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A floor-to-ceiling basement makeover can serve needs of the whole family

March 01, 2014

Timber Creek RugWhen 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. While it's important to tie the room design together, each area had well-defined furnishings such as the diversified Timber Creek area rug collection by Shaw Floors.

"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," Olson told the design channel.

Homeowners who want to have something for everyone in their home's finished basement should start by deciding how the room will be used most. A basement family room can be a place to relax for adults as well as a play area for children.

Special interests
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 a large layout for running model trains.

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 with posters or artwork that displayed on the walls.

Practical 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 a home 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.