farmhouse style basement remodeling ideas, wooden trays, storage ideas, basement decorating Farmhouse Style Basement Remodel

Who would have ever thought that when my friends Amy and Guy asked me to design their upcoming basement remodel that it would become my most popular project to date!  I am so excited to be partnering with Extra Space Storage today and share creative ways to maximize your space. Here are my 10 tips for gaining space and solving a whole lot of storage problems. Let’s dive into how you can turn untapped square footage into a stylish functional living space with 10 of the best basement ideas!

1. Maximize Square Footage in Basement

Once we found out that the small closet and post that closed off under the stairs was not load bearing we opened it all up and built a cozy little reading nook.  Not only is is a quiet place to hang out but the twin bed platform is perfect for sleepovers. The before was dark, small and blocked light to the nearby bathroom. 

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2. Ideas for Creating a Drop Zone

Collect and keep organized anything important you need before you head out the door. Hooks, wall pockets and a mail organizer hold important papers, mail, and keys. We tucked in  a small open bench seat for putting on/taking off shoes and boots. In addition, the seat is a drop zone for groceries, sports bags and purses. A wire basket holds house shoes and slippers. 

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 We opened the separating wall as far as we could without interfering with plumbing to allow as much natural light as possible to flood in. Just beyond the entry an awkward small space with low clearance becomes a closet with doors. Rather than having several small area carpets we had a custom commercial grade carpet cut and bound to stop all dirt and snow before entering the main room.

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3. Designated Personal Spaces

Amy and Guy’s three boys all participate in multiple sports so there is a fair share of sporting equipment, backpacks, and shoes. It was important to keep everyone’s belongings separate. In their basement remodel each family member got their own cubby.  All cubbies have multiple hooks for backpacks and jackets, a space below for boots and shoes, and a top shelf with a personalized basket for hats, mittens, and electronics. A large wire basket contains extra sporting equipment. 

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4. Small but Stylish Entertaining

It doesn’t take much to carve out space for entertaining.  It was a long way upstairs to get something to drink so removing this closet and replacing it with a small dry bar kitchenette with a beverage refrigerator was the way to go. This 6 foot span may be small on space but far from small on style. Custom made cabinetry with metal mesh doors and interior lights give a glow and cast graphic shadows to the interior.  A trip to the granite supplier paid off with a remnant soapstone counter and multi faceted hexagon tiles bounce light and highlight the countertop and barware. 

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5. Compact Dining and Workspace

Amy, Guy, and the boys needed a space to eat, watch TV and do homework. We eliminated the space that a large table and chairs take up and created this counter bar height pub table that snugs up to the back of the sectional. Four rustic farmhouse inspired stools tuck neatly under the table for when not in use.   This basement remodel spot gets used a lot on football game days! These basement ideas can also be used in the main living area.

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6. Repurpose Useful Furniture 

Sometimes you have just the right piece of furniture but it might need some TLC. We updated this hand-me-down sofa table of Amy’s and gave it a fresh coat of white paint. It’s conveniently tucked it in between the kitchenette and dining bar. Most importantly, it is an ideal spot to serve snacks, organize entertaining essentials and and keep any miscellaneous items at neat and contained.

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7. Sneak in Drawers

I’ve never heard anyone say that they have too much storage in a basement remodel . Get creative when looking for basement ideas for extra spaces to stash away items. Instead of opting for a box spring for this daybed area I designed a platform bed with drawers. These extra deep drawers hold all the boys video games, books, extra blankets and linens for sleepover parties.  TIP:  In a nearby closet stash a rolling cart containing small game pieces and art supplies. Pull out and you’ll have everything at hand. 

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8. Message Center Gallery Wall

The days of the ordinary chalkboard for messaging is long gone. Now getting your message across has never been more fun. There was a thermostat smack dab in the middle of a small wall as soon as you came down the stairs. I camouflaged it by creating a gallery wall using a light up white board bubble quote, a magnetic pencil holder, whimsical art, plaques and a message board. 

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9. Eliminate Door Swings with Sliding Barn Doors

The space that a door takes up to swing can pose challenges with a rooms flow and furniture placement. Spaces get congested and some doors just stay open most of the time. We not only added style but saved space by adding this sliding barn door to the weight room at the bottom of the stairs. Barn door hardware is affordable and add a unique look while breaking up a wall or room filled with identical looking doors. 

