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Cool Unfinished Basement Ideas for any Remodeling Budget

Small Workout Room Ideas when space in your home is tight.

By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

Cool Unfinished Basement Ideas

Are you looking for great unfinished basement remodeling ideas? You may think that some of these ideas are too overboard. Or maybe too costly to do. It doesn’t hurt to dream right?

Are you intimidated by your unfinished basement? Or perhaps you just don’t know what to do with all that extra space? You don’t realize how lucky you are. You have the ability to expand the function and square footage of your home!

Here are some cool basement ideas to make the most of this large area of your home. Are you are thinking of a creative basement project? Do you plan on constructing a new basement room? The cool ideas for your cold basement below will get your creativity flowing. Get ready to transform your basement into a fun place to hang out.

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How you can use your Basement Space

The basement has come a long way. It used to be a being dark and dank place to store stuff. Now there exists an endless stream of unfinished basement ideas. We have tips on everything. From how to finish your basement space to suggestions for uses for the space.

Here are some suggestions for what to do with your unfinished basement space. But first, ask yourself, what are your current wants? Do you have any functional needs that your basement can fulfill? You can create a space for just about any purpose you can fathom. Some frequent uses for unfinished basements include:

  • a dedicated home office,
  • a home gym or workout space,
  • a spacious indoor laundry room,
  • a game room, a music studio or practice space,
  • a children’s playroom,
  • a homeschooling space,
  • a second (or third) living area,
  • an art studio or crafting area,
  • a home theater,
  • a guest room,
  • an additional living space for aging parents or young adults,
  • a wine cellar or home brewery,
  • a climbing wall
  • a basketball court
  • a golf simulator
  • a putting green
  • a casino
  • a man cave
  • a storage space or storage area

So without further ado, here are some of the coolest ideas for unfinished basement remodeling.

Add a Home Office

Add a Home Office

Transform your basement into your own private home office. Your basement is going to be your “me” room where you can place your computer, office furniture, office appliances, bookcases, television and your own phone unit.

This is a perfect idea for people working at home and those that bring their work home, such as architects, engineers, computer technicians, designers, and writers.

You can make the basement any kind of office room you want but don’t forget, waterproof every inch of your basement if you plan to have electronic devices and furniture where you will store your files.

Add a Theater Room

Add a Theater Room

Create a home theater room. Your basement will be every neighbor’s envy! You can watch movies in your own private theater complete with flat-screen television, projector or home theater system, speaker systems, lighting systems, theater seats, a private bar and wall to wall carpeting.

You can hold movie time with your family, watch home videos or simply enjoy a football game in widescreen.

Add a Game Room to your Basement

Add a Game Room to your Basement

Creating your very own game room one of the most popular basement remodeling ideas. Your kids will love to spend a lot of time down there, you can have a:

  • a pool table
  • ping pong table
  • shuffleboard
  • video game machines
  • video game consoles
  • climbing areas
  • race tracks for matchbox cars,
  • air hockey tables
  • even your own bowling alley!

Video gaming or online multi-player games are a huge hit with the kids. Why not set up multiple computer stations along with comfortable seating and cool lighting decked out for all-night online video gaming? This cool plan could be too over the top but it is a guarantee that they will never leave to go anywhere else for a great time!

Add a Spa to your Basement

Add a Spa to your Basement

You could add a spa room for your enjoyment and relaxation. Wouldn’t you love to stay in the basement for a day of pampering in your very own basement spa?

Transform your basement into a relaxing and enchanting place where you can have private massages, manicures and pedicures, foot spas and even salon treatments! Add a foot spa seat and equipment, a massage table and some cabinets to store all the spa supplies.

Create the ultimate salon experience with the right furniture pieces such as reclining chairs, lounges, massage tables, lamps and shelves where you can place items that you need in your home salon/spa.

Place a small fountain or water feature in the room for a relaxing atmosphere.

