Basements don’t need to be dark, dingy places! It only takes a bit of thought, some fresh paint and an eye towards lightening the place up to transform what many consider to be extra storage space to an area you’ll be happy to spend time in. Follow along with these tips to brighten your basement and re-purpose all that extra space for living.
Poor lighting is the biggest complaint about basements. If the amount of natural light your basement receives is limited because of window placement, you’ll need to supplement it with electrical light fixtures. This is not an area where you’ll want to scrimp or hold back since using multiple light sources will be the best method to combat a dreary atmosphere. If you’re in the planning stages of finishing your basement, make sure to spread ceiling fixtures evenly around the whole area. Linking them to separate dimmer switches can save electricity while allowing you to control the amount of light depending on the time of day. Complement your overhead lights with a range of table and floor lamps.
Painting the walls white or another lighter shade will naturally lighten up the room. Sticking with that same colour throughout the basement will give a sense of continuity and make the area seem bigger. Keep to the light coloured theme with your furniture and accessories to take advantage of their reflective capacities and ability to lend a polished and cheerful feel. Minimizing colour and pattern differences throughout the room allows the walls to look taller and the ceiling higher.
Adding plants, cut flowers and other organic elements such as rough hewn wood pieces or furnishings made of natural fibres go a long way towards brightening up a basement. Allow natural textures to work with the available light to create a more cheery and breezy atmosphere.
The darker colours of exposed brick enhance the gloom level. So if you don’t plan on covering it up with drywall, consider painting over it to brighten the area. Brick that’s painted white or another light colour reflects the available light much better than it’s natural hues and reduces the grey factor caused by the mortar.
Sticking to a single style of material for your floors allows the room to look more spacious by reducing eye clutter. Keep the colours at the lighter end of the spectrum to make the most of the available light allowing the room looking brighter. If you need to add some colour and texture to the floor, consider using some small throw rugs.