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10. Contain Clutter with Baskets, Boxes, and Trays

Today containing clutter has never been more stylish. I layered on texture with embossed copper and wooden trays, fabric covered boxes, and wicker and wire baskets. I always include a tray in my designs. They are a way to add color AND functionality. We used this global inspired tray and keep it on a gray linen tufted ottoman.  When we need more seating the tray gets moved to the bar. It also is a perfect place to store all the gaming pieces, magazines, coasters and remotes. 

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When its time to host a gathering all the placements, linens, serving pieces and flatware are all in one convenient spot. 

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Prior to this renovation it was tough to get the boys and their friends to spend time downstairs. Now there’s more than enough room for everyone in the family to have their own space to sprawl out and enjoy. Like a challenging puzzle, designing a useful basement takes time and thoughtful preparation. Tapping into your existing square footage and transforming it into a family friendly space takes creativity but can be achievable with smart planing and a creative team of contractors. In need of more storage solutions or beautiful spaces? For more basement remodeling ideas visit the Extra Space Storage blog or head on over to their Instagram feed for loads of inspirations and feel free to leave a comment with any questions or useful basement ideas that you have incorporated into your basement! 

xox Amie

basement with boys playing video games

Super awesome photography by Kristin Lynn Photo + Design.

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  1. Reply


    October 23, 2018

    LOVE!!! Love all of it…… someday my basement will look like this…..

    • Reply


      October 24, 2018

      It sure will Nancy! I can’t wait to get started on your renovation! Bring it on!

  2. Reply

    Kelly Elko

    October 24, 2018

    This is a dream basement! I love the way you put so much function into the space.

    • Reply


      October 24, 2018

      Thank you so much Kelly! I seriously love this space so much. Function and FUN! xo

  3. Reply


    October 24, 2018

    Fantastic tips and an incredible space Amie! Definitely ‘borrowing’ a few ideas here.

    • Reply


      October 24, 2018

      Go right ahead. We just need to find you some barstools before the kids graduate! LOL!

  4. Reply

    Kelly Cameron

    January 9, 2019

    Beautiful remodel… I just recently did our basement! I still need the stair railings done. Do you have more pictures of what you have done here? It looks like good inspiration for me!

  5. Reply

    Linda@Flushing toilet

    January 14, 2019

    Great & phenomenal article. Just love all the designs & idea here. Keep this up.

  6. Reply

    Susan Catalano

    February 5, 2019

    What is the name of the wood used for the tv wall and where is it from?

  7. Reply


    February 21, 2019

    Looks fantastic! What are the dimensions of the cubbies? My family of four is in dire need of something like this!

    • Reply


      February 21, 2019

      Hi there! Each cubby is 24 inches wide and approximately 11 inches deep. The seat is around 12 deep. Hope that helps.

  8. Reply

    Interior Designer Blake Riley

    July 5, 2020

    This is the best basement remodel ever! It looks sooo good!!!! Floor, wall paint, lightening everything is just perfect!

  9. Reply


    July 8, 2020

    Where is the sofa pub table from? It’s exactly what we’re looking for!

    • Reply


      July 8, 2020

      Hi There! It was custom made. There is a link in the blog post to the renovation part of the basement with a link to the guy who built it along with the railing. Are you local to Rochester?

  10. Reply


    November 20, 2021

    Beautiful work! Can you share the name of the paint color for the walls and also what flooring is that? Everything looks gorgeous and so functional!

  11. Reply


    April 8, 2022

    Hello, I’m wondering if the trim pieces used on the wall (where it meets the ceiling) are the same width as the trim pieces used on the ceiling, We did something similar and there are a few gaps where I think caulk won’t cut it so we are exploring options for a filler piece around the perimeter of the room.

    • Reply


      April 10, 2022

      HI Sara- Thanks for your email. yes this are the same piece. If your space is wider than 1/2 inch I would explore using a smaller trim piece. The bigger the moulding the shorter the room looks when dealing with basement remodels. Unless you have a new home with taller ceilings. This is an older Tudor home so the ceiling hight was not big. Good luck!

  12. Reply


    September 15, 2022

    Do you have any advice on what to do about putting a sink and dishwasher in an unfinished basement? I do not like to cut into the concrete and run a pipe to existing sewer lines. Is there a pump I can install to get gray water to toe into PVC in the ceiling?

    • Reply


      September 15, 2022

      hi there! There are some up flush and pump products out there that I have used.

  13. Reply

    Doris Dimas

    January 17, 2023

    Beautiful work! Can you please tell me the color of the paint used for the dry bar cabinets? I love it!!!

    • Reply


      February 7, 2023

      Hi there! It is functional gray by SW 7024. Love that color!

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