Five Interior Styles for Finished Basements

When it comes to the ground level of the home, many basement finishers are content to let the furniture do all the talking while they keep the walls, floors and ceilings simple. This can be a great finishing option, especially for those looking to sell, but there’s potential for much more! At Green Remodeling, we can apply any style to your basement remodel. We know that with a little effort, a well-designed basement can increase your living space as well as express your tastes.

These are five classic interior styles that could work in any basement:

Luxurious

If the rest of your home has an air of luxury about it, why not carry that into the basement? So many high-end homes end up with barren basements. The contractors here at Green know how to make the basement look just as stunning as your main floors. Once the concrete is covered with plush carpet or fine natural stone, designer lighting and an upgraded bannisters can make any basement seem more glamorous. Custom cabinets and countertops bring in both storage and style. For a particularly lavish touch, consider finishing the basement bathroom in the style of a destination spa.

Rustic

You don’t need a massive fireplace or a peaked ceiling to achieve that rustic, mountain cabin look. Distressed hardwood floors, stacked stone features and impressive wooden beams can be incorporated into any basement interior. Don’t worry about low ceilings or limited space. Rustic ceiling beams with coordinating floors can actually make a space appear taller while still adding plenty of coziness.

Modern

Sometimes, it seems like basement interiors are a few steps behind truly modern styling. At Green remodeling, we stay on top of the trends and we don’t let the lower level of a home lag behind! Oftentimes, there aren’t as many pre-existing architectural details in the basement as there are in other areas of the home. There may be no large windows, no focal point or even no real room dividers. Fortunately, creating an up-to-date contemporary aesthetic in the basement can still be possible with things like light fixtures, floors and tiles. A basement bar with a glass tile backsplash and some sleek granite, for example, would have an undeniably contemporary look.

Traditional & Transitional

To a large extent, traditional style is defined by organization and comfort. Built-in shelving and tray ceilings will go a long way in making a basement more traditional. To take a traditional style and make it transitional, all you have to do is add some contemporary details like the ones we’ve already mentioned. Transitional interiors are highly marketable, particularly in the basement where everyone has their own ideas about the functionality of the space.

Whether you’re looking for luxury or a mixture of multiple modern styles, we can bring your basement vision to life!

Finished Basement FAQs

Green clients looking to finish or re-finish their home’s basement typically have a lot of questions – more than we could cover in this blog, really. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in our years of experience it’s that every home is unique, as is every basement remodeling project. Still, we receive certain questions over and over again. These are some of those big, important, frequently asked questions. Before we answer them, remember that planning out a basement can and generally should take time from choosing a layout to selecting finishes and furniture!

FAQ #1: “What should I use my basement for?”

Every family is different, so pinpoint how you spend your time, how you’d like to spend your time and try to design a space that caters to that. If you host a lot of overnight guests, a guest suite may be a useful addition. If you like parties or hold a strong interest in wine, a home bar or wine cellar might be a good investment. If you’re looking for a kid-friendly hangout, a massive family room, media room, game room combination just might make you the coolest parents ever. One thing pretty much every basement needs is a basement bathroom.

FAQ #2: “What will finishing my basement cost and what’s the ROI?”

Finishing a basement is a great investment and it’s often a whole lot easier (financially and design-wise) than remodeling the upper floors of a home. This is partly because you can choose how much square footage you want to tackle in the basement and leave some of it unfinished and largely because there usually isn’t anything there to have to rip out or replace. In the end, a finished basement can add an immeasurable amount of functionality to your house. Whether you create more bedrooms, better storage or a special entertaining space, we’re sure you’ll find that the basement is finally living up to its full potential after it’s been remodeled!

FAQ #3: “What design style should I use in my basement?”

That’s all up to you! The basement doesn’t necessarily have to exactly match the other floors of your home although we’ll do our best to match it if that’s what you want. We will say one thing – since there’s often a lot of space to cover, bigger is better when furniture shopping. Sectionals are a great way to avoid an empty-looking room, and they provide plenty of seating for when guests come to visit. Pull-out couches may also be a smart option for your ground floor.

FAQ #4: “Should I add built-ins to my basement?”

