Having enough light inside a finished basement can be problematic under ordinary circumstances, but is especially difficult when there are no windows whatsoever. If your home has such a basement, here are some ideas you can use to ensure it doesn’t feel dark and dreary.
Install Adequate Lighting
The right type of lighting is needed to compensate for the lack of natural light. Recessed fixtures are an excellent choice, because they can be placed in very tight corners to provide light exactly where needed. An added advantage to recessed lighting is the fact that it does not take up valuable head space, making it perfect for basements with low ceilings. Track lighting could also be used to supplement your regular lighting in a basement kitchen or dining area.
Light and Airy Design
It’s important for your overall design to have a light and airy feel to it. Your walls, floors, and ceilings should all be light shades of cream, beige, tan, or white, as these colors will help brighten your space. Your furniture and accessories should all contain clean, simple lines rather than bold, busy patterns that will overwhelm your space. To keep things from becoming too dull, add throw rugs or pillows that contain just a splash of red, blue, or yellow. Use only one or two accent colors, and select furniture that contains matching wood tones whenever possible.
The Illusion of a Window
Even if your basement doesn’t have any windows, simply giving the appearance that it does will automatically make your room feel warm and inviting. One way to do this is by hanging a salvaged window frame on your wall and attaching a valance or some tie-back curtains to make it more authentic looking. You could even place an outdoor scene behind your window frame to “trick” people into thinking they are looking into your yard. Another option would be to hang illuminated blinds on your wall. These blinds are designed especially for walls without windows, and provide the illusion of sunlight shining through them.
Strategic Use of Mirrors
If you have a very narrow area, adding one or more mirrors will not only make this space seem bigger, but will also reflect light. This in turn can counteract the feeling of darkness that tends to occur whenever there are no windows. You might also place a mirror collage along one wall, or suspend a few smaller ones from the ceiling. If your basement is divided into rooms, you may even want to place mirrored panels on your doors. Doing so will trick the eye into thinking the area is one open space, which will automatically make it feel lighter.
Many people avoid refinishing a basement without windows because they believe their space won’t be functional. As you can see, there are actually several things you can do to prevent your basement from being too dark, making it possible to create additional living space that you will actually enjoy using.