A basement redesign not only adds to your living space (and therefore also adds to the value of your home), but we think it's a pretty good opportunity to realise that dream space you've always wanted but have never been able to quite justify – a cinema room, 'man cave', home gym, laundry room or maybe a stylish home bar complete with dance floor?
If you've got a big enough space, you could even install a modern kitchen
downstairs – like the home owners achieved in one of the examples below. Short on space? A cool wine room with direct access from the kitchen should do it.
And to avoid the space being too dark and dull, create a big enough light well (hello courtyard garden) and install floor-to-ceiling Crittall doors to flood the downstairs with natural light and turn it into a second ground floor.
Explore these 14 stylish basement ideas for all the inspiration you need...
The architecture in this basement is predominantly crisp and precise, but it’s softened with rugged elements such as the cast-iron columns – painstakingly stripped of 20 layers of paint – exposed brick walls, original joists and the birch ply floor.
Basement access is often from the front, so you usually have stairs under stairs. In order to help make the basement feel part of the house, these stairs are in the middle of the ground floor and sit on dainty legs with glass balustrades. This was crucial in order to bring in lots of light. Here the sunken area has become a cinema corner, complete with ceiling projector. As the basement is a big 60 sq m room, this is a great way to make an informal division of the space. The sunken area can be transformed into a dance floor and there’s even a bar.
This lower ground floor is a surprisingly light space, with iconic design shapes set against pale timber cladding and flush cabinetry, black-framed glazing and seamless terrazzo flooring. A pivoting door leads out into the garden and helps provide end-to-end natural light, while designer lights add illumination. Toys, games and the stuff of family life are stored in the run of handleless cabinets.
With a proper bar in the basement, there’s plenty to keep friends entertained over the weekend without ever getting bored. The bar was given its own name and bespoke light-up bar sign, inspired by the owner's grandmother's two favourite things; Scotch whiskey and her late husband Ted.
This downstairs kitchen is made to feel light and airy through a large sky light, letting in light from the garden above. Despite the serious materials and design, there’s a whimsy to this space, thanks to the three-metre firefighter’s pole descending into the kitchen offering a shortcut way down.
Underground wine cellars by Spiral Cellars give you instant access to your wine collection via a top door and a – you guessed it – spiral staircase. Made from concrete and with an external diameter of 2.3 metres, they’re capable of holding up to 1900 bottles of wine. They can be installed under any ground floor room – great for kitchens but striking in a hallway too. Installation is short with little to no mess, you won’t need planning permission to have one installed, and the built-in ventilation system continuously replaces warm air with cool air. We’re sold.
These basement stairs are so much more than a route up and down when a graffiti artist’s stencil portraits of the kids perpetually climb the stairs. This basement has a concealed bar for the adults and a cinema set-up for the children and their friends. A huge sliding door can be pulled across to divide the space, making it even more flexible.
This relaxed zone on the lower-ground floor plays around with colour, art and texture. Above the plush low-slung seating hangs a bespoke neon sign. The space opens on to a walled outside area (like a light well – with stairs leading up into the garden) which means gatherings can spread onto the terrace and garden in the summer.
This basement has been given a spacious light well that's been transformed into a courtyard garden – complete with a table and chair set, and a spiral staircase leading up into the main garden.
This basement is used for bike storage and other storage, while the clever birch ply stairway conceals a laundry area.
When you build something from scratch, the danger is that it can feel a little too clinical. To give this basement character, the owners added touches of humour. Generous light wells, a blaze of neon and a cool bar area all do that job nicely.
The basement is the heart of family life. The kitchen was originally a storey below ground level, but it was raised during the renovation to create a flowing connection with the garden beyond. In the relaxed play area on the basement floor, contemporary modular shelving lines one wall.
This downstairs living room is an informal room, perfect for lounging, playing card games, watching films or listening to music.
This house now has a massive basement, which is often used as a movie-come-music room, where the kids entertain their friends.