Space Planning: Basement Edition

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How to brighten up your basement? West Michigan blogger and entertainer extraordinare Rebecca Lemon has a few suggestions up her sleeve that will make any previously drab space feel fresh! 

Using light, bright colors with plenty of lighting to help keep the space feeling open, Rebecca suggested. "If there aren't a lot of windows, create more light by using a few mirrors."

Now that you've infused light, trick the eye (and the occasional guest) by making the space feel bigger than it actually is. Most basements feature open floor plans, but don't be intimidated. Space planning is the most efficient way to designate certain areas for different uses of the space. Rebecca suggests separate areas for the TV, bar, kids' play area, etc. "Giving spaces specific purpose can help alleviate that 'long, giant room' feel that basements can sometimes have," she said. 

Get more space planning and basement finishing advice in the October issue of West Michigan Woman.  

Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who purchased a home that already had a finished basement. What a time and money saver! But wait … What's that on the walls? Could it be? Wood paneling? No offense, 1963, but we're well into the new millennium—and wall decor is trending more toward, well, not wood paneling. 

If you can relate to this scenario, here are some DIY tips from View Along the Way blogger Kelly Marzka for covering up or decorating around paneling.

Paint it. Choose a bright, but neutral paint color and cover those panels right up. Remember that you're working in a basement, and dark colors will close the space in.  

Create a diversion. While you're waiting for the paint to dry, seek out large canvas artwork—or make your own. Add depth to the display by choosing canvases of varying sizes, and arrange them to cover up the wall. If the space will be dedicated to a children's playroom, this is a great place to display their artwork! Buy blank canvases and paints, and let them go to town. Or purchase large corkboards to display favorite artwork.  

Wall treatments on a budget. Temporary wallpaper will peel, stick, and cover up all those panels, and it comes in patterns or solid colors. No one will ever know what's underneath. (And we promise we won't tell!)  

Add a little flare to the space when you hang fabric panels from ceiling to floor. Kelly suggests using sheets as a less expensive, but just as effective fabric option. She also recommends Ikea. 

For more ideas and DIY projects, check out Kelly's blog: ViewAlongTheWay.com

Source: Rebecca Lemon and Kelly Marzka

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