The 10 Best Colors for a Brighter Basement

In the ongoing quest for more living and storage space, homeowners often overlook the basement. But this neglected space can be incredibly versatile. With a few simple upgrades it can become a den, playroom, guest quarters, craft studio, laundry room, and more. If you're renovating your basement—or if you simply want to freshen up the space–don't ignore the importance of paint color. After all, the hue on your walls helps create atmosphere, character, and personality. Here are 10 paint colors that would be welcome additions to any basement design.

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  1. Bright White

    White basement

    Crisp, clean white is a natural choice to brighten light-deprived spaces like basements. Homeowners can emphasize the hue's expansive properties by incorporating white furnishings and accessories. Alternatively, they can break up the uniform backdrop with playful dashes of color on the floor and in decorations and fabrics.


    Related: 14 White Rooms We Love

    Zillow Digs home in Fairfax, VA

  2. Sky Blue

    Sky blue

    This pleasing, pale shade of blue calms the senses and lifts the spirits, which makes it ideal for creating a welcoming living space. Decorate the room with soft neutrals, or liven up the palette with accents and accessories in contrasting colors.


    Related: 12 Finishing Touches for Your Unfinished Basement

    Zillow Digs home in Bellevue, WA

  3. Red

    Red room

    A burst of fiery red is unexpected in a basement, but painting the walls in this vibrant shade will infuse energy into this sometimes humdrum space. Red is a great choice for basement playrooms, game rooms, and other fun-loving spaces. There's no need to coat entire walls with red to make a big impact; consider using this lively hue as an accent instead.


    Related: 10 Color Mistakes Everyone Makes

    Zillow Digs home in Gilbert, AZ

  4. Purple

    Purple basement

    Because purple is often associated with creativity, it's an great option for a basement office or work space. The particular shade you choose can alter the mood of the room: Deep plums look sophisticated and elegant, while lavender is both soothing and playful.


    Related: 11 Doable Ways to DIY a Basement Ceiling

    Zillow Digs home in Alexandria, VA

  5. Gray

    Gray basement

    The popularity of gray paint in the home has extended below ground, where the subtle shade brings sophistication to any basement den, living room, or home office. Pair gray walls with neutral furniture for a classic look, or embrace modernity by adding bold details in colors like orange, deep blue, or lime green.


    Related: Editors' Picks: The 9 Greatest Grays for Your Next Paint Job

    Zillow Digs home in Washington, DC

  6. Cream

    Cream basement

    Achieving that beautiful balance between pure white and warm beige, cream sets a relaxed tone for your walls. The color works in functional spaces like home offices or laundry rooms as well as in entertaining spaces, such as TV or rec rooms. Mahogany or honey-toned woods pair well with cream, as do denim blues and tomato reds.


    Related: 14 Tips for a Cozy Basement Bedroom

    Zillow Digs home in Bellevue, NE

  7. Navy Blue

    Navy basement

    Using dark colors in a basement can be tricky, because you don't want the space to feel stuffy and heavy. If you're yearning for something bold, opt for a classic shade of navy blue, which enhances the space without looking claustrophobic. Then brighten things up with an abundance of light-colored neutral design details.


    Related: The Dos and Don'ts of Basement Storage

    Zillow Digs home in Lake Oswego, OR

  8. Green

    Green walls

    You'll find countless shades of green paint, from lime to emerald, at the home store. Each tone can function well in a basement, as either an all-around background or bold accents. Darker shades add drama and coziness, while light shades create a fun energy. Opt for an attention-grabbing lime hue in a child's playroom, choose restful sage for a guest room, and stick with emerald as an accent color.


    Related: 9 Shortcuts to Picking a Paint Color

    Zillow Digs home in Saint Paul, MN

  9. Yellow

    Yellow basement

    Vivid and energetic, yellow instantly warms any dark basement. The cheerful hue can be challenging to incorporate into a design scheme, because sunlight intensifies the brightness, but the limited natural light in basements allows homeowners to pick a strong gold or lemon shade without worry.


    Related: 7 Ways Your Paint Picks Affect Your Mood

    Zillow Digs home in Whitmore Lake, MI

  10. Brown

    Brown basement

    This strong earth tone has become an increasingly popular paint color in home design. When it's used in a basement, homeowners can either brighten up the brown with lots of white or double down on its enveloping ambience by layering it with natural woods and woven textures. Either way, you'll end up with an inviting, warm, and beautiful space.


    Related: 10 Unusual Tricks for Your Easiest-Ever Paint Job

    Zillow Digs home in Omaha, NE

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