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Ask Sarah Richardson: Making a Basement More Welcoming

Ask Sarah Richardson: Making a Basement More Welcoming

Basements. We all have them, but not everyone knows how to make the most of them. We asked our Facebook fans to submit their design dilemmas for Sarah Richardson, host of Real Potential, to answer, and basements were a huge source of frustration.


Facebook fan Suzanne Zappia asked, “What are your top three tips for making a basement a more welcoming space?”

Janice and Colin

Sarah Richardson replied, “1. Don’t think of it as a basement. Instead of making the basement the destination for castoff furniture and unwanted items, look at your basement as an important room and invest the time and energy to make it as appealing as your living room upstairs.

2. Eliminate clutter. The basement can easily become a dumping ground and a multifunctional zone for storage, toys and hanging out. In order to make it a space you want to be, you need to dedicate time and energy to keep it tidy and organized and uncluttered. You need to invest in good storage solutions so that everything can be easily tucked away.

3. Incorporate pattern, texture and light. Some people like a dark cozy cave-like space. I prefer a basement that is light and bright and cheery. Inexpensive cotton twill makes for easy, washable upholstery (especially if it’s slipcovered), and some patterned fabrics for pillows and drapes can help add a fun design touch.

Lighting is critical since most basements don’t get great natural light, so investing in pot lights or track lighting can help the overall space seem bigger and decorative table or floor lamps help add warmer mood lighting and make it feel welcoming.”

Check out episode two of Real Potential for ideas on making your basement the best room in the house.

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