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Basic Basement Decorating
A brief look at everything you need to know
There are three ways in which you can deal with your basement.
1. Remodel it. This can involve hiring contractors, or learning the techniques and doing the construction yourself.
2. Decorate around it. Sometimes it is possible to use creative and clever tricks to carve a niche out of the basement as it is.
3. Ignore it. Isolate the space or use it for extra storage.
Whatever you do you should not ignore your basement. It is an entire
extra floor to your house which you can use for anything you want.
While it may be a bit of a pain to deal with, it also has a lot of
benefits over other locations.
- Its position recessed in the ground means that it
can stay warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer
- Its isolation from the rest of the house makes it the perfect place to escape and hide
- They generally only have a few windows set high on the walls, and will often have their own private entryway, making them very private.
Remodeling a basement can consist of many projects including:
- Finishing existing walls and putting up veneers
- Building new walls to frame out separate rooms
- Installing new flooring
- Adding illumination and light fixtures
The most important thing to consider when remodeling the basement is
the water table in the area where you live. If it is high, then you will
more than likely suffer from a flooded basement at some time in the future.
Even if your water level is only at a medium level you are still running the risk of occasionally having a flood, which can cause a lot of damage to expensive installations. It is very important to consult with a local professional, and or call your county government to obtain information about your neighborhoods water levels before proceeding with any remodeling.
Water damage can be avoided by using certain resilient materials in
your basement installations such as slate, granite, and quartzite
natural stones. To some extent you may be able to minimize the
damage if you are aware of the flood right when it begins. The
following flood monitors may be useful for giving you a heads
up as soon as the waters start to rise, allowing you to get valuable
and delicate items out of the basement, before they are damaged.
Natural Stone Basement Tile, Slabs, and Materials
One of the worst features of the basement is its dark gloomy appearance. However, even if you don't have the money for fancy fixtures, recessed track lighting, and other frills, you can still use some simple and inexpensive ideas to give your basement a cheerful countenance.
- String Lights and Christmas Lights: Running these colorful strands of illumination along walls and ceilings can give the room a bright cheerful appearance. For a truly unique ambience, try crisscrossing thick strings of colored lights across the ceiling in various patterns.
- Globe Lights: More subdued than the colorful string lights, these can fill the basement with a gentle and romantic glow
- Onyx Lights: They send out a soft and gentle glow which can quiet the ambience of any space, while their natural stone exterior can match the rustic appearance of the basement.
- Black lights: A little extreme, they can give the basement an other-worldly appearance.
- Lava Lamps and other Novelty Lights: Sometimes weird, sometimes childish, they can give the basement a psychedelic feel, or just add a little novel humor to the space.
Ambient Light Tables
Onyx Stone Lamps
A theme is an extremely easy way to give the basement a purpose, and once again make it a part of the house. They also make decorating the space virtually unnecessary, as the object of the theme becomes the decor of the room. Some common basement ideas are -
Romantic Escape - The secluded private nature of the basement makes it the perfect place to build a little cubbyhole where two lovers can run away and be alone for a while.
more about Romantic Basement Decorating.
TV Room - A couch, a spare television, a computer, and the kid's favorite video game make the basement a private den. Carpeting or thick rugs can help to make the space cozy. However be careful of putting expensive electronics in basements which are prone to flooding.
Toy Trains - A good old fashioned hobby, and all it requires is a sturdy table, access to electrical outlets, and the space to use your entire imagination
Model Making - The finished models can even be used to decorate the space.
Rustic Basement Decorating
One way to create an attractive basement is to use a rustic decorative scheme, which will work with the rough unfinished look of the space, rather than trying to fight against it. This allows you to use what are generally considered "negative" aspects of your basement to help the create a more attractive space.
Click here for more information on rustic basement decorating.
If you don't want to renovate, and decorating doesn't work, you can always use your basement for storage. However, there are a few factors to consider before you start moving things down there.
Basement flooding can happen suddenly, and can ruin valuable items if precautions are not taken. If your basement has even a moderate chance of flooding you are going to want to take some steps to ensure that anything you put down there is safe.
- Flood monitors can give you a heads up when a flood is occurring.
If you know where flooding is most likely to begin, you can place a
monitor there, and place stored items at the opposite end of the space.
This may buy you a chance to move your possessions to higher ground
before the water reaches them.
- Wooden palettes, or cinder blocks, can elevate possessions and keep them dry in case of moderate and low flooding.
- Waterproof storage bins can also keep valuable possessions dry during a flood.
Another problem with storing items in a basement is the possibility that mold will develop. To some extent air tight and water proof containers can help to stop the spread of mold, however they are not a guarantee that your possessions will not be ruined. If you notice mold, or mold tendencies in your basement, take as many precautions as you can to protect any items you place down there.
You should also consider having the mold problem fixed by a trained professional, as the presence of mold in a basement can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems throughout the house.
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