Mission Possible: A Brightened Basement

Basement. The word might make some of us shiver, conjuring up visions of dark, dank spaces with hairy-legged creepy crawlies and spooky stacks of cardboard storage boxes from decades past. Sure, it’s Halloween time, but save the spook for your front porch. Your basement doesn’t have to be this way! Not if you employ some tips that lighten the space and make it feel like an actual living space…for humans, not insects.

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Kitchenettes in a basement are an instant pick-me-up, especially those with color palettes that I like to call light-n-bright. Cheery flowers in vases, glass-front cabinetry, white columns, and a defined arched kitchenette floor all work together to make this a friendly, usable space. Even the metallic bar stools add s bit of shine.

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With it’s high-ceilinged, loft-like vibe, this space hardly feels like a basement at all. The well-spaced horizontal slats draw our eyes upward to discover UN-basement like exposed beams, painted white. The perimeter of the room is also painted white, which emphasizes the colorful stuff of living within the room. This basement is full of pleasing juxtaposition.

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So what if your basement is small and dark and, in reality, going to stay that way? Highlight these features to transform the space into a cozy den by decorating like it’s an actual living space rather than an outcast. Cheerful colors on furniture, set within the intimate setting where ceiling and walls are painted the same mocha shade, come together to emphasize what natural light there is in the upper windows. And that oversized white ottoman beckons!

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Some basements thrive on neutral and/or monochromatic color schemes. This is one of them. Box beam ceilings add interest to this cool neutral color palette…a palette that, with its various tones and hues, makes the space seem larger and brighter than it might actually be. Tasteful twins pendant lamps in the background alcove highlights an interesting architectural element.

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A long and fairly narrow space is typical of many basements. Strategically divided and identified (bar, billiards, and theatre, in this case), this layout can be an asset to showcase and implement the many functions of a basement. A mix of recessed lights (for functional, “invisible” lighting) and sleek pendant lamps provides visual distinction to each component within the space. Light floors open the basement up, despite its lowered ceiling.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.