31 Creative Small Basement Ideas & Design Tips (with Pictures) | House Grail (2023)

31 Creative Small Basement Ideas & Design Tips (with Pictures) | House Grail (1)

The basement is an often-overlooked area of the home that you can easily turn into something useful with a little effort. If you have a smaller sized basement that you are finishing and are looking for some ideas for what to do with it, we have you covered. We’ve searched the internet for as many ideas as we could find to help get you started. We’ve also included a short section with design tips to help you choose the best options for your basement.

Join us while we look at appliances, accessories, flooring, and more to help you design the perfect basement.31 Creative Small Basement Ideas & Design Tips (with Pictures) | House Grail (2)

31 Creative Small Basement Ideas & Design Tips

1. Extra Space

The Extra Space basement design includes a small kitchenette that you can use to make snacks while watching television on the small loveseat. There’s plenty of room for you and a guest, and the end tables give you somewhere to store your drinks. Wood panel flooring is attractive and cozy.

2. Home Tree Atlas

The Home Tree Atlas design shows you how to make the most of limited space by building your entertainment center below the stairs. There’s plenty of room for storage and the television with this design and plenty of lighting.

3. Sunset

The sunset design is a very simple way to add plenty of storage space to your small basement. The idea essentially creates three walk-in closet style areas. It has shelves on the top and drawers on the bottom. It makes a perfect place to store video games, books, music CDs, and much more. The doors close to conceal the item and provide a clean, sleek appearance.

4. Morning Chores

The Morning Chores design shows you how to convert a small basement into a bedroom, complete with bunk beds and fold down wooden window covers.

5. Room Dsign

Room Dsign shows us how we can get more out of limited space with a foldaway table. It’s large enough for at least two people and folds down when you don’t need it to free up the area and reduce clutter.

6. Ideal Home

Ideal Home shows us another way to use the area below our basement steps by adding a desk and several cabinets and shelves. You place the shelving overhead and behind you for maximum storage. This small office space has a tiny footprint and plenty of room for books and decorations.

7. Lisa Rotge

The Lisa Rotge design shows us how to turn a small basement into a child’s playroom. This playhouse with slide will make any small child happy and put your basement to good use. Paneled flooring provides a comfortable atmosphere, and you can also add accessories, like colorful beanbags, to enjoy your time with your child more comfortable.

8. Home Designing

Home Designing shows us how to make the most of our small basement with wooden ceilings and attractive track lighting. It also includes wine storage and a small desk.

9. Robert Abbey

The Robert Abbey design shows us how to use track curtains to section off the basement into separate rooms, providing you with an extra bedroom and lounge space.

10. Regina Burnett

Regina Burnett shows us how to turn a tiny space into a massive wine cellar with this design. Though it looks complex, it only requires a few boards, nails, and some stain. You can make it any size you want and can include a place to pour your drinks as well.

11. Stylist Magazine

The Stylist Magazine provides us with another desk under the stairs design. This idea gives us a long sturdy desk perfect for any small business. Overhead shelves and under the counter cabinets provide plenty of storage space.

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12. Beth Davidson

Beth Davidson shows how we can improve any small basement with a simple coat of paint. In this example, the checkerboard floor and green walls bring back the feel-good days of the 1950s, and the lighting accents it further. You’ll be dancing to the oldies as you do the laundry.

13. Canadian Home Trends

If you follow the Canadian Home Trends design, you can add an extra bathroom to your home, which is very handy if you have children or spend a lot of time in the basement. This idea uses modern components to give it an even more attractive look, but it will still be quite functional with the standard accessories.

14. Blue I Style

The blue I Style design recommends using the small space in your basement for an elliptical machine or maybe an exercise bike. Fitness equipment can help improve your health, and in the basement, it will be out of the way.

15. Decoist

Decoist suggests using the small basement as an extra bedroom. Some paint, carpeted floors, and some shelving can create a great living space. Overhead lights on the bed make it easy to read before you fall asleep.

16. Mikell Smith

Mikell Smith shows us how to turn our bathroom into an extremely attractive two-person shower space. Black tile on the floor and wall is durable, water-resistant, and easy to install. Black shelving supplies plenty of storage space for towels.

17. Liliana Tovar King

If people enter your home through the basement, this Liliana Tovar King idea is perfect. It adds a shelf and a bench to the entryway so people can stop and hang their coats and store their shoes while they visit. As they leave, the bench will provide them with an easy way to put their shoes back on.

18. Go DIY Go

The Go DIY Go design provides you with a cozy way to read or watch television with this under the stairs couch, complete with lighting. Multiple shelves will store plenty of books, so they are always at your disposal.