Read also: Basement Bar Ideas

Add a Music Room to your Basement

Add a Music Room to your Basement

One of the most popular basement remodeling ideas for teens is using this room for band practice. If you play any kind of musical instrument then you could start a band and practice in your own music studio.

The trick is the room is it should be sound-proofed! The room could become a mini stage. Create a makeshift stage and then place seats in the room where an audience could sit. Lighting is also a must if you want to create that stage effect.

Add a Home Gym to your Basement

Add a Home Gym to your Basement

If you like to stay in shape or lose some weight, you will also love a home gym where they could train at home. Definitely, a cool basement idea that will not just be fun but convenient too!

You will need large mirrors, training equipment, weights, locker areas and exercise equipment. You can invite friends over to train with you or have activities like aerobics, yoga sessions, dancing or kickboxing.

Make this room an inspiring area that can help you reduce weight and follow your fitness goals. See our roundup of small home gym ideas for more ideas.



A TO-DO List for getting started on your Basement Idea

There are more cool ideas for basement renovations that you could follow. All it takes is imagination, patience and time to complete these wonderful projects!

There’s no shortage of unfinished basement ideas and suggestions for how to finish your basement. There will certainly be some challenges during the process, too. But it’s all worthwhile. Consider that you can recoup as much as 78% of your basement expenses when looking at resale value! Depending on where you live though.

Get rid of all your unused junk

Some tips to get you started include going through the items that are (inevitably) in your basement and purge, purge, purge!

It’s a smart idea to go through your entire home and get rid of anything that could eventually make its way to your basement. Take these items and have a yard sale. Or donate them to charity.

Much of how you will finish your basement is affected by what you will use it for. There are basics that you can decide on no matter what you plan for the space. Such as deciding upon what flooring to use.

Decide on a Basement Floor Plan

basement floor plans

There are endless ways to turn an otherwise dull and boring basement into a useful space inside your house. A floor plan should be available so you or your contractor can have a plan of action. This is especially true if complex electrical and mechanical systems are present in your home.


Choose the Materials for your Basement Walls

Drywall is my goto choice for finishing a basement. If drywall is a bit beyond your means, then get creative. You can use curtains, paneling, or paint to cover or soften yout concrete basement walls.

Want to create additional walls without the permit requirements? You can use partitions, screens, hung bed sheets, even wood pallets. These will create a separate space within your existing basement.

You can also look into Basement Wall Panels

Is your basement is prone to being moist or damp? Basement waterproofing wall panels may be a good solution for you. Moisture can create ugly stains on your basement walls. This happens when the moisture comes out through the walls and paint. With wall panels, you can be sure that your basement can be free from moisture problems.

You don’t need a professional to install the wall panels. There are wall panels that are made to resist extreme weather conditions. They are easy to install. Wall panels come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and designs. So they will be able to match your basement wall décor.

Don’t forget about Insulating your Basement Walls

Your basement can’t be considered a livable space if it is not yet insulated. Many homeowners forego insulating basement walls even if it is not a practical thing to do. You need an effective insulation system to keep the damp concrete walls from creating molds that will destroy your basement walls.

Insulating basement walls can be very challenging. Basements are susceptible to high moisture and cold temperature. Improper basement insulation leads to many problems like the formation molds. The success of any basement wall insulation lies mainly upon the type of insulating materials used. Let us discuss the best materials for basement wall insulation.

Spray foam

The best insulation material for cold and damp areas is spray foam. Water vapor naturally migrates from the basement walls to the basement room. This can be prevented by using cell spray foam.

Spray foams can also add stability to your structure because it can cover pipes and wires and protect them from damage. This can be an expensive and messy task, but if you can afford it, you will have the best basement wall installation possible.


The second best insulating material you can use for your basement is the foam board. It is the most widely used material by homeowners who prefer to insulate their basement on their own. It is the easiest to work on and also cheaper than the spray foam.

When using foamboard, it is important to choose the right thickness and seal it properly to make it an effective barrier against water vapor. Generally, you will need foam boards that are 2 to 4 inches thick to create the right barrier. It is necessary to make sure that the boards are sealed properly with house wrap tapes.

