The Best Basement Design Ideas and Trends for 2024

8 Unique Basement Ideas for Your Remodel


Gone are the days of the old dreary basements of yesterday. Basements today, (thanks to a bit more ceiling height), have so much more potential than a couple of decades ago. They are more than just “finished” spaces that add a bit more square footage to your home. More than anything, your basement space should be an extension of the main floor. A place that’s both fun and usable. A basement renovation is a great way to get creative! I’m taking you on a tour of my best basement design ideas for 2024 to give you inspiration for your own project. Let’s get started!

1. Kid Forts

Most people, by default, use that forgotten storage space underneath the steps for luggage! It’s handy, yes, but why not transform that small space into a place that gets plenty of use instead? Kid forts are perfect for this.

Unused space underneath the basement stairs is a fort space for kids and one of the best basement design ideas for 2023

Unused space underneath the basement stairs is transformed into a fort space for kids. Complete with books, a reading light, and comfy bean bag seating, this is a kid favorite! / Source

A hidden door disguised as a bookcase provides space to display beloved items and photos, adding a unique and playful decor touch to the room. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Sneak Peek Design)
A hidden door disguised as a bookcase provides space to display beloved items and photos, adding a unique and playful decor touch to the room. Design by Carla Bast
Behind the bookcase is a “secret” playroom for my clients’ daughters. Design by Carla Bast

RELATED: 23 Game Room Color Ideas for Paint & Decor

A secret spot under the stairs is hidden by a hidden bookcase door. Design by Carla Bast

Whether you opt to add a miniature playhouse or keep the tiny “room” as an open and airy reading nook. They’ll LOVE having an extra space all to themselves! With a designated place for them to stretch their imaginations, you’re less likely to have a full basement takeover!

2. Drink Ledges & Snack Ledges

Built-in drink ledges or “snack ledges” are great options for basements. Not only do they provide a convenient spot for snacks and beverages, but they also help to define the space and add an extra layer or level of seating behind the lounge area in the living room.

This design added a built-in elevated drink ledge. This increased seating options and helped to define the TV feature wall area / Source

A built-in counter behind this home theater living area adds an extra level of seating and a better place to snack! Design by Carla Bast

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A snack ledge with a waterfall edge overlooks the family room of this basement family room. This extra level of seating is a better place for TV viewing as well as leaving plenty of floor space for other viewers to sit. Design by Carla Bast

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3. Ceiling Details and Architectural Interest

Basements can be tricky to design, especially since there’s usually exposed duct work that drops down below upper floor joists. But rather than resorting to covering every surface with suspended ceiling tiles (yuck), use ductwork to your advantage. Intentionally designing dropped soffits that define spaces creates architectural interest. This is a great way to visually establish different zones in your basement layout.

Dropped soffits above the basement bar and throughout the room provide architectural interest while simultaneously hiding dropped ductwork / Design by Carla Bast Design

The unfinished basement typically feels a bit like a gymnasium and will sound that way too! Break up the large open planes with some stylish space dividing ceiling features. Don’t get me wrong, an open-concept basement is a good thing. But, be sure to include ceiling details, it’s a simple way to add interest and make the space feel more welcoming.

Complete with a full-scale bar, game area, and TV zone, this finished basement uses an off-center fireplace to allow people to enjoy its warmth from all areas of the space. / Design by Sneak Peek Design
Dropped soffits above the basement bar and throughout the room provide architectural interest while simultaneously hiding dropped ductwork / Design by Carla Bast Design

RELATED: Insider Tips on Luxury Vinyl Flooring

open basement bar with interesting ceiling details that overlooks a personal sports court
An open basement bar with interesting ceiling detail overlooks the adjoining sports court via an oversized interior window, allowing both parents and kids to enjoy early morning basketball practice. Design by Carla Bast

RELATED: Basement Bar Ideas for Endless Entertainment

4. Home Wine Cellar

Adding a home wine cellar to a finished basement is a great way to bring your home entertainment up to the next level. If you have enough space in the basement, you can set up a dedicated area where you and your guests can explore different wines and share stories after an enjoyable evening meal.

Now you see it… Design by Carla Bast
Now you don’t… Design by Carla Bast

Want to store more than just wine? Add a wet bar complete with chilled beverages and glasses of all sizes. It’s the perfect way to turn your home into the home entertainment destination of choice for friends and family! It’s ALWAYS a good idea!

Custom wine cellar - wine display in basement
Custom wine cellar display and basement wet bar. Design by Carla Bast
Industrial Barn Door to Open Wine Cellar
This home wine cellar with built-in storage is situated just off of the game room complete with wood floors, drink ledge and pool table. Design by Carla Bast

5. Pops of Personality

Personality infused design is always a great idea in your basement! Show it with an interactive chalkboard wall, add beams for a rustic touch, or opt for shiplap to add texture to the space. Whatever you’re drawn to in design, the basement is the perfect place to let that style come through. Remember – if you’re intentional with the overall space, it’ll feel more like a used and loved part of your home instead of a just additional finished square footage.

