Basements are naturally dark spaces that can seem depressing and uninviting, even if they are finished and decorated. Compounding the problem is that basement windows tend to be small and low to the ground, so they let in little natural light. However, there are a few decorative tricks you can use to turn a dark dungeon of a basement into a favorite gathering place for family and friends.
Go Toward the Light While deep saturated colors like burgundy and deep blue might work wonderfully on the walls on the main floors, remember that deep colors absorb light and make a space seem even darker. In the basement, choose light colors, such as pale neutrals or light shades of your favorite colors for the walls. These will reflect whatever light is available and make the space seem larger and brighter. You can use deeper shades for wall art, toss pillows, throws and other accessories to add some contrast and interest.
Add Sources of Artificial Light To provide sufficient illumination, the standard rule for lighting is four sources of light for an average room. However, in a basement where natural light is minimal, more sources of light will be needed. Overhead lighting can be provided by recessed or track lights in the ceiling or overhead fixtures above pool tables or snack bars. Choose compact florescent bulbs with the highest recommended wattage. Supplement overhead lighting with table and floor lamps around seating areas. If the lamps are approximately the same height throughout the space, light will be more evenly distributed and you’ll create a sense of continuity in the space. Wall sconces are a great idea for a basement room as well because you can tuck them in nooks and crannies or along the staircase for added light; candle wall sconces in the living area can add a soft glow that will make the area more appealing.
Make Magic with Mirrors Mirrors make any space seem airy and bright and they are especially useful in a basement. Set a wall mirror opposite a window to catch and reflect natural light. You can even create an entire focal wall out of mirrors of different shapes and sizes. There are so many wall mirrors available that it’s easy to find styles that complement your decor.
Mirrors can also be used to create an illusion with your basement windows and make them seem larger than they really are. Line the inside of the windows casement with mirrored glass to reflect more light and make the window seem bigger. Measure the dimensions of the area that surround the glass and have a glass shop cut the pieces for you, and then attach them with adhesive. You can also have a mirror cut the same width as your window and mount it below the window; hang light breezy curtain panels on either size of your newly expanded window for a bright, cheerful look.
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