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Bring together the family in a floors to ceiling basement makeover

September 27, 2013

Hardwood FloorsHomeowners who want to have something for everyone in their home's finished basement should start by deciding how the room will be used most. For instance, a basement family room may be a place to relax for adults, but children will likely want a play area and budding teen musicians need a place to practice. With that in mind, the most versatile choice for floors will be something that's durable and stylish, like the sturdy hickory hardwood flooring in Anderson's Cimarron collection.

When HGTV designer Candace Olson took on a basement makeover for an active family, she began by dividing an already-finished basement into separate zones for relaxation, music and a wet bar.

"By creating different zones for different needs, adding furniture and flooring, and topping it off with vibrant accents and details, this basement got an injection of style the whole family can enjoy," she told the design channel.

Functional matters
Between entertaining visitors and family activities, upholstered furniture can take a beating when it's used all the time. Using slipcovers gives the upholstery a rest and adds a different look to the room design.

"Dark upholstery pieces that create a warm, inviting atmosphere in the winter months may seem a bit too warm for spring and summer. [The solution is] white slipcovers, which can create a cool haven for those hot, humid days," interior designer Shari Hiller, co-author of Real Decorating for Real People, told HGTV.

Since basement windows are often smaller than those at street level, a window treatment should be chosen to maximize the natural light available during the day and to provide privacy at night. For a ground-level basement with sliding glass doors leading to the outside, vertical blinds can be adjusted to allow different amounts of light into the room.

Room to spread out
A finished basement can provide plenty of space for hobbyists to indulge their special interests, whether it's woodworking, arts and crafts or setting up large layouts for running model trains.

According to, one of the benefits of installing a crafts center or a train layout in the basement is the amount of space that's typically available. Shelving can be installed for storing supplies and tools, and a work area can be easily spread out.

Once the practical needs of the hobby room are met, comfortable seating should be available for both the hobbyist and visitors. As an added touch, accessorizing can revolve around the hobby.