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The idea of basement bedroom can be delightful, exciting and scary at the same time. It can be an intimate and hidden space for retreat, your own personal cave, an insulation that awakes imagination, but if you have to move to a basement due to a lack of space in the crowded house you may feel worried and discouraged.
Basements are usually not built for accommodations; they are hardworking spaces with a minimum comfort. Basements are cold, humid and dark, not really attractive places for living or sleeping in at first sight but properly planned and designed these features can give a beautiful, warm and cozy retreat and the bedroom basement ideas that follow will beautifully highlight the immense potential of this space.
However you feel, before you approach your wishes and design ideas there are a few very important objective issues that you must consider.
- Insulation – Humidity is a big obstacle when converting a basement into a dwelling. Constant exposure to moisture significantly decreases health, and that is particularly important issue for basement bedrooms as we spent 1/3 of a day sleeping. Moisture accumulated through time may also deteriorate natural materials used for flooring, wall finishes and furniture. Solving any water or moisture problem in the basement is a basic precondition before any further remodeling, and is too important to be handled without professional help. It is important to find the source of the problem and remove it away from the house, for any inside interventions will only cover the problem and its symptoms for just a short period.
- Ventilation – Another important health issue is the quality of the air in dwelling spaces. Besides humidity, (which may come from a heating system placed in the basement or bathroom facilities), usually parts of underground stories are used as storage for a food and unused things. It would be advisable to separate the bedroom from the utility areas by an insulated wall and provide a functional ventilating system to stop unwanted odors and possible unhealthy chemicals to enter your sleeping area. As safety regulations demand, you must have a window in the basement bedroom that also serves for natural ventilation, but if there are no such requirements and you don’t have an opening on a facade, you must invest in an air conditioner split system.
- Warmth and noise – During hot summer days, the basement bedroom will keep the temperature cool and it will be the most pleasant room for sleep, but in the cold winter day and night the earth layers around the basement will not be enough to keep the place warm. Thermal insulation on the ground slab and outer walls, together with acoustic insulation on the ceiling would be a good investment.
- Escape route – Being buried under the house in the soil doesn’t sound appealing. Whether there are building codes that you must follow or not, implementing a window with a window well can calm any fears and discomfort. Egress windows need to be less than 110 cm from the floor, and have to lead to a well 75 x 75 cm wide with ladders and a covering grate on the top that can easily be opened. The well floor must be 15 cm lower than the opening and properly drained.
Mot regulations require minimal openings, but window well allow you to build in a large window, and if your sub-terrain floor isn’t much lower than the ground surface you might also consider doors. The connection with the garden would be a nice idea for the basement bedroom.
Now, if you have enough space in your courtyard, you may add a special purpose to the well and expand it into a small living room or den under a beautiful glass roof.
- Access – Staircases to a basement are often steep and with years passing, access to your own bedroom may become a problem. If there are possibilities to change them, try to build spiral stairs as they allow wider steps.
- Ceiling height – This also may be addressed by regulations. Residential spaces require some minimum ceiling height. In that light if your basement is very low, or you have a low-hanging duct-work and wiring, you have to reconsider digging down to a new floor level. This action include many rough works and increased cost that can overcome the cost of a ground floor house addition. But if your lot does not allow it, than you must invest in pouring new footings below your existing ones and making a new ground slab. That also can be a good opportunity to add drainage pipes along with thermal and water insulations to the basement floor. If your budget can cover that, you may do this even if you have enough height in the room.
7. Basement bathroom – Having a bathroom at the same floor as your bedroom is valuable and comfortable, but that can raise a new problem. To drain wastes, pipes must have enough „fall“ to take them away by gravity. If a collecting pipe is above the bathroom pipes level you must install sewage ejection pump.
Basement remodeling ideas
- Small space – If your future basement bedroom is a tight box, there are some tricks that can help you design your space to look a little wider. Light colors, not necessarily white, with neutral hues visually expand space. To create a sense of opulence one wall can be painted in a strong dark tone.
One large mirror can give the illusion of a double larger room, but its presence in this intimate chamber may be disturbing to some people.
You can try to visually remove one wall by covering it with wallpaper, immersive 3d wallpapers. You can walk into a forest, high mountain top, or a calm street.
Keep clutter away; make cabinets that will hide all the things. Fill the room with furniture that has simple and clean lines. Don’t be discouraged by the tight room you are remodeling, any space looks wider once filled with furniture.
- Low ceiling – Vertical stripes on the walls make them look taller. Lamps with uplights can also contribute to that illusion. If a ceiling is low, then your furniture profile should also be low with strong horizontal lines.
The pictures hung up higher on the wall give a sense of more height in the room. Surprisingly, the same effect can come from floor to ceiling height doors and shelves.
In the case that you still feel pressure from the low ceiling try to focus interest on the floor by setting strong patterns in the parquet or tiles or having a wide bold rug. The color on the ceiling should be little lighter than the wall’s color.
- Exposed pipes and cables – Play with the ceiling. It doesn’t have to be plastered. It doesn’t have to be a simple tiled suspended ceiling with all surfaces on the same height. Use wood or metal corrugated panels; install translucent panes with hidden lights.
- If you have basement brick walls keep them visible. Brick can look rough but warm. Use exposed girders or wooden ceiling beams and make your room rustic and distinctive.
- If you don’t have a window, post a focal point that will attract attention. It can be a fireplace, a work of art or a special piece of furniture. You may fake a window. In the wooden frame, with window casement and panes, put a photography presenting a beautiful sight and add light bulbs to imitate natural light.
- Arrangement – if the size of a room allows it, try several possible solutions for furniture arrangement and aim to put the bed away of the outer walls.
- Lighting – Light is a critical design element and is even more important if the basement bedroom doesn’t have a window. Create atmosphere with layers of light. General light washes colors and shadows and makes space look modest while ambient light exudes warmth shaping accents on particular details. Use wall or standing lamps that illuminate enough to give shadows and draw patterns on the walls. Due to a low ceiling you may be restricted to a recessed lighting, so try to hide them in the translucent ceiling or under the shelves, you can even expose them for a more contemporary look.
- Colors and styles – It is your space and it is up to you how it should look. Because it is isolated and tucked in the security of the earth, it is not as any other room in your house, so make it special. It can be trendy or traditional, it may look posh or frugal, simple or colorful, whatever appeals to you. Use its potential of a hidden chamber; make it your room of freedom. If you want it to be calm and serene paint it in neutral light colors and fill it with lots of lights. If your imagination seeks for a sanctuary of intimacy and passion, go bold. Dim the lights, color in dark tempting hues and fill your room with details and scents. When it comes to basement bedroom ideas, anything goes.
Every space has great value, surface it and you will be amazed. Often underrated, basement designs are extremely useful spaces for personal home offices, bedrooms, laundry rooms or whatever additional functional, active space your home requires. Get creative with your basement design and the effort will surely be rewarded.
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