Posted by Dan O'Malley in Home Design

Deciding how to use the additional space in your finished basement isn’t easy—there’s endless ways to make it your own!

These 7 ideas will inspire you to liven up your basement in a way that fits your family’s needs.

7 Great Basement Design Ideas

  1. Set up a Gym
  2. Design a Home Theater
  3. Add a Bar
  4. Create a Storage System
  5. Make a Play Room
  6. Form an Entertainment Space
  7. Incorporate a Game Room or Arcade

Set up a Gym

Spend less time commuting to the gym by creating a personal setup in your basement! This can be as simple as hanging a full-length mirror, getting some dumbbells, and tossing down a yoga mat. Or, you can splurge on a full weight rack with a barbell, cables, and more.

Home Gym Equipment in Basement Behind Glass Doors

Design a Home Theater

Movie fanatics will love having a comfortable, state-of-the-art home theater in the comfort of their own home. Choose a long, comfy couch or a sectional as your starting point and work from there.

Grey Couch Setup in Basement With Movie Themed Art on Walls

Mount a large, flat-screen TV or invest in a projector for the ultimate watch experience. Level-up your theater by adding fuzzy blankets, dimmer lights, and a snack bar with popcorn and candy!

Couple Watching a Movie on Couch With Popcorn

Having an accessible place to cozy up and watch a movie will be a game changer for stay-in nights and kids’ sleepovers!

Add a Bar

A bar is one of the best ways to turn your basement into a fun entertainment space. Purchase a free-standing bar or hire a contractor to add one as an extension to the wall. While this is a more costly idea, you and your guests will get tons of use out of it!

Modern Basement Bar With Grey Countertops and Black Cabinetry

Once you have a structure in place, furnish and stock it with all the home bar essentials and get ready to host some fun cocktail parties. You can also check out a local antique shop to find a unique statement piece for the countertop!

Home Bar in Basement With Green Accent Paint and Barstools

Create a Storage System

A basement is the perfect space for an organization system, which is one of the most beneficial ways to utilize the space. Whether you want to store off-season décor, kids’ toys, bikes, family mementos, extra bedding, or more, you’ll love having a dedicated spot for it all.

Wooden Shelving With Organized White Bins

Purchase or build durable shelving along the walls. Devote a storage bin to each category of items you’re storing and then label it. When you go to find something, you’ll know exactly where it is!

Make a Play Room

If you have little ones or grandkids, set up a play room for a designated kids’ area. Not only will the children love having their own space, but you’ll appreciate having an organized spot for toys and crafts.

Play Room With Tent and Blue Bean Bag Chairs

Having a play room in the basement also keeps the main living areas free of clutter and noise throughout the day. Devote a section of the room to a child-sized table and chairs along with a cubby system for putting things away after play time.

Form an Entertainment Space

Get the most out of your basement level by designing an entertaining area. You’ll want the room to feel open, so keep furnishings minimal and opting for more seating space over accent pieces.

Large Basement With Several Seating Areas and a Fireplace in an Entertainment Center

This will give you and guests plenty of room to spread out and move freely. You can also designate various parts of the basement for different purposes with a poker table, parallel couches, or a long table with picnic seating.

Incorporate a Game Room or Arcade

This simple idea is perfect for families who love hosting game nights. Set up all your accumulated gaming systems, cards, board games, and arcade games in the basement.

Basement With a Pool Table and Fun Wallpaper and Mirrors on Wall

Add a large table and chairs where everyone can gather, connect video games to a TV, or play ping pong, pool, or air hockey. Whatever it may be, this room will surely be a hit for children and guests.

A basement should be a practical and inviting atmosphere. Whatever you decide to fill yours with, make sure it’s a reflection of you and supports your family’s lifestyle!


Dan O'Malley
Dan O'Malley


Dan O’Malley is the Vice President of Product Development for M/I Homes.With over 30 years of expertise in residential architecture and design, Dan has been overseeing the product needs of the company's 16 divisions located throughout the Midwest, Southeast, Nashville and Texas for the past 12 years. Before joining M/I Homes, he was a partner in the Chicago office of BSB Design, a national residential architectural firm, for 14 years. Dan is an expert in all aspects of single-family and multifamily design and has received several awards for his successful projects. He is also a popular speaker at various industry events, including the International Builder’s Show, Midwest Builder’s Show, and Multi-Housing World.

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