10 Finished Basement Ideas: How to Design and Furnish Your Space Like a Pro

Looking to revamp your downstairs space? Here are 10 ways to make your finished basement a well-designed and functional oasis.

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Urban Bungalow interiorFOTOGRAFIA INC./GETTY IMAGES

Designing a thoughtful finished basement—whether it includes a basement bar, an indoor kids playhouse or ping pong and pool tables—can mean hours of quality time spent with friends and family.

From choosing the right basement paint color and flooring for a basement remodel to shelving ideas for basement storage and organization, there are several things you’ll want to consider as you revamp your downstairs space.

Below are 10 no-brainer pieces for any finished basement project you’re working on.

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Distressed Nadine Rug Ecomm Via Westelm.com
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Stylish Area Rug

If you’re interested in decorating your lower ground floor, there’s nothing simpler than an area rug. This stylish pick from West Elm resembles a well-loved vintage piece and comes in several sizes and colors. Try it as a runner for your basement’s stairs!

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Big Sur Square Arm Upholstered Sofa Ecomm Via Potterybarn.com
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Wide Sectional

Whether you choose to turn your basement into a general lounge area, game room or playroom, you’re going to need comfortable seating. We love the way a wide, plush sectional looks in any room, but especially in a finished basement. This bestselling sectional from Pottery Barn is casual, timeless and customizable, not to mention the durable construction and sink-in softness.

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Lift+top+extendable+frame+coffee+table+with+storage
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Coffee Table with Storage

Need a spot to store your cozy blankets and board games when they aren’t being used? This coffee table has you covered with hollowed-out storage space for frequently-used items. Plus, this coffee table offers additional places for guests to take a load off thanks to the three hidden seats.

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Pacific Desk With Open Storage Ecomm Via Potterybarn.com
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Workspace with Shelving

This desk with open storage looks like a clean-lined shelving unit from the outside, but it has room for an office chair on the inside. It makes an ideal workspace for writing or crafting while also functioning as a simple shelving block.

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Hollis+electric+fireplace+by+real+flame
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Electric Fireplace

Want the look of a fireplace without the hassle or cost of installing one? This remote-controlled, plug-in fireplace resembles a built-in wood stove. The electric firebox plugs into any standard outlet and features a programmable thermostat, timer function, brightness settings and vivid flame technology.

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Gable Indoor Outdoor Dining Table Ecomm Via Westelm.com
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Multifunctional Table for Games

A sleek, square table is great for converting a basement corner into a gaming nook. Use it to play cards, solve puzzles or for extra dining space when you have guests over for holidays and parties.

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Sanford Square Arm Upholstered Sectional Ecomm Via Potterybarn.com
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Comfortable Sleeper Sofa

If you have a finished basement with multiple rooms, you might consider converting one of the rooms into a guest bedroom. Sleeper sofas are great for small rooms, especially considering their multi-functional nature. Pottery Barn has a great selection of comfortable sleeper sofas and sectionals. We love the Sanford Square Arm Sleeper Sofa—it’s compact, comfy and even has a reversible storage chaise.

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Davyn Glass Flush Mount Ecommm Via Wayfair.com
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Dimmable Flush Lighting

Florescent lighting in a basement can feel cold and clinical. Warm up your basement space with aesthetically-pleasing dimmable lighting. And if you’re working with low basement ceilings, choose recessed lighting or light fixtures that hang close to the ceiling, like this flush mount light that delivers a soft, ambient glow. Here are a few ways to add more natural light in your basement.

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Thrapst+upholstered+bench Ecomm Via Wayfair.com
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Entryway Bench

If your finished basement has its own entrance, consider creating an inviting entryway with a modern bench, mirror, lush plants and other décor. Entryway benches are versatile pieces of furniture for decoration, table seating and even putting on your shoes in the morning. Looking for more ideas? Check out our list of these simple finished basement ideas.

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50 Class Samsung The Fram Ecomm Via Samsung.com
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Frame TV

Is a bulky entertainment center cramping your basement’s design style? Make your entire space cohesive with The Fame Smart TV from Samsung. This television doubles as a picture frame, and you can even enjoy your own art exhibit when you’re not binge watching your favorite Netflix show.

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What to Consider When Designing a Finished Basement

Basement Flooring

When choosing the right flooring for your basement, consider the moisture levels in your area. Condensation and water vapor are moisture-related hazards unique to basements, and they can warp the flooring you put downstairs.

Basement Paints

White is a common basement paint color because it brightens a space without a lot of natural light. But dark colors can look stunning in a basement, too—and where you’d least expect them. Basements tend to have lower ceilings than the rest of the house. To make the walls seem taller, paint the ceiling a darker color.

Not sure if you should go dark or light in the basement? Try painting one element dark, like a single wall, to evaluate how it looks in the space without making your entire basement monochromatic. 

Basement Lighting

Basement lighting is important to make a dark and windowless space more inviting. Wall sconces and recessed lights are space-efficient options for adding brightness to a downstairs area.

Mary Henn
Mary Henn, MFA is an Associate Shopping Editor at Family Handyman. She’s also a national award-winning writer and journalist. Her expertise lies in interior design, home decor, gardening and outdoor trends. When she’s not working on the latest content at FHM, you can find her reading poetry or hiking with her dog, Henry.