Double Duty Rooms – Creating a Multifunctional Basement Family Room

by Rachel Laurendeau on January 15, 2013

Basement family rooms or rec rooms are, by their nature, multi-purpose rooms. There are endless combinations of purposes for family rooms; here are some ideas to help you get just the right mix for your family.

Protect your investment. No matter what the uses of your basement, if you are planning on finishing or remodeling it, make sure that it is dry before you start. Basement waterproofing can prevent water damage, mold growth and improve your home’s structural integrity.

Think ahead and plan use zones. Often, the family room ends up being a big rectangle with a jumble of activities and expectations. If you plan out the intended uses of the space, you can create different zones for those uses.

Create appropriate storage in the separate zones. For example, if the family room is used for grown-up TV watching and entertaining as well as a children’s playroom, make sure that there is sufficient storage and shelving for the media equipment well out of reach of prying little fingers. Additionally, having plenty of organized toy storage will ensure that this doubles as a space that the adults can enjoy when the kids are asleep.

Delineate the different zones. Using strategic furniture placement, building a half-wall or pony wall or using a room divider or screen are a few creative ways to separate the space. The benefit of screens and dividers is that they can be easily moved to open up the space as needed.

Light it up! Make sure that the individual zones have appropriate lighting. Recessed lights are good for general overhead lighting and by putting them on dimmers you can create the right ambiance for entertaining or movie watching. Task lighting above a craft table, pendant lights above a bar area, spot lights to highlight an art wall and table or floor lamps for reading areas are just a few ideas to get your started.

Make up a family schedule or set of rules. If your family room also doubles as a study space or home office, you may need to create a simple schedule or set of rules to ensure that study or work time does not get interrupted by other activities.

For more ideas on basement finishing or remodeling and creating the perfect double-duty or multifunctional space, talk to your local home improvement expert.

Related blog articles: Double Duty Rooms – The Home Office and Guest Room and Double Duty Rooms – Marrying the Hobby Room and Children’s Study Room.

What functions does your basement family room serve? Tell us about them in our comments section below?

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