Designer Candice Olson has mastered adding function to the most underused space of your home: the basement. See how she transforms with stunning color palettes, cozy furnishings and smart layouts.
Renovate your underused basement with decorating ideas from Divine Design's Candice Olson.
Relaxing Basement Hangout
Rust grasscloth and buttery yellow walls set the scene for a warm, inviting basement. A deep L-shaped sectional in sage linen features tons of textured pillows in rust, gold and cream. To brighten the windowless space, Candice installs recessed lights and track lighting behind a bulkhead.
Classic Meets Rustic Basement
By blending masculine textures with feminine touches, Candice creates a basement fit for the whole family. A dog-friendly sectional in bark brown is paired with two leather green ottomans and a coffee table made of logs and glass. A gas fireplace flanked from floor to ceiling with sandstone tiles adds a rustic touch to the space.
By modernizing the dated features, lightening and brightening the space, and adding new fixtures and finishes, Candice creates the perfect family refuge. Candice updates the paneling with wood battens placed in a grid-like pattern over the paneling and then paints it a light putty color with a tinge of green, while the ceiling is painted a neutral color with a hint of blue. The space has to be multifunctional, so she divides it up into three major areas: a relaxation/entertainment area, a bar area and an office area. Distressed hardwood flooring and comfortable seating complete this cozy family hangout.
To create a beach-like space inspired by sand, sea and sky, Candice paints the walls a light sea-green paint and chooses a color palette to match in natural grass, warm coral, breezy sand and dreamy sky-blue. She designs a multifunctional floor plan in order to accommodate the family's many needs, including a playroom, entertainment area, guest retreat, bar/snack area and an office.
Candice paints the walls a cool cream and divides the room into two zones: a bar area and a sports area. The bar area has a funky fridge, a slim-line electric fireplace and a gorgeous vanilla quartz bar with accompanying stools for lounging. In the sports area, Candice use dark wood and glass cabinets to house all of the couple's sporting memorabilia.
By adding lots of color, plenty of organization and some personal touches, the formerly chaotic basement is transformed into a colorful and playful family room. Using Linda's artwork for inspiration, Candice decides on a color palette of golden wheat, russet red and soothing sage. The artwork also becomes the new fireplace surround by transferring it onto vinyl wallpaper and hanging on top of the brick. To meet the family's needs, she divides the space into three areas: a storage zone for the kids, an art gallery for mom and a lounge area for dad.
Colorful and Inspiring
By combining modern finishes and fixtures, exotic colors and fabrics, and functional cabinetry and furniture, this room is now ready for work, play, sleep and endless music rehearsals. The walls get two different treatments: some areas are painted a peppery, reddish-orange color, while the rest are papered in a heavy, textured grass cloth. For the floors, Candice uses a hard-wearing vinyl that looks like hardwood, but is more durable and perfect for basements.
To create a feeling of cozy intimacy with a touch of drama, Candice paints the walls and ceiling a sultry charcoal gray and uses a similar shade for the carpeting. The lighting, which is an absolute necessity for dark-colored rooms, is layered throughout the entire space with ceiling halogen lights and lower in-wall fixtures to light the floor during a movie.
Exotic Indian Lounge
To set the scene for this Indian-inspired basement, Candice covers the walls in a black-and-gold paisley wallpaper and a metallic-backed sisal wallpaper. Black-and-white carpet tiles create a chic checkerboard across the room, while luxe fabrics on the furniture and window treatments add a glam factor.
To create a space with the energy and warmth of a Mexican cantina, Candice starts by grounding the basement with durable tile that has the look of wide-plank hardwood. Color plays a big part in this space with a chili-pepper red glass backsplash, a red and guacamole green chair and a fiery red media cabinet. To create the illusion of a large window, she hangs wall-sized translucent blinds over the tiny basement window.
Playful, Artistic Basement Retreat
Bright and colorful, this basement features a cozy family lounge and a fun, functional art studio. Muted green carpet compliments the sky blue walls, and slipcovered furniture is the perfect solution for this art-loving family. To create the illusion of natural illumination, Candice installs floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Whimsical vinyl transfer words add color and playfulness to the room.
Comfy, Neutral Basement
Neutral walls are paired with dark vinyl tiles that give the look of real wood. The painted brick fireplace is the focal point of the space and features a wood mantel with a built-in nook for the TV. Cozy seating and a space set aside for the family's musical instruments complete this basement makeover.
Cool Teen Hangout
For this basement makeover, Candice transformed an empty basement into a hip teen bedroom that also doubles as a family hangout. In the bedroom, she uses masculine shades of brown, blue and black to create a comfy and relaxing atmosphere. Over in the family room, a big media area features a desk for homework, a beverage fridge, a big screen TV and cozy, oversized furniture. For an added bit of fun, she includes a three-in-one games system, featuring foosball, hockey and pool.