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So now you want a finished basement…

Well I think we can all agree that things certainly have taken a turn in recent months that none of us expected! I am sure back in March, when we all were secretly giddy at the idea of taking a few forced weeks off of work, that no one expected to still be facing this reality moving into winter. But here we are, and the focus has really pivoted for many people on the quality of their home life. With most of us facing so many hours at home, balancing work, kids, and sanity, the question remains: Could my home function a little bit better?

This question has many home owners turning to their basements as a great possibility. That former dumping ground for old exercise equipment and Christmas decorations has amazing potential to really add functional living space to your home. And given that many of our favorite amenities, like gyms and movie theatres, are closed again, having these facilities right downstairs would be pretty amazing right now.

Home offices are a big request at the moment, and many couples are looking to design shared work spaces for themselves, as well as their children who are doing at home learning. The key to designing a space that works for everyone in the family is flexible furniture that can provide different functions. And having multiple stations next to each other means that a parent can work with their child navigating online learning right next to them. It also helps to select your office furniture first, and then frame the office around the minimum space required. That way you aren’t wasting any space that could be used in another part of the home.

Worried about gaining the Covid 15? Home gyms are also a great way to keep up with your steps while working in quarantine. And if you do your research and buy equipment that can perform many different exercises, a basement gym does not have to take up too much space. Glass walls are a great way to make the smaller space feel bigger, and also open to the rest of the home.

Anyone else missing family trips to the movie theatre? Don’t miss out on that valuable quality time with the kiddos and have a theatre room in your own home! These spaces are not as compact as a gym or office can be, but man are they worth it. Tiered seating and in floor lighting make it feel like you are right back at the theatre. Bring on the popcorn!

Basements are a fantastic untapped resource for your home. The problem is it can be difficult to visualize the real potential when all you see are dusty boxes and an old furnace. But with careful planning and a little imagination, a finished basement can really add so much valuable space to your home, and make all this extra time in quarantine a little more fun.

Mandy brings extensive residential design experience to our projects. After working in Toronto for over 10 years she is now calling Ottawa home, and loves working one on one with clients to create spaces that will stand the test of time.


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