In Minnesota, we love our basements. They are the places where we can relax, host guests, play games, enjoy our TV, or even a great place for kids bedrooms. Regardless of the function of your basement, you may want to make some sort of change. You may want to add a wet bar, update the bathroom, or even something as simple as get your storage area more organized.

This piece is going to touch on a bit of everything when it comes to your basements potential. We will help you come up with ways to update living spaces, media centers, bedrooms, and basement bars. So lets get into it!

2020 Basement Living Space Trends

Though many basements remodel trends come and go, a creative living space design is always in style. Living spaces are perfect for the basements. Since they are far away from the delicate upstairs dining and sitting rooms, they can be “lived” in by family members. Kids can have a place to lounge, or adults can have casual hosting space for close friends and family.

The best use of remodeling your basements living space depends on your plans. Will you be in this house for years to come, or is your goal to sell as quickly as possible. Depending on your answer, try to consider designs that appeal to the broadest selection of people possible. From spa rooms to playrooms, here are some of our favorite living space basement trends of 2018.

Open Concept Basement Design

The open concept basement design is a popular trend in many finished basements. Rather than divide the area of the basement into separate rooms, the open concept knocks down most of the walls. Essentially, the removal of the walls allows for a more open, communal environment.

Without barriers, open concept design allows for more freedom while organizing furniture. When basement remodelers utilize this trend, whole rooms can combine into one. Monolithic dining, entertainment and workout area can appear as a cohesive whole. It also allows for larger entertainment units, like a billiards, air hockey or ping pong table.

Benefits

  • Allows for more social gatherings
  • Makes the basement appear more significant than it is
  • More space for customization

Basement Exercise Room

With health trends gaining popularity at an astounding rate, workout rooms are a good bet for basement remodelers wishing to add value to their home. They are also perfect for any fitness guru with a lot of personal exercise equipment. Easy access to a private gym can inspire individuals to work out more.

Some of the most famous pieces of home gym equipment are:

  • Treadmills
  • Dumbbells
  • Ellipticals
  • Punching bags
  • Bench presses
  • Yoga mats
  • Rowing machines
  • Air bikes

Inspiring workout quotes are an excellent addition to any exercise room. Either paint the quotes on using stencils or order some nice decals. A solid hardwood floor is appropriate for most places. Try adding padded mats for yoga poses or stretches. No one wants to fall on a hard floor.

Consider installing wall mirrors to your exercise basement room. Mirrors will make space appear more prominent than it is. They also reflect more natural light.

Benefits

  • Encourages active lifestyle
  • Appeals to exercise enthusiasts

Game Room

Whether it is a large television with a video game console or a classy billiards table, game rooms can spice up any basement living space. Every man has an ideal man cave, but here are some of the most popular games typically included in game spaces:

  • Ping Pong
  • Foosball
  • Billiards
  • Pinball machines
  • Darts
  • Shuffleboard
  • Video games

When making a game room, try to keep in mind that many of these machines require extensive power and wiring. Multiple power sources is a must when remodeling a basement. Also try hiding unsightly wiring under the flooring, behind shelves, or tied together. You do not want rampant wires to ruin the look of your game room.

Benefits

  • Fun space to relax and unwind with friends and family
  • Versatile for the selling market because many homeowners love game rooms

Home Spa

If the price is not an issue, a personal home spa is the ultimate personal indulgence. Basement spas can be as simple as auxiliary bathing room, or as elaborate as an indoor sauna. People also love to include hot tubs, walk-in showers, and lounge chairs. If space permits, home spas pair beautifully with basement workout rooms. After you finish your workout, you can head straight to the sauna.

Saunas can be added on, or built into the basement. A cool add-on on if you have a walkout basement is an outdoor shower area. These showers are prevalent in many beach houses, but they can be creatively utilized in basement spas as well.  

Benefits

  • Relaxing and stress reducing
  • Sauna health benefits
  • Luxurious feel to the basement living space

Kids Playroom

Playrooms are a comfortable and versatile way to turn a finished basement into a useable space. All that is needed is some organizational bins for the toys and a few pieces of unique furniture.