Game Room with Arched Chalkboard Wall

A chalkboard transforms a blank wall into an interactive space in this family game room – perfect for tallying game scores, listing drink menus, and drawing welcome signs / Design by Carla Bast Design

Modern rustic basement bar with western-inspired vintage decor modern farmhouse wet bar
A modern farmhouse aesthetic takes a cue from the Wild West with infusions of rustic reclaimed wood and cowhide stools, making this basement bar a space that is fun and whimsical through and through. Perfect for our client’s horse rand home! Design by Carla Bast

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6. TV/Fireplace Feature Walls

Having a feature wall in your basement is not only visually stunning, but it’s also a great way to make the room functional. You can go for a fireplace, mount a TV, add shelves, or do a combo of all three. Whichever option you choose, a feature wall is important to help anchor the space, allowing you to position your furniture easily around it.

A white painted brick fireplace site 90 degrees of the TV wall for cozy vibes all evening. Design by Carla Bast

RELATED: Interior Design Styles Beyond “Farmhouse”

Nothing says cozy basement family room quite like a fireplace wall that adds architectural detail and warmth. Whether you opt for rustic stone, a farmhouse brick style or wood panels, basement fireplaces are the perfect way to make your basement feel welcoming.

Rustic fireplace with two chairs, metal fireplace surround frame, reclaimed wood, rustic wood shleves, black

A fireplace surrounded by open shelving is the feature wall in this basement and the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine / Design by Carla Bast Design

Imagine cuddling up next to a roaring fire with a good book in hand during those long winter months. Not only do basement fireplaces bring comfort and charm to the area, but they can also be used as focal points of design when combined with a large TV – creating the perfect spot for entertaining family and friends.

Paired with display shelves, the built-in cabinets in this fireplace feature wall allow the owners to easily tuck away any clutter or mess, keeping the space neat and organized. / Design by Sneak Peek Design
Paired with display shelves, the built-in cabinets in this fireplace feature wall allow the owners to easily tuck away any clutter or mess, keeping the space neat and organized. Design by Carla Bast

RELATED: Fireplace Feature Walls Ideas and Inspiration

7. Sport Courts

Why wait for summer to enjoy an outdoor at-home basketball game? A sport court is a great addition, and you’ve got a gym year-round. Transform your basement into the ultimate workout zone and I promise, it’s a great place for the whole family.

Sport Court for Indoor Hockey, viewing window overlooking sport court, spectator window
What’s the best way to stay in hockey shape year-round? Shooting pucks in your home gym! Design by Carla Bast
home-gym-sport-court and-game-room-loft
A two-story home gym sport court and loft for playing video games is an addition to the basement in this renovation. The height of the ceiling is optimal! Design by Carla Bast
A fitness loft overlooking the basement sport court addition is a great way to stay on track with your fitness goals! Design by Carla Bast

A brightly-lit sport court is the ultimate workout space in this home / Source

8. Home Theater Seating

Whether on a platform or level with the rest of the basement, theater seating is one of our favorite features. It makes movie nights an unforgettable experience and turns your basement into a prime entertainment zone for all of your family members. Just grab some popcorn, pour an ice-cold soda, and you’ve got a new favorite room that rivals the best movie theaters in town.

A drink ledge sits behind this basement’s theater seating, offering ample space for guests to mingle or pull up a seat to tune in to the show.
Reclining home theatre seats in this basement offer a front row view of the feature TV wall for a full entertainment experience / Design By Carla Bast
Theater seating, Iron Ore snack bar Home Theater, Home Theater Snack Bar
Design by Carla Bast

Creating a home theater in your basement is a great way to make family movie nights even more fun. By transforming your space into a stadium seating-style theater, you can ensure that there’s plenty of comfortable seating for everyone in your house! Creating a separate room within the basement is also ideal, as it will help to minimize noise and other distractions while you watch your favorite films.

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Design by Carla Bast

If you’re feeling ambitious, why not turn your home theater into an experience by adding elements like a snack bar or popcorn machine? The possibilities are endless!

RELATED: Home Theater Ideas and Inspiration

So, how do you like my most popular basement features? Comment below and let me know what special features you’ve included in your interior design for your basement.

Ready to start your own basement remodeling project? Be sure to check out my 5 Tips to a Stress-Free Remodel


Hi, I’m Carla


I’m glad you’re here! You are in the right place if you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a remodeling or interior design project. Living with an outdated home and don’t know where to start? I’ve helped families like yours update their home and create spaces that reflect what’s important to them for over 25 years.

I’ve been honored to be featured in:

Real Homes

The Spruce

Apartment Therapy / Cubby

Twin Cities Luxury + Fashion

MSP Magazine

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Home Crux


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