Many people hate basements because they’re often so dark and dreary due to the lack of windows. But with a little creativity, you can make your basement a warm and inviting place where you’ll love to spend time.
Obviously, the most distinctive feature of a basement living area is lack of windows. But if you think about it, there are some other indoor areas that lack windows and yet can be extraordinarily inviting: Think sets. Movies, stage, or tv.
Dressing a stage has been refined to an art form. On an old episode of Xena, the set design featured an oriental style room with rice paper walls. It glittered, and was so beautifully lit. The lights were behind the rice
paper screens, and along the inside of some decorative upright beams. It was just lovely. Xena often has low cost, but very attractive sets.
Another idea from a show that is set in an indoor space without windows is DS-9. They do an attractive lighting technique by putting spot light in the ceiling, but behind a grid. The grid casts intriqueing shadows down on the characters.
It seems that an important feature is indirect light, typically behind something, and many lights at different levels. Ground lights, vertical lights, and even ceiling light if it gets special treatment.
- Consider adding lots of draperies with lights behind and alongside the drapes to warm up the walls. Show as little bare wall as possible, and use a faux finish paint to look like ancient plaster or similar for walls that do show
- Basements often have lower ceilings, removing track lighting from your options. In these cases, it’s best to have indirect general-purpose lighting, perferably dimable (this usually means no fluorescent lighting).
- Think a pool table is in your basement’s future? Don’t forget you’ll need bright lighting over that area.
Another idea is to tap the brains of your local Progress Lighting store. They often have good ideas that can be specific to your room setup. Keep in mind that you might not want to buy the lighting at the Progress Lighting store itself, though, as better deals can be found on Progress Lighting on the internet. (Which brings me to another key point — you can look and touch and ask questions in a physical store, but that doesn’t need you need to buy there. Window shop offline, but always remember that the web is an invaluable source for great deals on not only your lighting needs, but almost every product sold under the sun.)