Basements Matter

If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you may be aware that we are working on designing and finishing our basement. We are beyond excited about this project and have been pinning like crazy in anticipation for months. Shameless plug… follow us on Pinterest here.

We have big plans for this space, as in it will be chalk-full of decorative details and we intend for it to serve a wide variety of purposes. Pretty much, I plan to do everything other than sleep down there in the long, cold winter months. It may even end up being the nicest floor in our house, which my father thinks is crazy. And maybe you do too.

Basement Inspiration
Our main basement inspiration. Yes, I know that’s a kitchen and a main floor. Image courtesy of Welcome Home.

Here’s the thing, my view on basements are they are still valuable square footage, you should absolutely take as much time and care in planning them as you do with your main floor. They shouldn’t just be an afterthought in the building process. You’re paying valuable dollars for that square footage. Make the most of it!

If you’re building a house, especially your first house, my number one tip would be to wait at least a year to finish your basement. Maybe longer.

Framed basement walls
The current situation in the basement.

Farmed Walls in basement
View of what will be the kitchenette and entertainment room.

That is if you can get away with it. I realize some people have multiple children, pets or other reason they need that space ASAP. Or maybe you have built before and know exactly what you want, but building can incredibly overwhelming. I can almost guarantee after living in your house a year, no matter how perfect you thought it was at move-in, there will be things you wish were different, aesthetically and functionally. Maybe you wish you had more play space, maybe you could use more storage because your husband has a penchant for free hand me downs you don’t need, or maybe there are just some new design styles on Pinterest you are dying to try. In our case, it’s all of the above.

Shower and Floor
Bathroom inspiration, except for much smaller and definitely no tub. Image courtesy of Lonny.

We made it two years without a finished basement and since E wasn’t mobile for a big chunk of that it was pretty easy. With a child, how we use our space changes almost as rapidly as she grows. Our main floor works okay for playtime and family hangout, but with our two couches from Room & Board facing each other it seems a little formal for chilling out (See pictures of our family room and more here). It’s also completely open to the kitchen, which means by 2 pm the entire main floor is riddled with toys. They are everywhere… and I swear they are multiplying. After the basement is complete, my dream would be to move about 70% of the toys to the basement and have our main floor be more of an “adult space,” while remaining kid friendly.

Guest Bedroom
Doesn’t this room make you want to have sleepovers all over again. We plan to replicate the look in our guest bedroom. Image courtesy of Decor Pad.

This is our list of must haves:

  • A designated play space.
  • Lots of storage!
  • An entertainment area with a large comfortable sectional to cuddle on for family movie night and to lounge on for general chilling.
  • A kitchenette that can be used during the day for snacks and every once in a while as a bar for entertaining.
  • A bathroom and guest bedroom that makes our friends and family want to visit Fargo, ND.

Aesthetically, Daren wants the basement to be reminiscent of 1950s library or 1920s smoking lounge, minus the smoking, while I say, “paint it white!”  While it may be hard to imagine, I may have actually come up with a design that can accomplish both!

Did you wait to finish your basement? What are your must haves in a basement?

I’ll be posting the complete design plans for the family room and kitchenette next week! Subscribe to get our post directly to your email here if you don’t want to miss the posts. 

A Dark Entertainment Room
Our Not So Fixer Upper