In addition to offering storage for a growing supply of toys, a kid’s playroom also keeps the messes that accompany children’s’ play confined to the basement.

Kids playrooms in basements are high in demand because most families looking to buy larger houses will most likely have kids that need space to play. So, if your kids grow up, and you plan on moving, consider keeping the kid’s playroom—it will add value to the home and basement.

Benefits

  • Entertains kids
  • Very affordable and easy
  • Appeals to a wide range of potential homebuyers

Additional Storage Space

If you have limited pantry or cabinet space upstairs, a finished basement can offer an incredible amount of storage. Adequately organized shelves or an added closest can provide additional room for dishes, kitchenware, drinks, dry food, and non-perishables.

Add a Downstairs Bathroom

An extra downstairs bathroom can be useful, especially if there are limited bathrooms upstairs due to family members or guests. Bathrooms are work-intensive, and you will need to hire an outside contractor to take care of the plumbing. But the result will increase your home’s value.

Make sure to situate your basement bathroom near existing plumbing and electrical wiring. Doing so will save money on materials. Due to the damp nature of many basements, you may want to consider leaving out a bath or show.

Draining is another issue that depends entirely on the specific condition of the basement itself. Hire a contractor for this.


Basement Bars

A chic basement bar is an incredibly appealing add-on for homeowners that host frequent social gatherings. With the recent popularity in craft beer industry, as well as easy-to-use homebrewing technology, basement bars can take on a much more personalized feel.

When remodeling your basement, do not feel confined to the traditional, barebones bar structure. Wet bars are steadily gaining in popularity, especially in 2018. Even children can make use of these family-friendly spaces. Try to imagine the area you will get the most value of—personally and monetarily. To give you some ideas, we’ve compiled some creative bar trends and remodeling tips.  

Wet Bars

Put simply; a wet bar is a fusion between a galley kitchen and a bar. Wet bars can contain:

  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Sink and faucet
  • Undercounter appliances
  • Refrigerators

Wet bars typically are for entertaining family and friends. They can also serve as an auxiliary food staging or preparation area during celebrations or parties. This is helpful during large family gatherings, like Thanksgiving. Undercounter appliances, like microwaves and rack refrigerators, help add a modern bar feel to any wet bar.

The type of countertop material you choose for your wet bar depends heavily on the kind of style your basement remodel takes. However, these materials are incredibly customizable, ranging from the traditional to the unorthodox. Here are some of our favorite countertop materials:

  • Laminate — affordable, wide range of colors and styles
  • Granite — high end, durable and natural
  • Marble — luxurious and beautiful, but very breakable
  • Wood — traditional and affordable, with a rustic feel.

If installing cabinets is beyond your price range, try open shelves. Open shelve storing provides a more open feel than cabinet and it is less expensive. It is also a great way of showing off glassware, wine, and liquors.

Basement remodelers can make a wet bar more family-friendly design by adding juice boxes, sodas, and popcorn to the bar stock. Appliances like ice cream machines can be a fun addition to a family game or movie night.

Install Beer Taps

Though a beer tap system may sound overly complicated, it’s quite simple. The hardest part is running and connecting plastic tubing from the tap to the keg. CO2 propels the beer from the keg to the spout. Make sure to buy small kegs for the valve.

Nothing gives off the “bar feel” than an operating tap system. Just make sure to keep it sanitary. If you use your beer tap regularly, the plastic tubing will need a mandatory flushing every six weeks or so.

Home Brewery

The craft beer industry exploded during the last decade. This explosion led many craft enthusiast to start home brewing. A small brewing station can be a charming addition to a basement bar and, in 2018, it is becoming a fast-growing trend.

Homebrewing can be as simple or advanced as you want it to be. The hobby has lots of DIY potentials. For example, you can construct an extracting system with some easy modifications to two 10-gallon buckets. However, if you may want more aesthetically pleasing home brewing stations, consider some of the more advanced units. These are usually made of stainless steel which can fit the style of many basement bars. Typically, these advance units consist of:

  • Recirculating infusion mash systems
  • Heat exchange recirculating mash systems
  • Conical fermenters

Adding a home brewery to your basement bar is an inexpensive way to add a personal and active touch to the overall feel of the room.

