Brightening Basements on a Budget
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated July 5, 2019)
Have you ever noticed just how dark and dingy most basements are? While many housing plans have been changing over the years, basements still tend to be darker than the rest of the house. Instead of undergoing an expensive renovation project, here are a few ideas that you can use to begin brightening basements on a budget. Best of all, each of these methods can easily be used starting today.
- Lighting. One of the easiest ways to begin brightening basement is to add a bit of lighting to the area. Ideally you can do this by installing some pot lights or recessed lighting throughout the basement. However, if you have really limited funds all you need to do is add a few lamps (both floor and table) to the more popular areas in the basement. In addition, you should take the time to ensure that any windows you have in the basement are clean and free of any blockages so that you can have as much natural light as possible in the room.
- Paint. While it may be tempting to use dark colored paints in the basement, you want to avoid this as much as possible. Using lighter colored paints can be one of the easiest, and least expensive, methods for brightening basements. While you will want to avoid using stark white, use as light a color as possible to help reflect and diffuse the light you have in the basement.
- Contrast. Since you will be using bright colors on the painting, you will want to use darker colors for the furniture. This will help create a sense of contrast in the room, and thus help make the overall room seem a bit brighter than it would normally be.
- Mirrors. Do not be afraid to use mirrors in your basement. Not only will this help brighten up the space, but also help make it seem a bit larger. Do not use too many, or you will end up making the room look like a tacky 1970s reject. However, mix a mirror into the artwork and posters that you have in the room. Furthermore place the mirrors near light sources to help reflect the light throughout the room.
- Get it to match. An often overlooked method for lightening up the look of a basement is to make it look as much like the rest of your home as possible. However, this particular method can also potentially be the most expensive method. The reason for this is that if you have an unfinished basement you will need to finish it so that it looks more like any other part of the house, as opposed to a dank cellar. This may require that you take a long time to get the project done if you are working on a budget. For already finished basements just decorate and paint the room as close as possible to the rest of the home.
Keep in mind that brightening a basement is more important than simply a matter of aesthetics. It is also a health concern. Since most basements have a tendency to be darker and often danker than the rest of the home it can easily become a prime mold breeding area. By brightening up the room you will be able to reduce or even eliminate that potential threat.
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