18 Nov How to Brighten up Your Basement
At Basement Transitions, we are often asked questions like, “How do I brighten up my basement?” “Do you have any cures for a dark basement?” Some clients don’t even bother with questions but instead make a request that their new basement not be dank and dingy. Without creating half windows throughout your basement, which isn’t even an option in many crawlspace to basement conversions, we would like to offer the following advice.
Paint – The biggest mistake is to paint the room a light color. Yes, light colors do reflect more light, but if there is limited light in the room to begin with, then there’s not much that’s going to be reflected, and light colors can end up looking sad and gray.
Also, if you paint a boring space a light bright color, it can be like shining a dentist light. Think HARSH and unforgiving. The result is not pretty unless every piece of furniture, i.e. every tooth, in that room is stunning on its own merit.
Think about choosing colors that are more saturated. This means the color is brighter and has more coverage. The color does not NEED to be darker. So, a highly saturated, medium-toned blue will often look better than a dark-toned gray paint.
Lighting – If you haven’t already put in lighting, a safe bet is to choose recessed lighting. The larger the space you have, add more recessed lights.
If the windows and recessed lighting are already in place, there are still more ways to make sure your lighting plays to your basement’s strengths.
First, check the wattage noted on the socket and use the appropriate wattage. When selecting a lampshade, keep it simple. Dark fabric, metal, or leather lampshades will obscure the light emanating from the bulb. You want the light to bounce off other surfaces, so a wise choice is a light colored lampshade for a basement. If you have wall lights or sconces, make sure the light is able to come out of the sides and not only the top or bottom.
Now for those of us who are fans of order, matching woods, and keeping rooms in all one style, this next tip is difficult for you to accept: Use different heights of light. Don’t just use floor lamps and recessed lighting. Incorporate table lamps and task lighting to give you lights at varying heights and create a better, brighter basement.
At Basement Transitions, our goal is to make your basement a showcase and not an afterthought. If you try some of our tips, let us know here in the comments. If you are curious about renovating your basement, we handle all aspects of the Basement Transition including planning, design, construction, and finishing. Give us at (303) 478-7505.