Design Dilemma: Beautiful Basement Apartments | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Beautiful Basement Apartments

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Is there any such thing as a “beautiful basement apartment”?

As you may have realized by now, Design Dilemma has spent the month of April focusing on all the possibilities of basement living. When converting a basement into an actual living space, there are a ton of considerations and a whole lot of planning involved. And once you move into one of these spaces, there is also a whole lot of care that must be taken to make the place feel more like home and less like… well, a basement.

We’ve found one situation in particular that has made fabulous use of every trick to successfully create a cozy atmosphere. Olivia, of London, lives in a 680 square foot basement apartment that exudes warmth, and even light.

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Here’s a view of the entrance and kitchen:

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And another view into the livingroom:

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What are the factors so critical to making this cozy little basement apartment so appealing?

1) It’s got tons of natural light. Natural light is a complete rarity in basements. This particular home actually has full-sized sliding glass doors that bring in all the sunshine, making this basement feel like an extension of the outdoors. But what do you do if you’ve got no natural light? Create as much artificial light as you can! Create a variety of lights at different levels for best success. And try to create situations in which your basement can be lit with bright lighting when necessary, low-lighting, uplights and downlights. Dimmable, strategically-placed recessed lights are a no-brainer in our book, but also include reading lamps, perhaps directed track lights if you have paintings, and uplight wall sconces.

2) It uses color on the walls. You might think the best way to brighten up a dingy basement would be to paint the walls white. But you’d be wrong! White walls in rooms that get little extra light appear gray. And nothing feels sadder than that. Instead, opt for light-colored, happier colors, as Olivia did below with the soft green and pale yellow walls, or even consider a very bright bold color to liven things up.

3) It doesn’t crowd space with busy patterns. Although this apartment makes use of a subtle color, it is not heavy on pattern, except for the small patterned rug in the livingroom. The result is a feeling of serenity and spaciousness.

4) It makes use of pale, reflective floors. In this case, the floors appear to be wood. A light tile or polished concrete could work equally well.

5) It’s not filled to the brim with stuff. Olivia has carefully edited her belongings. The space feels curated — not cluttered.

Brava, Olivia!

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