19. April Seitz

If you are looking for a practical way to use your basement space, the April Seitz design is perfect. It creates under the stairs shelving for storing canned goods and other similar items. It’s also one of the simplest designs on this list so far.

20. Architecture & Design

Architechure & Design show us how we can make the most of our small basement with a laminate floor cover, smart use of furniture placement, and some clever use of the space below our stairs to create storage space and a small room.

21. Dan Flores Redlin

If you have enough space, Dan Flores Redlin recommends installing a home bar for your personal use. It’s not difficult to create and doesn’t require as much room as you might think. You can also add other amenities like a stove and a fridge to increase comfort.

22. Sara Franus

Sara Franus shows us how we can install a full bathroom, complete with a shower, and sliding glass doors. Adding a bathroom can be a huge benefit if you have a large family or feel that your regular bathroom is too small. Even small basements are bigger than the typical bathroom.

23. Elizabeth True Hopkins

The Elizabeth True Hopkins design uses wooden panels to cover the walls and create shelves for storage. A carpeted floor, some furniture, and a television stand are all that you need for complete comfort.

24. Donette Ambrosy

The Donette Ambrosy design turns the area under your stairs into file cabinet like shelving. You can pull out each cabinet as you need it, and you can stores toys, business documents, or other personal belongings.

25. HGTV

The HGTV design is quite simple, and you may be able to build it yourself in only a few hours if you have the lumber and tools. You can make these attractive box shelves to any size to fit perfectly under your stairs. You can even make some larger and some smaller to hold different items.

26. Terry Blake

The Terry Blake design is another bathroom idea that uses easier to find components. This half bath is small but will come in handy if you have a large family or don’t want to make the trek upstairs several times a day.

27. Samantha Olga

Samantha Olga gets the most out of the laundry area with shelving and stands. This design keeps all of your detergents neat and provides you with plenty of space to store folded clothes. It’s also one of the simpler designs on this list and is easy to replicate.

28. Red Huntress

The Red Huntress is a deceptively simple design that only requires adding a bookshelf and a dresser for plenty of out of the way storage space. Some overhead lighting makes it easy to find what you need.

29. Charmed Revival

The Charmed Revival design is an ingenious idea that turns the area under your stairs into dresser-like drawers. The drawers slide open and shut like traditional furniture and are attractive and functional.

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30. Tracy Neighbors

The Tracy Neighbors design turns the area under your stairs into a small office. It’s complete with a desk and overhead shelving to store your materials. There are also cabinets below the desk and behind you.

31. Vita Viktoria

The Vita Viktoria is another design that places a couch under the stairs for the perfect reading space for one or more people. Plenty of shelf space guarantees enough room for your books.31 Creative Small Basement Ideas & Design Tips (with Pictures) | House Grail (3)

Design Tips

This section will discuss some of the things you should consider before you start on your improvements.

Building Codes

You will need to check with your local laws before installing some appliances. You may need to install ventilation smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, sprinklers, and more, especially if you intend to install a stove or other heating device.


You will need to install ventilation if you install a stove or oven, but you will also need ventilation if you install a shower or a toilet. It will keep humidity down and help remove odors. You will also require ventilation if you smoke.


Lighting is essential to any makeover, and you will need plenty of it in a dark basement with tiny windows. Many types of lighting can improve the atmosphere as well as light the way. Plan your lighting early on for the best results.


One problem that almost every basement design will need to face is humidity. Since the basement is below ground, it will naturally have more humidity than anywhere else in your home. This moisture can cause mold and mildew to form, and it can also warp your wood shelves and panels. It’s also bad for electronics and metals. Before you sink a lot of money into a renovation, it’s important to decide how you will keep it dry. Dehumidifiers work the best, but you may need more than one to maintain acceptable levels. We recommend purchasing a humidity gauge, so there is no guessing involved, and it would be a good idea to test your ability to control the humidity before you get started renovating.


Make sure you measure everything closely, so you know how much space you have. You don’t want to add a drop ceiling and then need to duck or purchase an appliance that doesn’t fit where you thought it would. If you need access to gas lines or water lines, make sure you know how much pipe or hose you need long before the time comes. The planning stage is the most important.

31 Creative Small Basement Ideas & Design Tips (with Pictures) | House Grail (4)


When getting creative with your basement, we recommend starting small. Get it dried out and see if you enjoy being there. Get an old tv and a couple of chairs and spend a few weeks hanging out. You will naturally see ways to improve it that you might not have thought of if you weren’t actively using it. Once you get started, there are plenty of great ideas on this list that we hope will give you some inspiration.

If we have answered your questions and helped improve your home, please share these 31 creative small basement ideas on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: Artazum, Shutterstock


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