Mini-Pub

For a more authentic bar experience, go all out with a mini-pub. These bars oriented toward socialization. Enjoy a pint with some friends after work, or watch the big game on television. Mini-pubs typically have:

  • More seating
  • Neon lighting
  • Antique memorabilia
  • A television

Wine Storage and Display

If you’re a wine enthusiast or own too many bottles of excellent wine, consider using your basement bar to store and display bottles. Try installing wine racks on either side of the bar. This will give your basement the feel of an old wine cellar. Display your best wines on a stand in front of the bar.

A personal wine cellar allows you to hold private wine tastings with your friends and family. It also increases the value of your house by making it appear cultured and practical.

Butler Pantry

If building and supplying a full bar is out of your price range, try cutting it in half. A modern take on a butler pantry can be the perfect solution for a tight basement remodeling budget. A butler pantry, usually containing fine china and glassware, typically lies outside of a large dining room. But try a modern twist by squeezing it under a basement staircase, or similar tight space.

A modern take on a butler bar usually only has a sink and an under-counter mini fridge. The counter and shelves can display:

  • Liquor
  • Cocktail glasses
  • Mixology equipment
  • Espresso makers
  • Art
  • Plants

Get Creative with Your Bar Material

Do not be afraid to experiment a little with bar design. In this day and age, even a bar partially constructed with plywood can offer and unique, industrial style.

  • Dark mahogany wood
  • Stainless steel
  • Monochromatic laminate
  • Plywood

Exposed Brick as Modern Decoration

Exposed brick as a wall covering is becoming very popular in many modern bars and coffee shops. Recreate it naturally or artificially in your basement bar to give it an industrial, chic feel. In addition to exposed brick, reclaimed wood is a popular modern floor trend for many basement bars—likely because it reminds us of oaky barrel caskets popular in taverns.


Basement Media Space & Home Theaters

Media spaces in basements are a great way to turn an unused portion of the house into the defining feature of the property. However, the first crucial step any basement remodeler must decide is which kind of media space they want in their home.

Though factors like budget and time constraints are essential here, try to envision what space you would utilize the most. To get your creativity flowing, here are some of our favorite 2018 basement trends for media space, from home theaters to sports rooms,  

Home Theaters

Home theaters are excellent additions for films buffs and casual moviegoers alike. These types of rooms allow for fun movie nights with friends and family. You’ll also save money on movie theater costs; watch them from home!

Proper light and sound arrangements are essential when designing your basement media space. Just like an actual movie theater, darkness is essential for viewing. No one would like it if a bright beam of light came glaring on the screen. Try to play your home theater in a room isolated from view, with no windows. The sound is also vital to an authentic theater experience. Try to find the best audio focal points and install a surround sound system at those specific points.

When shopping for a television and seating equipment, try to use the size of your theater as a guide. Anything too small will seem underwhelming, and anything too big will not fit. Find the right equipment for both your basement and your budget.

  • Fun usable space
  • Everyone typically enjoys movies—appeals to lots of potential buyers
  • Increases home value

Music Auditorium or Practice Space

For musicians and enthusiasts, consider turning your basement into a functional practice space. Instruments, speakers, and amps can be organized to fit into most areas. Because of insulation, the sound muffles in most basements, so loud music will not bother neighbors and family members as much.

To take it up another level, think about installing a small raised stage on one side of the room. A raised stage gives the basement the feel of small music hall. The stage can be helpful for more authentic music practice, or, if your up for it, music performances by your friends and family. Party DJs also benefit from a raised stage, in case a wedding reception or similar event is every held at your house.

  • Unique idea, not many basements have them
  • Great for parties or performances
  • Authentic practice space

Sports Room

Diehard sports fans need a specific room dedicated to cheering on their teams. During game day, viewing parties can bring the whole neighborhood in on the fun.