Many clients fear that built-ins aren’t appropriate for basements but we disagree. A wide open space is hard to define and clever built-ins can help clarify room divisions and organize personal belongings. For the ultimate media hub, a built-in entertainment center, complete with bookshelves and cabinets for electronics, movies and books does the trick. A custom wet bar with a mini-fridge and a microwave makes downstairs snacking simple. The options are endless!

8 Expert Basement Remodeling Tips

Want to quickly increase the square footage of your home by up to 50%? Finish your basement! At Green Remodeling, we’ve seen a lot basements – finished and unfinished – and we almost always find that unfinished basements just aren’t very useful. Sure, they’ve got plenty of room for storage, but most people only need a storage space with the footprint of a large walk-in closet. If you think you’re ready to convert your basement into the amazing guest suite, entertainment room, bar, gym or game room you know it could be, here are 8 things you should know before you build.

  1. Moisture is the enemy.

With any subterranean space, particularly around Atlanta, certain measures must be taken to safeguard against humidity and groundwater moisture. You should check for water issues in your basement before beginning the planning process. Inside, any small cracks, puddles or leaks should be addressed immediately. Outside, the ground should be properly graded away from your home’s foundation.

  1. Install a Vapor Barrier.

When it comes to preventing basement dampness, a vapor barrier on the walls and floors gets the job done. It’s a good idea to lay down a barrier for a day or two, then check it to judge exactly how much moisture is coming through from the outside.

  1. Offset your living space.

Even with a strong vapor barrier, moisture can still be an issue. Offsetting slightly from the original wall using wood or metal strips to create a new frame can further protect your basement from water damage and uncomfortable humidity.

  1. Don’t skimp on insulation.

Insulation will help control the temperature inside your basement and may also add a layer of moisture control. Besides that, it may help “soundproof” the finished room. We can help you select an insulation type that will serve all these purposes and last for years and years.

  1. Insulate the ceiling, too.

Ceiling insulation keeps upstairs noise such as footfall and kitchen conversations from ruining your home theater experience or your ability to work if you wish to design a new home office. Even light footsteps on upstairs floors can seem impossibly loud when heard through uninsulated ceilings.

  1. Consider unconventional building materials.

Depending on how you bought your home, the basement may be the only space where everything can be finished exactly to your personal taste. Tile, natural stone or luxury vinyl surfaces will add a lot of character and warmth to your space. Don’t think you have to draw the line at drywall and carpet!

  1. Have an open space instead of separate rooms.

You can save a lot of money by opting to design one big, multi-purpose room in lieu of a collection of separate rooms. You can save a lot on doors alone, and put those savings into something fun like surround sound, a retractable movie screen or granite for a home bar.

  1. ALWAYS build to code!

Even finishing a basement in an otherwise finished home requires special permits. We make sure our permits are up-to-date with every job we take. Trust your basement remodel to Green!

Green’s Digital Design Tools

In the last 100 years or so, most of the basic tools of remodeling have stayed the same – hammer, nails, wood, paint, etc. New materials and new power tools have come onto the scene but, for the most part, the core concepts remained the same… until 2014 at least.

Last year, we began to use one piece of technology in particular that completely changed the way we approach remodeling projects – 3D design software. No longer are the end results of our labor a mystery! With this program, we can preview what the end result will be and even simulate a final walk-through. Our advanced design program creates 2D and 3D visuals of redesigned spaces before we’ve actually made any changes to them. This often saves us time and resources because it allows our clients to see the project before any irreversible alterations are made to their homes. There’s nothing worse than re-starting a project two or three times because the mental picture doesn’t match the reality. With this revolutionary design innovation, we can view the space in virtual reality to better predict how it will look in the end.

For extensive remodeling jobs such as finishing a basement, reconfiguring a kitchen or tearing down a dividing wall, imagining the end result without any kind of visual aid can be difficult. Forming an accurate mental picture is a bit easier with small jobs like repainting a room or refinishing a set of cabinets. With larger tasks, however, knowing how large that basement is or what lies beyond that poorly placed wall isn’t so simple. Our 3D modeling tools build images to scale so you can get a good sense of exactly how much space you’re dealing with. You can even add furniture pieces and wall art pieces to the virtual model in order to predict how your things will fit.

