Design and Decor Our Home

Unfinished Basement Ideas That We Actually Applied In Our Fixer Upper Home

This article is about the different unfinished basement ideas that we personally applied to turn our dark and uninviting basement into a more appealing and functional space.

Most people who own homes have an unfinished basement. They are quite expensive to finish but it is still possible to brighten, better utilize and to make the space a more vital part of your home. It can be a great place to add living space to your home, but many homeowners don’t know how to work with it.

The good news is there are ways to turn the space into something useful and attractive. Below are the different unfinished basement ideas on a budget that we used to change our cellar into something beautiful and useful.

Apply A Fresh Coat Of Paint

Painting the basement wall can be a good alternative if adding drywall is too expensive. It is not only cheaper than installing drywall, but it’s also easier to do yourself!

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any space. However, it is important to clean the entire space before you get started applying the paint.  Also make sure it is dry because any moisture in the air could ruin your paint job.

If you want the space to brighten up, choose a white paint or light gray paint with waterproofing feature that works with the type of walls that you have. This will make the space look bigger and brighter than ever and it will help protect against water damage.

But if you are not fan of white or gray color, choose a color that will work well with the flooring and ceiling material.  If your cellar has exposed beams or duct work that’s visible from below, be sure to choose colors that go well with those materials as well. Also keep in mind how much natural light comes into the room because light variation can alter the paint color.

Painting Your Ceiling

Unfinished basement ideas

Painting your basement ceiling is a great way to bring some style into the space. Whether you’re looking for a trendy look or something with drama, painting your ceiling can do the trick.

The best way to paint your ceiling is to rent a paint sprayer. This will help you cover more area in less time and create a smooth finish that’s free of wrinkles and imperfections.

Use Curtains To Hide Unattractive Features

In our case, I used our extra curtain to hide the storage area under the staircase and to separate the laundry area from the entire area.

Curtains are one of the cheapest ways to hide unattractive features. By hanging curtains over a window or door, you can make the room feel more finished and put together. Plus, they can add color and style to a room that might otherwise feel bland or drab.

To get the most bang for your buck, check out IKEA’s selection of affordable curtains. You can also find them on Amazon if you don’t have an IKEA nearby. I recommend using adjustable curtain rods so that you can accommodate different sized windows or doors without having to buy multiple rods for each one.

Install A Wall Around The HVAC Unit And Water Heater To Create A Storage Area

The HVAC unit and water heater even though they are essential can be really an eyesore. The best solution to solve this problem is to build a wall around them. This will create a dedicated storage area that is suitable to place all your storage containers, cleaning essentials and other things. By doing this you will be able to contain all of the items that make the space look cluttered and ugly but at the same time make your entire area look clean and organized.

Install A Floating Floor

If you have a concrete floor, you know how uncomfortable it can be to walk on it in bare feet. You also know that it is incredibly cold in the winter, and can make your toes go numb if you spend any time down there without socks or slippers.

Floating floors are made from materials such as laminate or vinyl, and they come in all kinds of colors and styles. The best part is that they can be installed as a DIY project because they don’t need to be glued. Just lay the flooring over your existing concrete floor and enjoy an instant transformation!

Floating laminate flooring can be installed over existing concrete or wood subfloors, so you don’t need to worry about removing anything before beginning your installation project. It’s also easy to install yourself, you’ll just need some basic tools and understand some basic instruction. The manual included with your new floor should give you detailed instructions on how to install it correctly, but if you get stuck along the way there are plenty of videos available online that show how others have done it before.

A lot of people choose to use laminate as a floating floor because of its durability and easy installation process. Laminate does not absorb water which means that it will not warp or rot over time due to moisture exposure like other types of materials might do such as wood or vinyl tiles under similar circumstances.

But if you are still looking for something more affordable than installing a floating floor, rugs will be the best alternative. In our case, we had an extra rug that we used in our first home and instead of just storing the rug rolled up, I decided to store the rug flat.

Improve The Look Of Your Laundry Room

It’s no secret that your laundry room is the last place you want to spend time in. But whether you like it or not, it is one of the important parts of your home and therefore it deserves some attention as well.  It can also be an eyesore if it left dirty, disorganized or if not properly decorated.