Sports rooms benefit from a smooth hardwood, either in the walls, floors or shelving. Dark mahogany gives off a distinctly athletic feel. The shelves should hold sports memorabilia and trophies. Pictures of athletes or artwork should line the wall.

The television is an integral part of the sports room. The tv should be in a central location where all eyes can be on it during a crucial play. However, seating should be arranged so social interaction can still occur during commercials and breaks. If you’re the type of fan who enjoys keeping up with multiple games at once, consider installing several televisions for an optimal sports experience.

  • Personalized for specific sport teams
  • Good social and viewing space

Recording Studio

If you’re a musician who enjoys live or tracked recording, a finished basement can be the perfect media space for a home studio. Make sure you set up your media and mixing board, so it is facing the musicians. That way, you can communicate with them effectively in between takes.

Also, consider insulating your basement with additional soundproof barriers on the wall. These barriers help capture natural acoustic sounds which might be lost on regular walls.

  • Usable recording space
  • Memorable media environment

Arcade Room

Capture the nostalgia of the 1980s with a functional arcade room. Arcade machines and pinballs are very collectible, so a dedicated gaming room is a unique place to show them off. Arcade rooms are an excellent place for kids and adults to bond over a shared love of games. A television or PC station can also be set up for more contemporary consoles.

Utilize wall space with vintage video game posters to give it that authentic arcade feel.

Make sure to set aside an adequate amount of wiring and electrical outlets to support the number of arcade machines you plan to collect. These machines use a lot of power, so consider turning them off when they are not in use.

  • Nostalgic video game feel
  • Fun for the whole family
  • Impressive collection and display

Study or Library

Avid readers or writers might want to turn their media spaces into a quiet, cozy library or study. Since basements are quiet and cut off, they are the perfect places not to be disturbed. Consider installing large bookshelves against the wall instead of moving smaller ones. These built-in shelves will give the library a more cohesive and dominating feel.

Depending on the style you choose to pursue, your desk options may differ. A classic study typically contains a large, antique wooden desk. But more contemporary styles utilize the sleek modern appeal of glass desks. Don’t forget a globe or another essential desk accessories!

  • Classic, scholarly feel
  • Quiet work or reading place

Art studio

Painters might want to turn their media spaces into a painting studio. Finished basements are the perfect storing places for big canvases. They are also an excellent place to practice still lives or paint model portraits.

Photography enthusiast would also benefit from a private studio to practice model shots. If you enjoy developing 35mm film, basements are ideal for dark rooms since they hide away from the sun. Just make sure you properly ventilate the dangerous chemicals.


Basement Bedroom Design

Whether you are remodeling your basement with an in-law suite or an extra bedroom for immediate family, there are changing trends to consider for maximum resale value. Trends, like walkout basements, are very much in vogue in 2018. However, when you factor in contracting costs into your basement, remodeling costs can start rising fast. Managing your budget and home value is essential before proceeding with any major renovations

While major contracting change can sometimes take precedence, it’s crucial to remember that missing the mark on style can turn a promising space into an uncomfortable nightmare. So, to get the biggest bang for your buck, check out some of our tips and trends when remodeling your basement bedroom, as well as popular style trends.

Insulate Walls to Keep Out the Cold

First thing’s first, before remodeling your basement bedroom make sure the walls are properly insulated. If you don’t insulate properly, cold air will seep through the walls. The result is a freezing bedroom and uncomfortable guests. We recommend not taking the cheap route when insulating. Doing so will result in colder rooms and a higher energy bill (since heat is leaking out).

  • Aerogel is the most expensive insulation, but it does the best job
  • Fiberglass is inexpensive, but it needs to be handled by professionals
  • Mineral wool is efficient, but it does not resist flame
  • Cellulose is good for the environment, fire resistant and capable, but it is tough to install
  • Polyurethane foam is sufficient but not good for the environment
  • Wood panels are effective at keeping a room warm during the winter

Proper insulation can also help keep sound out.