There’s really no better way of visualizing a remodeled room than seeing it built perfectly to scale in a three dimensional simulation. Our program has a large gallery of flooring, hardware and other finishes to choose from so you can add your style to our remodeling plans. We can plan out multiple rooms and spaces in a single virtual design session. Even if you want your home gutted and refinished from top to bottom, our program can show you how it will be. Our architectural design software is easy to use and the images it creates are realistic and easy to understand. You don’t need to decode our blueprints or muddle through hard-to-follow designer sketches with this program and you can almost instantly tweak the design to your specifications. Get exactly what you want out of your remodel by building it on our 3D software before the actual building begins!

Bars, Theaters and More!

Your basement is a blank canvas! A place where you can unleash your creativity and create a room you’ve always dreamed of having but were never sure you had the space for such as a bar or a movie room. At Green Remodeling, we help homeowners build custom basements. We bring the expertise necessary for turning that blank canvas into a fully built masterpiece.

Basement Bars

The basement is the perfect spot to put that home bar you’ve always dreamed of. Basement bars are attractive and convenient. Just imagine not having to migrate to the kitchen whenever you want a drink or a snack during the big game. Having a second sink, refrigerator or wine cooler in your home is possible with a basement bar. This saves you space for groceries in your upstairs fridge and gives you all the extra room (and ice) you need for entertaining.  For wine and liquor collectors, a basement bar is also an ideal organization solution.

Home Theaters

With their naturally dim nature, basements are already well-suited to become home theater rooms. We can help you design any kind of home theater from a casual room with a TV and sofas to an elaborate theater with a big screen and stadium seating. We can fully wire your home theater for surround sound and customize your lighting plan to make your basement look just like a cinema. Now that football season has started, there’s no better way to enjoy college ball or NFL games. Paired with a home bar in a large basement, nothing beats taking in a flick in your own home theater with a fresh bowl of popcorn!

Office Space and More

Not every home comes equipped with a home office but most new construction homes have a basement that we can transform into highly efficient home office space. With shelves and cabinets for printers and paperwork and extra wide desktops, a basement home office is perfect for telecommuters. A soothing office design that minimizes distractions help you stay focused during the workday even if you aren’t in your finest business casual ensemble.

There are so many basement possibilities! Bars, theaters and offices are just some of the most common purposes. Guest bedrooms, in-law suites, craft rooms and game rooms are also quite popular. The basement doesn’t have to be the place you keep your old mattresses and Christmas decorations. It can be a place where you work, a place where you relax or a place where come together with your family and friends.

Preview Your Finished Basement

This year, Green Remodeling introduced a 3D virtual design program. This program allows you to see 2D and 3D visuals of how your redesigned home will look after we’ve put the finishing touches on it – before you’ve actually made any changes to the space. We’re doing away with that dreaded phrase, “it looked better on paper” because we’re getting your ideas off the page and into a design program that lets you see the project before any irreversible changes are made to your home. This program will revolutionize the way you think about finishing your basement!

These days, when somebody decides to finish their basement, there’s usually a lengthy planning period that precedes the fruition of the project. After all, you want to make this extra space in your home beautiful and functional, not just “finished” with carpet and drywall. Trying to picture what your basement could become with blueprints and paint chips alone can be difficult. Where will the plumbing and appliances go? How will you incorporate those support poles?

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to see our plans in perfect 3D? There’s really no better way of visualizing an amazing basement than seeing it modeled to scale in a three dimensional simulation!  Our program has a large gallery of decor and finishes to choose from to simulate your style and it can clearly lay out multiple rooms and spaces in a single virtual design session. When you think about it, our virtual design previews are like a super affordable way for you to try out different paint color, move walls and add sophisticated details to your home without buying a thing. Whether you want to transform your basement into a guest bedroom or an extra family room, the program’s 3D catalog library, packed with thousands of cabinets, appliances, furnishings and textures, is sure to have what you’re looking for.

Our architectural design software is easy to use and the images it creates are realistic and easy to understand. You won’t be decoding blueprints or working with vague sketches with this design innovation! Your contractor and designer will work with you and quickly show you how your finished basement or remodeled kitchen is going to look in your home. And if there’s anything you don’t like about your home preview, tweaking features here and there is a breeze so costly miscommunications are minimized. You can even move through the virtual models so you’ll know how your home’s new ground floor will look from every angle. A final benefit to previewing your space on software is that it can speed up the building process. The 3D models can be translated into construction documents so the work can start faster!