Unfinished basement ideas

Unfinished basement ideas

If you want to spruce up your laundry room without spending a lot of money, you can do so by adding simple touches that will transform it into a place you will want to spend time in and will also enhance the overall aesthetic of your entire space.

Here are some unfinished basement ideas on how to improve the look of your laundry room:

Add Some Decoration:

  • Add wood paneling or beadboard to the walls.
  • Add wall art or  pictures of family members or friends for a personalized touch.
  • Make sure there’s enough light in the room so everything is easy on the eyes.
  • Tackle your unruly cables and connections.

Think Of Storage:

  • Remove upper cabinets that were installed out of your reach. This just makes the space looks disorganized and instead, add a portable closet wardrobe that provides more storage space.
  • Utilize the space under the sink by using containers with wheels, an ideal place to store your laundry and cleaning supplies.

Changing Your Old Sink:

  • If you have an old sink in your laundry room, it is important to change it as soon as possible. A new sink will give a new look to your entire room and will also improve its functionality.

Organizing Laundry Items:

  • Organizing all the items in your laundry room can make it look more organized and clean. Make a dedicated space for all laundry supplies such as detergents, fabric softeners and others by utilizing the space under the sink. This will help you and your family members to find any item at any time without having to search for it.

Utilize The Space Under The Stairs As Storage

Unfinished basement ideas

Utilizing the space under the basement stairs as storage is a great way to fully maximize the space. This is actually a great place to store all your leftover paints, tiles, etc.

Create A Gallery

Unfinished basement ideas

If you’re running out of space in the rest of your home and instead of just storing these items in the boxes, why not use the walls of your basement to hang your  beloved photos. Hanging photos is a great way to make it feel cozy and stylish and the best way to save your floor space.

There are many ways to display your pictures. You can put them on a shelf or mount them on the wall. If you have a large collection, consider hanging them in rows or clusters on different walls. This is a quick and easy project that can be done in less than an hour.  This is actually what we did when I finally got tired of seeing our photos just leaning on different walls of our basement.

Create A Play Area

Kids love playing down in the basement because it’s like having their own secret hideout where they can be free to do whatever they want. It also means that you don’t have to worry about them wandering around upstairs when you don’t want them to. Aside from that it is one of the best places for storing toys because it’s usually out of sight and out of mind and it doesn’t make your house look cluttered or dirty.

So instead of treating this space as a plain storage area for your kids’ toys, why not arrange and organize their toys to create a dedicated play area for your kids. By doing this you will not only free up your living room space but you also gain another room that you and your kids can stay with. Below are some of the many reasons why transforming some part of your cellar into your kids play area is a good idea:

1) It gets your kids out from underfoot so you have peace and quiet back in the main rooms of the house.

2) It allows them to play with their friends without disturbing other family members or guests who may be spending time with them upstairs.

3) It gives them a space that is all their own where they can express themselves creatively and safely without worrying about hurting themselves by accident or breaking something valuable while playing around with friends (or even siblings).

Arrange Your Old Furniture As If They Are Being Used

One of the best ways to brighten up an unfinished basement is by arranging old furniture as if they were being used. For example, if you have a couch that’s been collecting dust for years, try arranging it so that it looks like someone is sitting on it watching TV or reading a book. You could even put pillows on top of the couch cushions for extra effect! This is a great way to create an illusion of space and make it feel more inviting.

Another thing you could do is arrange your out of season floral arrangements throughout the area in such a way that they look like they’re being displayed in an art gallery rather than storing them away in boxes or crates. This will give your space more character and allow you and your loved ones to enjoy them while they are in the basement.


Over a period of time the cellar has gained a reputation of being a place that most people do not want to hang out for a long period of time. Many people think of the basement as a dark, damp and unfinished area where there is old furniture, boxes of junk, items that are not used very often or in other words, as a storage area.

However, if you learn how to fully utilize its full potential, you will be surprised that this dark, cold and cluttered room can be another place that you can enjoy with your family and friends by just applying some simple unfinished basement ideas mentioned above.

Leave a Reply