Choose a Style

Setting a style is an important design decision when remodeling. Second guessing a bedroom style halfway through the renovation can be a costly mistake for basement remodelers, since it will likely affect wall, floor and furniture choices. As such, it is essential to be confident in the first initial style. To get you acquainted with some favorite 2018 bedroom design trends, here are some of the most popular styles.

  • Eclectic — a new approach using different colors and styles to create a cohesive postmodern look
  • Cottage — quaint, homey feel in the same manner as a bed & breakfast
  • Mediterranean —stylishly aggressive textures and bold color schemes
  • Romantic — delicate colors usually with an ornate bed wrapped in draperies
  • Contemporary — stylish furniture with bright color arrangements
  • Coastal — soft fabrics with muted colors
  • Modern — minimal style with unorthodox methods
  • Old World — European influenced look, luxurious and regal
  • Traditional — a timeless look with ornamental fabrics and styles

Also, don’t be afraid to use your environment when remodeling the basement. An oddly exposed steel pipe or a concrete wall might look great with a modern or eclectic industrial style.

Fill the Wall Space with Accessories

Even if you choose the most minimal style, a well-placed accessory can make the most of visual space. A compelling painting can tie together even the blandest room. Mirrors trick the mind into perceiving more space than there is. Adequately framed pictures of family or friends are perfect for personalizing the wall space of basement bedrooms.

Also, if you can, try to match accessories with the overall style you’ve chosen. For example, if you’ve chosen a coastal scheme, then a model sailboat, or an oar and lifesaver would be the perfect combination.

Choose a Color Scheme

Color is crucial to the atmosphere of a room. Since bright colors have a proven effect on our emotions, we recommend a warm tone. This tone will help compensate for the lack of natural light in many basements.

If you are feeling adventurous, try mixing and matching different colors. Three walls painted white mixed with one crimson can make the room pop in unexpected ways. Here a some of the hottest current color scheme trends in 2018:

  • Sage — soft and tranquil, white mixed with green
  • Marigold — soft, mustard yellow
  • Ultraviolet — a light shade of purple that pops
  • Crimson — deep red, bold and attention-grabbing
  • Ocean blue — dark and thick like a jewel
  • Blush — peach and salmon punk
  • Autumn maple — fall harvest look, delicate orange
  • Emerald — bright, modern green
  • Deep turquoise — greenish blue with depth
  • Black — sleek and sexy
  • Stone white — a warmer white
  • Olive — traditional light green
  • Yellow — sunny and vibrant feel
  • Dusk — a muted blue color
  • Beige—a soft cappuccino color
  • Artificial Lighting is a Bright Idea

An improperly lit basement can feel gloomy and forlorn. This feeling likely stems from the fact that many basements have very few windows. This lack of natural light can produce negative emotions in many individuals.

To compensate, add several layers of artificial lights. Ceiling fixtures and overhead lights combined with several lamps should be enough. However, do not light everything in the room indiscriminately. Try to determine the best spot for individual lights. An adequately lit area can draw attention to a piece of art or furniture that would otherwise not stand out

Consider an Egress Window

It is essential to have a second exit, other than the main stairs, in basements in case of emergency. If a natural disaster, like an earthquake, fire, or flooding, there needs to be an alternative exit in case the stairs are blocked or inaccessible.

One solution is an egress window. Egress are unique windows that wide and accessible for escape. Not all windows are egress windows. An egress window must:

  • Be able to be fully opened
  • Have nine square feet of standing area
  • Have a minimum height and width of thirty-six inches
  • Have a ladder permanently attached to the ground

Egress windows are often not optional. Many city building codes require a type of exit like this if the basement does not contain a walkout door. While it might be a pain to install, egress windows necessary in case of emergencies. They also provide the additional benefit of natural sunlight.

The Basement Living Space Design of Your Dreams is Within Reach

With some careful, intelligent planning and a little creativity, you can transform your drab, boring basement into a beautiful living space. Be sure to stay organized throughout the process, and don’t bite off more than you can chew at once. Best of luck!