 

Preview Your Remodel

This year, Green Remodeling is introducing a new 3D virtual design program. This program allows you to see 2D and 3D visuals of how your redesigned home will look after we’ve put the finishing touches on it before you’ve actually made any changes to the space. We’re doing away with that dreaded phrase, “it looked better on paper.” Because we’re getting your ideas off the page and into a clever design program that lets you view the completed project before anyone has started knocking down walls or tearing up carpet.

These days, when somebody decides to start a remodel, there’s usually a lengthy research period that precedes the fruition of the project in the physical world. We read design books, watch home improvements shows, surf architecture and design websites and spend countless hours trying to plan the spaces we live in each day. Shouldn’t we be able to see our plans in perfect 3D? There’s really no better way of visualizing a new room than seeing it modeled to scale in a three dimensional simulation.

One of the best features of the Green Remodeling planning program is its ability to multitask. It has a large gallery of decor and finishes to choose from to simulate your style and it can clearly lay out multiple rooms and spaces in a single virtual design session. When you think about it, our virtual design previews are like a super affordable way for you to try out different paint color, move walls and add sophisticated details to your home without buying a thing. Whether you want to do work on your basement, your bathroom, your kitchen or your family room, the program’s 3D catalog library, packed with thousands of cabinets, appliances, furnishings and textures, is sure to have what you’re looking for.

Our architectural design software is easy to use and the images it creates are realistic and easy to understand. You won’t be decoding blueprints or working with vague sketches with this design innovation! Your contractor and designer will work with you and quickly show you how your finished basement or remodeled kitchen is going to look in your home. And if there’s anything you don’t like about your home preview, tweaking features here and there is a breeze so costly redesign miscommunications are minimized. You can even move through the virtual models so you’ll know how your home’s new architectural features will look from every angle.

A final benefit to previewing your new space on remodeling software is that it can even speed up the building process. The 3D models can be translated into construction documents hastily so the work can start faster and your real home can become like your virtual home sooner!

Basement Remodeling Ideas

Finishing basements isn’t hard. Throw up a little dry wall and lay down some carpet and you’re pretty much done, right? At least, that’s how some contractors see it. At Green Remodeling, we think a little differently. Finishing a basement isn’t hard. What is hard, however, is making a basement that feels just as cozy and inviting as the rest as of your home. When our clients walk downstairs to their newly finished basement, we don’t want it to feel like entering a basement at all. We try to take cold, concrete cellars and turn them into gorgeous bonus rooms that coordinate seamlessly with the rest of the home. We turn barren basements into stylish, subterranean sanctuaries. We can also give those spaces in your home that have been finished once before a fabulous facelift.

Some of our most popular basement projects are home theaters, custom bars and in-law suites. What have you always wanted to do with your basement?

Home Theater

Having a six-foot movie screen in the middle of your living room isn’t really practical… What’s a movie-loving family to do? Design the theater of their dreams and let us take care of it, that’s what. When building home theaters, many homeowners have trouble finding a company that can handle every aspect of the project from laying the floors to installing lighting and surround sound. We can handle any home theater undertaking, start to finish.

Custom Bar

Cocktail hour is back in a big way. It’s time to move the booze out of the kitchen and into its very own classy ground-floor quarters. Custom bars can turn any basement, large or small, into an awesome entertaining mecca. At our showroom, you can pick cabinets and countertops for your custom bar then tack on as many add-ons as you want. We have a wide selection of granite and quartz countertops and tons of fun extras to choose from – backsplashes, wine racks, shelving and more.

Mother-in-law Suite

A swanky in-law suite is the real sign of a great basement remodeler. To design a good one, you have to know a little bit of everything, construction-wise. You have to know about bathrooms, bedrooms and even kitchens. Whether you’re accommodating your extended family for an extended period of time or you just want somewhere nice for guests to stay, an in-law suite (for lack of a better term) will add value to your basement and your home and we’ve got the know-how to build it.