Hybrid foam and fiberglass

The cheapest way of insulating basement walls is by using foam board and fiberglass together. What you need to know is that it will only work well in rooms that do not show any signs of water infiltration.

With this method, the foamboard is first installed, then a wall made of wood or steel is framed in front of the board. The stud cavities are then installed with fiberglass. For more on insulation goto:

Choose your Style of Basement Ceiling – Basement Ceiling Ideas

Basement Ceiling Ideas

Drop ceilings are very common for finished basement ceilings. Another trending basement ceiling idea is painting the entire unfinished ceiling a solid color. Like black or white. With the dark painted ceiling hang outdoor string lights for a starry effect.

You can attach decorative bedsheets to the wood-beamed ceiling, creating a unique look.

The takeaway? Regardless of whether you have the funds to completely finish your basement. Or if you just give it more of a budget makeover. Careful planning and an open mind can give you an awesome basement space.

Choose Flooring for your Basement – Basement Flooring Ideas

Basement Flooring Ideas

Carpeting and area rugs are traditional finished basement flooring options. Laminate or vinyl is often used as well. A flooring choice that is increasing in popularity for basements is concrete. The concrete floors can either be stained, painted, or stenciled. I also see the use of recycled materials used for flooring, like cork, pennies, leather, or bottle caps. You can get creative here!

My preference is smooth concrete. I’m always worried about basement water issues. If you have a plumbing problem or flooding from excessive rain, it’s easy to clean up. You won’t have to spend money on replacing carpet or hardwood.

Choose your Basement Paint Colors – Basement Paint Color Ideas

Basement Paint Color Ideas

The basement paint colors you select are an important choice. If you have a dark and gloomy basement with minimal or no natural light, you should be looking at lighter colors and reflective surfaces that will reflect and diffuse the light. This won’t just turn your space into a lighter and more comfortable space, but take away the preconception or existing atmosphere that basements are cold, dark, and depressing.

When you’re selecting your basement paint colors, consider the decision between warm and cool tones. You might have a great color in mind, but if it’s at the wrong end of the color wheel, you could end up with a room that doesn’t provide the atmosphere you’re after. Warm colors will bring energy and liveliness into a room, while cool colors will make the room more calming and relaxing. Before you decide on a color, think about what you want to want your room to make you feel.

A good way to start is by writing a list of feelings or traits you want your basement to convey.  Research the colors that will help you achieve those feelings. Of course, every room is different and we all experience color in a different way and have different preferences, so use your personal tastes to guide you.

After you’ve chosen the room’s main hue, your next decision is to choose the rest of the color palette. It’s best to select all your colors before you get the paintbrushes out. Finding the right combination can take a while, but the investment of time is worth it.

Choose your Lighting – Basement Lighting Ideas

Basement Lighting Ideas

You need to consider the ideal basement lighting style so you can make the most of this huge area of your home. Your basement lighting depends on what you want to do in this area. The most suitable lighting solution will guarantee that you will be able to do what you need to do. For instance, you would like to transform your basement into a home theater and with this kind of renovation in mind, regular lighting will definitely not do! You need different types of lighting to improve the way you watch movies and lighting to focus attention to important areas of the room. Minimal lighting is also needed to escort guests to their seats and to exit your theater.

If you want to make this area of your home into a study area or a mini library then you want to try track lighting to spotlight your collection of books or a custom-made bookcase. You may also need different lamps for reading and working on your computer.

Transforming your basement into your own gym may require natural daylight lighting to help you concentrate on your fitness activities. You could also use spotlights to highlight certain fitness machines that you use such as treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bicycles.

If you want to create your own game room, then a different basement lighting idea is best for this area. Place pendant lighting over your billiard table as well as your air hockey table. Your collection of pinball machines deserves track lighting and mood lighting too! Card tables and dartboards need special focus lighting too to allow you to enjoy your game.

