When you bought your home, you liked that it had a basement. You figured you could transform the unfinished or dated space into additional square footage as your family grew, or at least when your design budget had more funds.
But now that you’ve lived here a while, you worry that the space will never become the extra space you wanted. Why? Water problems. Basements in the Chicago and northwest Indiana regions experience flooding or excess condensation frequently. Even if your basement hasn’t had these problems yet, you worry that it will in the future.
If past or potential water problems deter you from investing in a basement renovation, hire a waterproofing company. Their services can secure your house’s foundation and seal out floods or rainwater. With a waterproofed basement, you’ll be ready to create a room you’ll enjoy for years.
What will you do with that basement square footage? Look over these design ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
1. For the Movie Lover
Home theater rooms have become a common upgrade. Treat yourself with one if you spend hours watching classic black-and white films or obscure titles on Netflix. Include some of the following features:
- A screen and projector that can show films in any format-VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, or streamed from online
- Cushioned recliners, movie theater-style chairs, or couches on different levels like stadium seating
- A snack bar, complete with a soda fountain, pretzel warmer, and authentic popcorn popper
If you worry that media dominates your home, create a theater room, and use it as your primary TV and movie watching space.
Then remove any TVs from the main floor of your house. That gives you at least one gathering area free from media distractions.
2. For the Gym Buff
Even before you waterproof it, you may use your basement as a makeshift home gym. Once you have it waterproofed, give it these upgrades so you’ll crave getting in shape:
- A full-sized mirror on one wall so you can check your form while you lift weights or do yoga
- A flat-screen TV mounted on the wall you can watch while you work out
- Fans on the ceiling to keep air circulating
- A punching bag in a corner of the room
- A sink or drinking fountain to keep you hydrated
3. For the Studious Type
Every booklover dreams of a private library with wall-to-wall books. Turn that dream into a reality by turning your waterproofed basement into a home office and reading room.
Shelves are the most important feature (other than the books, of course), so choose a style you’ll love for years.
Better yet, have a carpenter install custom shelves, including a desk area.
Next, look for comfy chairs you can lounge in while you devour the written word. Choose at least two so several people can enjoy the library at a time. Finally, give the space good lighting so no one strains their eyes while they read.
4. For New Parents (or Grandparents)
Once you’ve held that bundle of joy in your arms, you want to give him or her everything. By the time your baby learns to walk, you’ll need a space where your tot can toddle around without getting into anything. Turn your waterproofed basement into a family-friendly play area:
- Put soft carpet on the floor. Choose a dark or neutral tone that won’t show stains.
- Choose couches and furniture with curved, not pointed, corners.
- Create a designated play area with colorful mats or rugs.
- Decide on toy storage solutions now. Buy an old dresser and keep toys in the drawers, or have built-in cabinets installed.
This basement renovation idea works for grandparents, too. Bring out any toys you’ve saved from your kids, and keep them in kid-friendly bins. You’ll love seeing your grandkids enjoy them when they visit.
5. For the Sports Fanatic
Chicago and Indiana are home to some of the country’s best college and professional sports teams. Whoever you root for, show your team spirit with a room you can cheer in year-round.
- Start with comfortable sofas and a few recliners. Base the color scheme on your favorite team’s colors, and hang pictures of iconic sports moments. Add a small fridge, sink, microwave, and cupboards for dishes and silverware. That way you’ll never be too far from a celebratory snack.
Your sports den can also be your personal hall of fame. Do you have jerseys or trophies from your days as an athlete? Put them on display, either on shelves or in shadow box frames. Display your kids’ accomplishments as well, such as news stories about their game-winning three-point shot or recent science fair project.
Whatever you decide to do with your basement, start the renovation process by having it waterproofed. It’s the first step toward expanding your home with one of these dream hangouts, and it ensures that your renovation avoids costly water damage.