Lay Down Foam Mats
Most unfinished basements have a poured concrete floor. Soften it up for playtime or workout time with square foam floor mats. They come in different sizes and colors, and join together like a puzzle—and they're easy to pick up and move elsewhere or stack away and store when your needs change.
String Some Lighting
Most unfinished basements have very few electrical outlets and just a couple of naked bulb fixtures mounted in the ceiling. Bring more light to the space and create a playful ambience by hanging some industrial string lights. With just one outlet, you can illuminate a large area with several strings of lights.
Throw Down Area Rugs
Area rugs can warm up a cold basement floor quickly. Depending on the size of your space, you could use one large rug or several smaller ones. You could even go for carpeting remnants—a low-cost, effective option that can both cozy up a basement and help define different functional areas in the space.
Paint Your Cinder Block
Basement walls of cinder block, brick, or even poured concrete can be transformed pretty quickly and simply with a coat of paint. Go for a solid color, or get wild and design a mural to brighten up that subterranean space of yours.
No walls? No problem! Put up a simple and inexpensive curtain system to divide space and add dimension to an unfinished basement. If you can't install a track on the ceiling, try stretching picture wire taut across the room, then attach café hooks to flat sheets for an easy no-sew DIY project perfect for a beginner.
Create an Art Studio
The great thing about an unfinished space is you don’t need to be too fussy about getting it messy. So why not transform part of your unfinished basement into an art studio? If paint and glitter get all over the floor, they'll just add charm and inspiration.
Craft a Canopy for Your Ceiling
If the rafter ceiling in your unfinished basement feels too cold and industrial for your taste, soften it by hanging swaths of fabric to create a beautiful canopy ceiling. In this billowy basement, a whimsical pendant light complements the canopy perfectly—but even on its own, the fabric makes a soothing impact.
Build a Workshop
Every do-it-yourselfer needs a place to make the magic happen. What better spot for a workshop than an unfinished basement? A sturdy concrete floor makes cleanup easier, and open studs and rafters provide excellent organization and storage space with the simple addition of pegboard and shelving.
flickr.com via Carrie Qualters
Paint the Rafters
Painting the exposed beams of your basement ceiling can make the entire space feel more finished without heavy renovation. As a bonus, all of your utilities will remain completely accessible, in case you need to make repairs to your ceiling in the future.
Zillow Digs home in Brentwood, MO
Create a Partition
Installing a small, temporary wall can help to delineate space without requiring permits and major planning. Once the curtain is drawn in front of the washer/dryer, this basement laundry room essentially disappears, letting the wet bar take center stage.
Zillow Digs home in Mountain Brook, AL
Brighten Up the Floor
A Better Basement
The blank slate of an unfinished basement offers endless possibilities.
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