When choosing a space to create a quiet home office the gloomy but secluded basement can start to look pretty attractive. In this article I go through some basement office ideas focusing how to transform a dark drab space to a cozy focus zone.
Basement office lighting ideas
One of the most impactful ideas in transforming your basement into an office will be creating a sense of warmth and natural light. Most basements lack any form of natural light, cool light bulbs mimic the natural daylight so will help create an alert, focused vibe ideal for working in.
The brightness of a light bulb is measured in lumens. When choosing a light bulb for the basement office look for 500 lumens or greater. Avoid using florescent lighting. The Guardian reported that fluorescents were designed to be used for temporary emergency factory lighting in the second world war and can have negative impacts on mood when used for extended periods of time.
An additional desk light will help focus light where you most need it. If you have the office desk facing the wall and there is no natural light you’ll likely get a shadow across your working area.
How to brighten a basement office
- Choose cool rather than warm light to mimic natural sunlight
- Use a light paint colour for the walls
- Choose gloss surfaces ie desktop and coffee table and to enhance and reflect light sources
- Hang a large mirror to bounce light and add the illusion of a window
- Add wall art in vibrant colours. This can be as simple as stapling a beautiful printed fabric onto a blank canvas
Basement office idea #11 : Use plants to create a low budget wall feature, dont forget the grow light if there are no windows.
How to make a basement office cozy
- Hang long draping curtains or use room dividers if the basement is also used for storage to section off your basement office area.
- Have a place to sit other than the desk; a lounge and coffee table where you can have a coffee and write or work on your laptop.
- Add a scented candle, oil burner or diffuser.
- Create a gallery wall or hang a piece of art you love
- Plants; Devils ivy is an awesome hardy indoor plant that can grow in a simple jar of water. Add a grow light if there are no windows. Normal led lights won’t help plants, these don’t have enough of the red and blue frequency that plants require when away from natural sunlight.
Basement office idea #10 : Create a gallery wall to make the space more cozy. The reflectivity of the glass will also help enhance light in the room.
Best Basement Office Colours
Painting the walls a lighter colour can make a huge improvement to the vibe of a basement office.
In a study published in the international journal of data science and analytics , people’s response to light regulation, materials and colours were studied. It was found that most people felt that warm colours make a space feel small while light, cool colours (i.e light blue) promote a sense of space and calm.
Another study looked at the effect of colour on memory and attention, both important factors for any office. This study found that a neutral base colours with a contrasting hue helped with promoting attention i.e a cool white tone with a pop of blue or green. Blue is generally considered to assist with focus.
How to make an office in an unfinished basement
An unfinished basement is usually missing the basics that make a room in the house comfortable. This might mean un plastered walls, concrete floors or a lack of heating system. With a bit of time and thought you can work with and around these problems to create a comfortable office from an unfinished basement.
A floor rug is an obvious choice if the floor is concrete but if you need to cover a big area and this is too much for the budget then consider carpet tiles. These are relatively cheap, robust and easy to install.
If the walls are un plastered lucky you! Exposed brick or wooden frame can be an awesome design feature to work with. If the brick is dark or ugly give it a coat of plaint, white wash or a rough coat of plaster where the brick work still shows through. Exposed wall frames can be used as additional shelving for small items like diffusers, stationary or art.
Basement office idea #15 : To make an office in an unfinished basement give the exposed brick a coat of paint. This will also help brighten up the room.
Budget Basement Office
Thrifting, up-cyling and DIY are your friend when it comes to budget basement office ideas.
Instead of buying a new desk consider DIY. A range of desk legs can be purchased fairly cheap and assembled with a simple bench top. Take a look at this article where I talk about creating a DIY desk using industrial pre-fabricated desk legs. The desk top top can be thrifted, up-cycled, a wooden slab or simple melamine desktop purchased from a hardware store or Ikea.
To add warmth to the space look for a second hand rug that is large enough to extend under the front half of the desk and the full area you’ll need to move the chair. Nothing more annoying than office chair wheels getting caught on the edge of a rug every time your chair is pulled out!
Basement office idea #16 : To create a basement office on a budget up-cycle a second hand desk by giving it a coat of paint.