How to Make the Basement More Liveable

How to Make the Basement More Liveable

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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The basement is often overlooked or not looked into enough in terms of liveable space. But many basements throughout the country do not live up to their full potential when it comes to being a fully-functioning and fully-liveable space. However, with just a few small, but effective steps, you can turn your basement into a great room for all kinds of activities, relaxation, or even a guest room for whenever you have people over.

The key is to understand the purpose of your basement and how it's going to function. Do you want it to be a rec room? Perhaps a lounge? Or perhaps one of your kids is getting older and needs a more separate space for their hobbies and interests.

Whatever you may be looking to do with your basement, some comforts are mandatory in turning it into a great living space.


The most fundamental step of comfort in a living space starts with the air you breathe. After all, if the air in the basement is stale, musky, and humid, no matter how comfortable the furniture is, you’re not going to have a pleasant time staying down there.

Maintain the level of humidity in the air by purchasing a dehumidifier. This device will suck up the humid air, separate it from the moisture, and output fresh and crisp air, perfect for breathing. This will not only eliminate that uncomfortable humid sensation that is so prevalent in basements but will reduce musky odors.

If any odors remain in the basement, consider airing out the room by opening up all the windows and doors. Pick a particularly windy day so the flow of air will carry the bad odors along with it. If possible, leave the windows and doors open overnight to get as much draft throughout the day as possible. You could also put in a few fans, preferably industrial ones, to help control the airflow and air out the basement more efficiently.


The best way to ensure comfort in any room is to check up on the electricity. Oftentimes, neglected basements have a problem with lighting fixtures and outlets, as many homeowners don’t pay much attention to whether or not they work.

If you have guests staying over, they need all the light they can get, considering how basements rarely get much natural light through the windows. Before you bring in furniture or any other living essentials, you need to ensure that there is enough light in the basement. Check each light fixture, change the lightbulbs to bright and energy-efficient ones, and if any of the sockets are broken, make sure to hire a professional electrician to fix them.

It’s also important that all the outlets are working. This way you can bring appliances into the basement and allow your guests or anyone else who’s staying in the basement to charge their phones or connect their computer to the power.


A very tricky part about basements is accessibility. Broken stairs, loose floorboards, and a messy interior could jeopardize the comfort of anyone staying in the room. So, in order to create maximum comfort inside the basement, fix up any loose flooring or stairs to ensure no one has trouble getting in and going out of the basement.

It’s also very easy to create a messy interior inside the basement. Since not as many people go into the basements, it’s common to lose track of the organization in the room and have clutter all over the place. Winter clothes, old toys, broken furniture, and everything else in between can all contribute to the amount of clutter inside the basement.

To open up a room in the basement, start by decluttering the room. Get all your items into a single big pile and start sorting them into three smaller ones: need, don’t need, donations, and trash. Start sifting through items one by one to see which ones need to be kept in the room. Those stay in the basement. Don’t need items to go into storage for later use. Donations and trash are self-explanatory.

Do this with everything, from furniture to smaller miscellaneous items and you should clear up a ton of space inside the basement. Ensure that everything is in its place and that everything has a place. This way you not only reduce the clutter in the room but also create a more seamless room flow that will allow those staying in the basement to move around without any difficulty. You could even map out the room to understand where each piece of furniture should be so no corner of the basement is left inaccessible.


Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.