Best use / design of finished basement living space
June 29, 2014 7:39 AM   Subscribe

What should we do with this newly opened up space in our finished basement?

Our house has a large finished walk-out basement. When we bought the house, the previous owner tossed in the bar and pool table for "free". At first this seemed like a great deal. After living in the house for over 5 years, however, we realized the bar was taking up too much space (it had to be placed 2 feet out from the wall to use both sides of it) and the pool table was rarely used for anything other than holding laundry waiting to be folded.

The good news is that we were able to give the bar and pool table to a friend - hooray!

But, um, now what? Help me figure out what to do with this now empty space in our home! Interior decorating / design is so not my thing. The space is part of a great room of sorts. It's an open, long rectangular space with an outside wall that has full-size windows. The left half the room holds our big screen TV, game systems, a sofa and love seat. The remaining space is, you know, large enough to hold a bar and pool table. Ceilings are average height (no stooping necessary). Whatever we end up doing, the space needs to allow for some traffic flow as there are rooms on either end that get used. A major construction project isn't in the cards right now (but maybe later?). For now, we just need some furnishings to give the space a purpose. I've spent some time searching basement layouts, almost all of which seem to include the standard TV area, bar and pool table. But what if we don't want a pool table?

More info / guidelines:

- Home areas we do not need: tv watching spaces, office spaces, anything devoted to children, library type spaces.

- We do NOT want another pool table, or any other specialized gaming table - foosball, ping pong or other.

- Our house is short on useable storage spaces, so anything that could potentially add storage is a plus.

- We definitely want to replace the bar, but maybe with something a little more compact.

- Additional seating of some sort would be nice, but as stated above, the room already holds a sofa and love seat in front of the TV.

- We both workout at home, but I'm not thrilled about the idea of turning this space into a dedicated gym space, I think. We don't have treadmills or other machines, and it's such an open space I feel like a gym would be an eyesore. I would be open to a way to store home gym equipment that doesn't scream THIS IS A GYM, though.

- We do play tabletop games fairly often, so maybe a table and chairs? Or a table with benches? Round or rectangular table? For those of you that play tabletop games, what kind of space would be most comfortable for this use?

Any other potential purposes for this space I'm overlooking?
posted by geeky to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Caged pets such as reptiles, rodents or fish.
Or a table for a castAr virtual reality game system.
posted by Sophont at 8:39 AM on June 29, 2014

If looks aren't tremendously important in that area you might maximize your storage potential with heavy duty shelving and storage bins along two walls. There would probably still be plenty of game table room, and canvas covers could civilize them for company.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 10:34 AM on June 29, 2014

Hammocks. Hang hammocks from the ceiling, or get ones with stands (I can recommend this model). Paint a mural of a beach at sunset. Have reading tables by the hammocks. Make sure you have a blender on the replacement bar.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:11 AM on June 29, 2014

Is there a bathroom in the basement? With minimum carpentry work, you could add a guest bedroom. Depending on where a bathroom is/might be, I'd move your 'family room' to where you currently have the unused portion, then construct a guest bedroom that looks out onto the walk-out area.
posted by matty at 11:22 AM on June 29, 2014

Sara Richardson filmed this decorating segment on a basement with storage elements that may fulfil your requirements. She used Ikea kitchen pantry cabinets, mounted back-to-back so that storage is available on both sides of the unit. Although the video may not be available to you (I cannot access it here for some reason) the photo may give you an idea of how this sort of storage looks.
Add a bar cart and a bistro table with chairs, and you're set.
posted by MyTwoCentsToo at 1:51 PM on June 29, 2014

Thanks guys! You've given me some good things to consider. I definitely want to try incorporate some sort of shelving or cabinet space for extra storage. And I never would have thought of hammocks, but my husband will LOVE that idea! haha

@matty, There is already a bedroom (though it's used as a music room now) and full bathroom in the basement :)
posted by geeky at 6:36 AM on June 30, 2014

And one addition - a friend outside of MeFi suggested getting one of these gaming tables from Geek Chic. That would be *perfect* ... if we were swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck. Sadly, we need a more affordable option. But if any rich geeks happen upon this thread...
posted by geeky at 11:34 AM on June 30, 2014

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