Basement Design for a Growing Family

The key to sound basement design – from this interior designer in the Philadelphia region – is to create a space that can easily evolve over time as the needs of a growing family change.

Now, unless money is no object (hey, who typed that?) I try to steer clear of bold, childlike colors for walls or floor. I’ll specify adult colors for these areas and opt for kid colors on one accent wall or simply do brightly colored throw rugs (yes, even over wall-to-wall Berber), cozy snuggly throws, accent pillows, framed posters, or children’s art work. I love to frame children’s artwork for their playrooms.

To accommodate basement dwellers of all ages, I like to go with sectional sofas. They handle multi-age lounging, tween sleepovers, and hold lots of adult sports fans. I’ll also toss in some upholstered leather cubes. They make for great coffee tables or extra seating while also indulging the love kids have for moving furniture around!

As to built-in bars, media rooms, full kitchens, partial kitchens, and full baths, these are topics in themselves and require more than just a paragraph. I coach clients to honestly estimate how much they would use these spaces over time. I have found that people over-estimated how much use these spaces would get in order to justify the expense, but it is a very individual question.

And finally, if money is an object (hey, who typed that?) I find that, in addition to the above, it’s always a great move to check with a local furniture store to see what arrangements might be made to work with their floor samples. This has been a perfect option for some of my clients.

In the end, the basement will rarely feel or function like the main parts of the home, so my first instinct is to approach with prudence and a level head.