Explore our article library of tips and how-tos.

Looking for your next DIY project? Perhaps you need some inspiration on how to make your house a home? Our growing library of how-to's, DIY tutorials, and home improvement articles are here to guide you through your DIY adventures.

Ready to get started? Browse our online catalog of over a thousand products for your next home renovation or visit us in store.

Interior Design & Decor

Chill Out in Your Unfinished Basement

Chill Out in Your Unfinished Basement

Your basement, though unfinished, can be more than just a place for boxes, unused furniture, and laundry. There is a lot of potential in your basement space that can be realized without needing to commit to finishing it entirely. Follow along for some ideas from Knowles Building Centre to make your basement a place to be and not just a place for stuff.

Use Lights to Inspire

The creaky, dark steps leading to a dimly lit basement is a must for a horror movie – but that stereotype doesn’t have to be your home’s reality. There are a lot of easy, effective changes you can introduce to light up your basement and make it feel warm and inviting.

Let’s consider the stairs for a bit. If your basement isn’t finished, more than likely the stairs will have more of a utilitarian look than one that makes you comfortable to go down and hang out.

Be a little more sure of your steps by adding LED step lights to your basement staircase. These little lights are energy-efficient, versatile, and can make your trip up and down the stairs not only safer, but also more welcoming. LED step lights can be installed on the walls going up and down the stairs providing a flood of light to your staircase.

If you prefer something more discreet and direct, there are also some lights that can be installed right under the steps. Another option for lighting your stairs is to install LED strip lighting under the hand railing. Strip lighting is easy to install and, if you install it under your banister, it can give your entire staircase a warm glow while being almost completely tucked away out of sight.

Smart LED strip lights and bulbs are great items to add when you want a touch of colour in your basement. With the swipe on your phone’s screen or a voice command to your smart-home enabled device, you can turn your basement almost any colour imaginable and at any intensity you want – perfect for a downstairs movie night.

And if you don’t want your basement completely flooded with light, smart bulbs enable you to turn each bulb on and off individually so you can accent only the places you want.

Three Ways to Hide Clutter

Let’s face it: your basement is a great place to store the boxes you haven’t opened since you moved in, or maybe a crib from a child who is long past needing it. It’s a great option to have when you don’t want to let these things clutter up your main living and sleeping areas. At the same time, these boxes and items can start to clutter your basement and cause you to see it as a storage space and not an area to spend some quality time in.

There are multiple options for you to hide the things you don’t want to look at while keeping them accessible for when they’re needed.

1. A stand-alone room divider

It’s a great option that is mobile enough to move around if needed and big enough to block out some of the areas you want to keep hidden. If you have a spare bed in your basement, room dividers provide an extra bit of privacy for friends spending the night. They also work great to separate things like a messy workbench or your furnace from sight when you want to hang out, but make them easy to get to when you need access to them. Room dividers come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and materials so you can find one that matches the style you’re going for. Think about painting a wood divider with chalkboard paint and giving yourself a canvas to draw on.

2. A curtain

If you’re looking for a simple cover, you can use a curtain that slides on a railing, not unlike the curtains that cover your windows.

3. A sliding door

If you’re looking for something more solid, adding the hardware for a sliding barn door can add a beautiful rustic aesthetic to your space and completely transform the way it looks.

Forget About Boring Furniture

With your space now lit up and your dividers making it feel more like a living space, start to focus on how you want to hang out while you’re down there. A basement is a place where you can be a little more free with your furniture selection and try things that you wouldn’t necessarily consider for your main living areas.

When you think of bean bag chairs, you might be picturing unshapely bags where you sink in so much that you may as well be sitting on the hard floor underneath. This is no longer the case with modern bean bag furniture.

A quick search of what’s available shows the lumpy oversized bag has given way to furniture that is unique and dynamic enough to suit different styles. And of course, it’s light enough to move anywhere you want to place it. There are even bean bag love seats, perfect for a cozy night with a special someone.

The coziness doesn’t have to end there. Imagine a little reading nook in your basement with a hanging hammock chair. When considering this type of furniture, exposed joists are a benefit because it can be even easier to find spaces to hang these chairs from the ceiling. Plus, they don’t take up floor space, so you can find a great area rug to fit right underneath. For extra portability and space, invest in a hanging kit to allow you to unclip and put away your hanging chair when it’s not in use.

Instead of seeing an unfinished basement as just another space to store things and avoid, realize the potential to experiment and customize the unfinished space, and transform it into a place you can’t wait to spend time in.

We at Knowles Building Centre hope that these tips will inspire you to take a fresh look at your basement and embrace its potential to become more than just another storage space. And whenever you need tools and materials for your next project, we will be there to help.

Disclaimer: The information and resources in these articles and on this website are available for informational and educational purposes only. The articles provided on this website are created with every reasonable effort to ensure completeness and accuracy. In doing so, the article writers, publishers, and the business that this website represents assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or opposed interpretation of the articles and under no circumstance will these parties be held liable for any direct, indirect and/or consequential damages of any kind incurred from undertaking tasks outlined in the articles or on this website. In addition, it is suggested that readers check by-laws, zoning laws and building codes of your local area and country.