Brightening Basements

by April Reinhardt
(last updated July 12, 2013)

Because a basement is located below ground, and has few, if any, windows, it can be the darkest area of the house if it is not lit properly. If your basement does have ground-level windows, one of the easiest things that you can do to increase the influx of natural light into the basement is to remove all obstructions from outside of the window. Remove flowers, shrubs, trees, and anything else that will obstruct light from entering through the windows and into the basement. Once you've removed the obstructions, and the basement is still dreary, considering some of the following suggestions for brightening a basement:

  • Paint the walls lighter colors.
  • Hang dark, contrasting wall hangings, pictures, and paintings on light-colored walls.
  • Use dark molding or wallpaper trim on light-colored walls.
  • Make the basement more pleasant by concealing ductwork, papering or painting drywall, use area rugs or carpet, place furniture appropriately, and installing a ceiling.
  • Use warm and contrasting bright colors in the room decor.
  • Use mirrors to brighten dark areas, making sure that they reflect existing light to dark areas.
  • Use artificial plants since there may not be enough sunlight to allow real plants to prosper.
  • Most basements incorporate the use of fluorescent lighting, but that type of lighting tends to be harsh. Instead, use table lamps and indirect lighting to create a cozy atmosphere.
  • Place light tile as flooring, and use brightly colored pillows on a dark couch to encourage contrast.

A trick that realtors use when they stage a home for sale is to use mood-enhancing wall decor. You can do the same thing in your dark basement to enhance the mood and energy of the room. Place sunrise-themed pictures and photographs, or artwork depicting bright and cheery scenes, as the focal point of the basement. If you have the money to invest, you can hire a contractor to build recessed lighting into the ceiling, with spotlighting every few feet to really brighten up the entire area.

Perform online research, go to your local home improvement store or hardware store, and visit your local library for great ideas about how to brighten and lighten your basement.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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