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Family Style


family room 
Photo by Leslie Goodwin Photography | Design by Sage Design Studio Inc.

Making a basement a well-loved family space is all about design, whether it’s a kid-friendly zone, home theatre, or maybe even a home office nook. For every family there is a perfect room that brings everyone together, and in some cases gives everyone personal space.

Since the basement is often dark and cool, brighten things up by using warm colours that have yellow as a base, rather than cool greens and blues. Add a variety of fabrics with plenty of engaging patterns and plush area carpets for texture and comfort. Use pillows and throws to add warmth on furniture designed for lounging and relaxing. Opt for durable, kid or pet friendly fabrics on furniture. If your basement lacks natural light, don’t fight it. Create drama and warmth with a medium or dark colour scheme — this is particularly effective for a home theatre area.

For the ultimate lower level experience, consider luxury additions such as a gas fireplace or big screen TV with home theatre projector. If you love entertaining, include a wet bar. If you’re shy on bathrooms upstairs, add a spa bathroom downstairs.

To make sure you use every square foot to your family’s advantage, call in experts including an interior designer and skilled trades like a Licensed Electrical Contractor.

Kids Zone

One of the most important safety considerations for a playroom is to protect children from a bad burn or shock which can happen if they stick objects into unprotected outlets. Tamper Resistant Receptacles should be used throughout your home. The only times they’re not necessary are when outlets are located behind a stationary appliance, such as a washing machine in your laundry room, or when they are more than two metres above the floor, since these spots are out of reach. But just to be safe, ESA recommends putting them everywhere. Work with your Licensed Electrical Contractor and interior designer if you have one to think through how you’ll use your basement and where you’ll want to plug things into outlets.

Now Store This

Basements that double as playrooms benefit from plenty of closed storage for quick clean up. Built-ins and storage benches eliminate visual clutter without taking up too much floor space. Incorporate shelves at different heights so toys and books are easily accessible to the kids. Utilize wasted space under the stairs or add storage units to divide rooms. Select a playful colour scheme for walls and carpet tiles and keep seating soft and low for book reading and floor activities.

basement with built in storage
Photo by Leslie Goodwin Photography | Design by Sage Design Studio Inc.

Get creative with storage solutions, but just remember that a breaker panel can’t be located within a bathroom or closet. You’ll need to consider this when developing your basement floorplan and elevations.

Another essential element for any storage space is good lighting. After all, what’s the use of storage space if you can’t find what you need when the time comes? A Licensed Electrical Contractor can provide ideas on automated options for closet lights, and even the best lightbulbs to use. Motion sensors are another popular option. Your Licensed Electrical Contractor is required to know the safe distance between ceiling lights and storage items to prevent fire – 150 mm for pot lights and 300 mm for surface mounted lights.



Chalkboard paint is a creative way to transform a wall into a work of art. Consider adding a library light to showcase your kids’ creations.



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