Basement areas usually don’t get natural light coming from the sun outside. Creating an open entrance or assembling a window is one great way to get natural sunlight into your basement. You want your basement to have ample lighting so it will not look and feel dull.



Think about adding an Egress Window

An egress window is a great way to add natural light to your basement if it’s completely underground. It also provides a place where you could evacuate from your basement should an emergency happen, as well as letting in fresh air.  It is recommended that every room in a basement should have an egress window installed and this includes the laundry room or a utility room.

basement egress window

You pick a great basement egress window design or a window style that will suit your taste, but it’s probably best to hire a contractor to install it unless you know what you’re doing. Construction of your egress window entails excavating the area where the window will be placed, cutting into your foundation, and installing the egress window unit.  Buying egress windows should be done after measuring and assessing the existing area. The window should be large enough for people to go in and out of.

Basement Bathroom Ideas

Are you looking for basement bathroom ideas? Whether you are renovating an old basement or constructing a new one, there is no doubt that you will love the following impressive basement bathroom updates:

Basement Bathroom Ideas

Make your basement bathroom a place to relax. Aside from placing a shower and bath, why not go over the top and add a Jacuzzi? This bathroom will be a great place to simply relax and take a break from your stressful day! There is nothing like the experience of bathing and relaxing in your own Jacuzzi! And after you relax, why not plan for a Jacuzzi party this weekend? Your basement bathroom will be a place to party too!

Your basement bathroom is your own private bath; this is where you can spend hours relaxing and unwinding and aside from a Jacuzzi, using high tech shower systems will also hit the spot! Although very expensive, you will never be the same again when you shower in this luxurious treat. Imagine four or more shower heads spraying water in different directions. Instead of simply bathing in one overhead shower; there will be jets of water from your side, from the back and on the lower extremities. Even water temperature may be adjusted! This smart shower system will even remember your settings or configuration and therefore makes it easier to use!

basement bathroom

Another clever basement bathroom idea is transforming this extra room into a vanity center. Instead of just a simple vanity nook in your regular bathroom, you will be creating a vanity center with all the works! There is the perfect lighting to highlight your features and show your flaws. You need an efficient system to help you put on makeup and arrange your hair. This wonderful area will also be where you can place makeup kits, jewelry boxes, hair and skincare items and everything that you need to dress to impress! And aside from the usual sink and plumbing fixtures, you have a large area where you can admire yourself in front of a beautiful mirror!

fun basement bathroom for kids

Since we’re on the subject of fun basement bathroom ideas, how about transforming this extra space into a fun bathroom for kids? Aside from having all the bathroom fixtures smaller for little kids, the wall and flooring could have unique kids’ designs. A retro bathtub could be the highlight of this room; this is where your kids could spend time simply playing with their toys and splashing about.

For more Bathroom Ideas, be sure to read: 200+ Bathroom Ideas and Designs

Gone are the days when your basement is the part of the house where kids are scared to see. Coming up with the right basement floor plans will turn your house into an amazing place for everyone to chill out, have fun, or relax.

Basements are likely to suffer from damages caused by too much moisture, but with proper floor materials, it can go a long way.

To convert a basement into a functional space, wide entrance, durable floor, ample storage space, and proper lighting should be put into consideration. These four things are the most crucial part of basement building or renovation.

 basement decorating ideas

Deciding to finish your basement is a smart choice. You will be adding function and value to your home.

It’s all about deciding what is best for your lifestyle. And for your family. Go out and make your unfinished basement ideas happen!

Photo: Synergy Design & Construction
Photo: Amanda Miller
Photo: Kitchen Works-Leicht Los Angeles
Photo: CHC Design-Build
Photo: Ashley Campbell Interior Design
Photo: Biondi Decor
Photo: Leslie Goodwin Photography
Photo: Ileana Schinder, PLLC
Photo: reStyled by Valerie
Photo: Meadowlark Design+Build
Photo: Jan Gleysteen Architects, Inc
Photo: Finished Basement Company
Photo: ADM Bathroom Design
Photo: Premier Basements
Photo: Alair Homes Forest Hill

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