apartment is a storage solution
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Bring versatility within the basement apartment by choosing some furniture with additional storage solutions. For example, a big cabinet with many shelves can provide lots of space to keep the room tidy and well-organized.

Additionally, a storage bench can be placed near the entryway to provide multiple functions for keeping your equipment and sitting.

Moreover, multifunctional furniture gives a more space-saving area in your basement apartment.

Laundry Appliances

Putting laundry room in the bathing area
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If you have a limited basement apartment, you can share a laundry room in the bathing area. Utilize the stackable models next to the shower to give more free space.

In this way, the nook can be more functional. You can keep some appliances on the top part of the washer.

Power Supply

Electrical wiring is necessary to make your basement apartment entertaining
Source: homeguide.com

A smart plan of electrical wiring is necessary to convert your basement apartment into an entertaining area. It is to allow internet access for satellite TV and LCD computers. Thus, set up the wall outlets and keep them in spacing with different power supplies.

Brighten up the Basement with Proper Lighting

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Natural light seems impossible in the basement apartment, so you should install artificial illumination to brighten the room. However, do not add too many fluorescent lamps since the area will be oversaturated.

Since artificial basement lighting will not give an airy look, a strategic plan of installation is essential to create a better effect.

Then, try to duplicate the natural light by placing full-spectrum bulbs throughout the space. They will preserve both lowlight and highlight effervescence to establish a lofty room.

Add Decorative Accents

The example of decorative accent on a wall
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Accent walls will work great in a tiny basement apartment if you can choose the right location to avoid a crowded look. They might create an openness so that the room appears larger.

Add a decorative accent on a wall between the door and window. Apply a bright color and attach hanging lamps to enhance a visual appeal.

Then, combine them with black furniture and dark gray carpet to give a balanced look.


Sheer curtains prevents the basement apartment from being cramped (artmakehome.com)
Source: artmakehome.com

Sheer curtains are perfect for a basement apartment as well as the bright drapes. Choose full-length drapery to offer a vertical look.

It also prevents the space from being cramped. Additionally, install some artificial lights to mimic a natural light effect.

Glass Materials

Reflective glasses become a focal point in the basement apartment (gallerykitchendesign.co.uk)
Source: gallerykitchendesign.co.uk

Some pieces of mirrors arranged on a bare wall can add unique textures. Those reflective glasses become a focal point in the basement apartment.

They give a depth effect to the room by reflecting the outdoor view from the window wall.


Fireplace can be a part of you basement apartment decoration (i.pinimg.com)
Source: i.pinimg.com

Add a fireplace between the built-in cabinets will create an attractive focal point to the basement apartment.

The gas-fire design does not require a chimney but installing a sealed-combustion type on the exterior wall. Combine it with vibrant colored houseplants to give a warm feeling.

Small Basement Apartment Ideas

Save spacing is the key for narrow basement apartment (decoratorist.com)
Source: decoratorist.com

Consider space-saving furniture for a limited basement apartment. Wall-mounted shelves, cabinet, and storage work great in this small space. Add area rugs or carpet tiles to give warmth and comfort.

Do not forget to upgrade the electrical circuits for installing artificial lamps. Importantly, scatter plenty of houseplants to liven up your space and make the room feel bigger.

Finally, a dark and creepy basement apartment can be transformed into a cozy place to live. The right arrangement and proper lighting will enhance a spacious area to the small below-ground room.

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