How to Live in the Basement

Monica Beyer

If you live in a basement apartment, or have living space in your own home's basement, you may wonder how to transform it into a welcoming living space. A basement does not have to be a dark, gloomy domicile. You can take steps to make the area safer, brighter and more habitable.

Proper lighting can brighten a basement room.

Basement rooms without windows require a little more planning to add light and cheer, but it can be done.

  1. Plug in a dehumidifier in your basement. Basements are prone to humid conditions so dehumidifiers can minimize potential mold growth. Remember that you'll have to empty a dehumidifier will have to be emptied on a regular basis; many models will signal with a beep when the container is full.

  2. Install an exhaust fan if you have a bathroom that has a tub or a shower that you will use on a regular basis. This will help reduce the humidity in the basement. Wet ceilings, walls, bathroom fixtures and flooring are an excellent place for mold growth, which can cause health problems as well as being unsightly.

  3. Arrange lamps on end tables or other furniture, such as a bookcase, so that every corner is illuminated. They will, in addition to ceiling lighting, help brighten a room that has no windows. Candles will also help to brighten the area. Place them on higher surfaces, such as a counter or on top of entertainment shelving.

  4. Paint the walls a light or bright color. If it's a walkout basement, the available light during the day will brighten the room better if the walls are light. If there are no windows in the rooms, or the windows are very small, it will help the space seem more cheerful. Some ideal color choices are daffodil yellow, light rose, sky blue or sea green. Neutrals, such as beige or tan, are also sound ideas.

  5. Add a bed and other furniture, such as an entertainment center for your television and DVD player, and a bookcase for your favorite novels and decorations. If there is no kitchen in the basement, get a mini fridge to keep your food and beverages cold and a portable electric range to cook meals.

  6. Tip

    An air conditioner in the basement will also help reduce humidity.


    If you use candles, always place them on a safe burning surface and extinguish them before you go to bed.