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How to Make a Small Basement Seem Larger

Does your basement feel confining, cramped and claustrophobic? The low ceiling and dark corners of a basement can be a challenge. Don’t despair! With a few changes you can make your subterranean space feel like a cozy retreat. Trick your eye into perceiving more space by trying the following techniques. 

Use light colours and contrast: Light walls (off-white, light green, pale blue) make a basement feel larger and more inviting. Painting the trim, moldings, and ceiling a lighter shade than the walls will enhance the effect. Use a deep, dark, accent colour somewhere in the room to provide contrast, depth and the illusion of space. 

Declutter: Store objects out of sight for an orderly open look. Utilize multi-purpose furniture (bench or ottoman with storage, window seat, chest style coffee table, etc.) Furniture that can be folded, stacked or wheeled away is also helpful (nesting tables, folding tables, wheeled drink cart, etc.).

Choose and arrange furniture carefully:

Buy furniture to fit the size of the room and place it along the walls to maximize open space. Leave pathways open. Place a piece of furniture at an angle to lead the eye down the long distance and make the room look bigger. Try choosing furniture the same colour as the walls. Select one large piece and one accent piece rather than multiple small pieces. Glass and Lucite furniture takes up less visual space. Pieces with exposed legs create the illusion of more room.

Breezy curtains can help: Avoid heavy fabrics that absorb light and weigh down the room. Floor to ceiling curtains of lightweight fabric, the same colour as the walls, will make the basement ceiling seem higher.

Careful with decorative accents: Too many knick-knacks clutter a room making it seem smaller. Limit décor groupings to 3 items and don’t cover every surface. Leave some empty space for that airy look. 

Display large scale art: Opt for one large piece of art rather than multiple small pieces. Leave some walls blank to prevent a cluttered feel.

Let in natural light: Large windows connect your basement with the outside making it feel more expansive.

Choose fixtures carefully: Install a visually interesting ceiling light to draw the eye up and add height to a basement room. Add a few smaller lamps to spread light around the room making it appear larger.

Define the space with rugs: Area rugs can create the illusion of more square footage.

Don’t overlook the ceiling: Bright paint or wallpaper on the ceiling can make a basement room feel taller. 

Install shelves near the ceiling: Draw the eye upward to create height by hanging a book or display shelf near the ceiling.

Mirrors can help: Place a mirror(s) across from a window to reflect light and create the illusion of more square footage. Angle a mirror toward a focal point to produce a sense of depth. 

Keep it simple: A basement room with many pieces, possessions and patterns will feel cluttered. Carefully consider each item you place in a room. 

With a little effort, you can turn your dungeon like basement into a bright and spacious area. It’s easier than you think!When you’re ready to create a bright roomy basement, call the Calgary basement experts, Econo Basements at (403) 768-0256 or email at info@econobasements.ca. We have the experience, knowledge and proficiency to help you achieve your dream.

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