Decorative Stained Concrete

You are wanting to redo the floors on your main level, or finished basement.  Are you looking for something unique, durable, eco-friendly, and easy on upkeep?  Decorative stained concrete night be the right fit for you!
Concrete flooring is way more durable than any other flooring option. It has incredibly high compressive strength, which is the ability to withstand direct pressure.  Your average concrete can withstand pressures over 4,500 pounds per square inch. Because of this, concrete is very difficult to damage.  In addition, concrete will not have damage issues that you may find in other types of flooring such as warping, buckling, peeling, or chipping. Also, due to the properties found in the finishes, stained concrete is highly resistant to ultraviolet light, which causes fading and discoloration.  The properties found in concrete, moisture may pass through the flooring, but it will eventually just dry up. It will also not grow mold or mildew no matter the humidity levels in the room.  Because of the ability to withstand long term dampness and even flooding, Stained Concrete is a very popular flooring choice for basements.
When it comes to upkeep and maintenance of flooring, there is something different for each type of floor, as well as how difficult the maintenance is.  Carpets need frequent vacuuming and shampooing, tile requires special attention to grout to make sure it doesn’t become stained, and hardwoods need special cleaning products as to not ruin the finish.  All of those flooring options will eventually need to be replaced, or sanded and refinished at some time, which will be very costly and time-consuming.  However with concrete, all that is required is sweeping, mopping, and repolishing about once every year or so, which is something you could do yourself and only takes about 10-15 minutes.
Many people nowadays are concerned about the air quality inside their homes.  The main contributors to poor air quality are: allergens, such as dust mites, mold, and mildew; retained moisture and dampness; odors, harmful odors such as smoke, and aerosols from personal care and household cleaning products; and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) which are emitted from manmade, low-quality building materials.  All of these are things are can be contributed by the use of carpeting, while moisture and VOC problems are associated with with wood and tile installations. But a stained concrete floor is perfect for promoting great air quality. This is because acid-stained flooring allows moisture to readily evaporate.  It provides no place for dust mites to hide or for mold or mildew to grow. It cleans easily.  It does not store odors. And it may be installed by using a concrete sealer that contains absolutely no harmful vapors or residues.
Concrete floors can be installed using radiant heating and/or cooling beneath the surface so as to provide a slow, steady, “clean” source of temperature regulation to your home.  This is unlike forced air heating  systems which circulate dirt, dust, pollen, odors, and germs every time the system is activated. This will also allow you to set your indoor air systems 5-10 degrees lower, which will help you save on your power bill.

LED Lighting is the new GREEN Light

What are LED lights, why are they so expensive, and why is everyone is using them?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode.  They have become popular because they are the most energy efficient way to produce light.  LED lights use about 90 percent less power than conventional light bulbs (halogen, incandescent, fluorescent, etc).  They are more durable and have a long service life.  Believe it or not, but they can last up to 25 years or more!!!  This is about 40,000-50,000 hours.

Have you ever noticed how much harder it is to keep a room full of canned lights cool?  LED lights can solve this problem, because they do not emit heat the way conventional lights do.  This allows you to stay more comfortable while saving on your utility bills.

For safety and environmental concerns, they don’t contain any mercury or toxins, don’t generate radio frequency so as not to interfere with radios or TVs and are resistant to vibration and shocks.  They are cool to the touch so as not to burn you.  Again because they do not generate heat, they are safer to be placed near drier bushes and plants.  Their waterproof quality allows them to be safe to be used near water hoses and sprinklers.

The trendiest place to use LED lighting right now is with cabinetry.  Because they do not generate as much heat as conventional lights, they can be used in places that were not possible before.  They are commonly used for task lighting, under cabinet lights, inside cabinets and drawers, and under the toe kick.

Another place where LED lighting is making headway is in outdoor spaces.  There are the obvious energy savings, but beyond that, they are a great choice because they do not emit any ultra violet light and therefore do not attract bugs!  They can withstand harsh weather conditions and are available in a variety of configurations.  They are commonly used in vibrant colors for holiday decorations.

They are also commonly used for night lights, stair and walkway lighting, pendants and replace lamp bulbs.

So what’s the catch?  They are expensive.  It goes back to the adage, “You get what you pay for.”  It is estimated that between replacement costs of bulbs and energy savings, LED lighting will pay for themselves within about 3.5 years.

If you would like more information, there is a free app about LED lighting call “Learn LED” from Phillips.

If there are any home improvement topics you would like me to cover, please feel free to email them in to me at lgreen@greenremodeling.com