Lighting Up A Basement Apartment

Well, the price was right, but a basement apartment—so dark, so creepy—how can you possibly live in such murky gloom? Don't worry, new renter of a basement dwelling. We have just the tips you need to transform your dungeon-like digs into something remarkable. Your penthouse-dwelling friends are going to be green with envy.

Bleached Wood

Start by honing in on an inspirational idea for your decorating theme. Keep in mind that not all cave-like spaces with low ceilings and few or no windows are dread-inducing. Think of those places that seem warm and cozy, like that appealing little bistro in Paris with all the dark wood surfaces, candlelight, and chic black leather-wearing customers or perhaps the underground home of Benjamin Bunny, that delightful character from the eponymous Beatrix Potter tale in which soft gray bunnies and a bunny mom sit near a bleached wooden-slatted table, mom wearing a blue dress, white cotton apron, and with red knitting wool in hand.

The next step may be the most obvious: play up light sources however possible. If you do have a window, accent it so that eyes are drawn there. Frame the window with floor-to-ceiling drapes, or stand a mirror on the opposite wall to reflect and magnify precious sunlight. Purchase lots of lighting fixtures and think about adding a sun lamp, too!

Warm Palette

Choose colors from a warm palette to add light and warmth and use them in whatever fabrics and furnishings you purchase. Rugs are a great way to bring in color and warmth and can also hide the usual basement apartment carpeting which tends toward hideous. Don't neglect to use candles as a source of color, light, and warmth.

Keep the overall look of the furniture spare. You want items with clean lines. A well-stuffed sofa will make your room like a crowded teenaged basement hangout. If you choose sleek furniture, no matter whether you like antiques or modern items, they'll show up in greater relief and lend an air of sophistication.

Incorporate natural elements into your design to breathe life into your dwelling space. Houseplants not only look green and outdoorsy, but can help freshen up the dank and musty air of a basement apartment.

Tall Bookcases

Take stock and use the elements at hand. If there's a low ceiling, you can put in a couple of very tall bookcases to give the illusion of a high ceiling. Are there exposed pipes? Think about shooting for an industrial-looking space that combines technology with chic. Make the most of what you have!