Is a $100 basement makeover still possible? Basements can be a great place to escape the hottest heat of summer. They are also usually the warmest spots in winter. If you are lucky enough to have a basement but it’s just a clutter-hole, here’s how to reclaim that important space for yourself or your kids. Even if you don’t have money or appetite for a big renovation, a change like this $100 basement makeover might be just the ticket.
My Clutter-free Facebook Group is focusing on basements this month, so I wanted to feature my own low-budget basement makeover.
Yes, I, too, have a basement that is unfinished and mostly storage. In an old house, it can sometimes be better to leave the guts of the house exposed to deal with upgrades and repairs that happen over time. With the right budget, construction and contractor, you can turn an old basement into a beautiful media room like this one, but you also don’t have to go that far.
Our basement makeover was just a bid to give our kids another space to hang out, but I wasn’t investing a big budget unless they really were going to use the space. More on that at the end. Here is the storage end of my basement when we started, filled with a mix of business supplies, toys, seasonal decor, and yes, even empty boxes for some of our electronics.
We toured a house for sale last year, and the kids were ready to move in just because it had a nice (but cheaply renovated) basement. I bet them that we could turn our space into a teen hangout for about $100.
The $100 Basement Makeover
Organizing was the first step to this basement makeover, as it almost always is. I moved those oh-so-useful storage shelves to the middle of the room, chopping our long basement in two, and designating the back half for storage. I wanted to show off the brick column as a design element, so I used curtains already on hand to create the separation.
This is obviously not the most glamorous basement makeover ever, but you can make almost any space better with a plan, even a basement laundry room like this one I showed you last year. Reminder: I did not paint this basement yet AND I was re-using as much as possible, including these cotton curtains, which are hiding shelves.
The kids wanted a black and gray theme. You probably know that white and black are a hot color combo right now. Even so, my budget called for using the last few FLOR tiles from our family room flooring update a few years ago instead of installing new flooring over concrete. I still love how my family room floor turned out, easy care and lively. These FLOR tiles are perfect for basement floors.
We droped off donations from the organizing part of the project, and that’s where I spied an IKEA metal locker in the Goodwill donation area. It hadn’t even been tagged for sale yet. I came back later in the day to pick it up for just $15. Most people don’t know that if you contact IKEA’s customer care, they will mail you missing parts for furniture, even if you didn’t buy it new. I only needed some pegs for the shelves, and it was as good as new. I still might paint it, which is easy to do with a sturdy metal piece like this. It’s perfect for storing games.
I didn’t just donate things. I also sold two items, including a car-top cargo carrier and a brand new travel golf bag cover, each for $50 cash.
I’ve had this old rustic chest for a million years and thought this would be the perfect put-your-feet-up piece. One of the kids added some casters. Rather than paint it, I topped it with a faux fur rug for a little fun and comfort.
I found a nearly-new futon online. It is truly not my style, but it’s kind of perfect for getting down narrow stairs and (hopefully) someone’s first apartment in a few years. Word to the wise, triple check your furniture sizes before committing to a basement project. Many a sofa have sunk plans for a basement makeover like this.
Aldi featured these foldable saucer chairs for a hot minute. They were actually some of the most expensive additions. I almost didn’t get them because of the price, but I splurged. They are comfy, more sturdy than they look, and they fold up nicely. They might be the perfect dorm room take-along in a few years. I found these similar moon chairs on Amazon, in case you are sending your own teen off to college.
With no way to attach anything to the parged walls, I instead created a flexible gallery hanging from the floor joists above using fishing line and curtain hooks. My artist kiddo has done a LOT of painting during the pandemic. She’s painted over some of her canvases multiple times, and she paints on cardboard when she runs out of canvas. They don’t hang perfectly straight, but they brighten up a dark basement.
Her wood block paintings are cute, too, and don’t need to be mounted or hung. That kid will paint anything.
The LED party lights operate on a remote control. They were leftover from my first book launch party, and it was definitely time to hang them somewhere.
A $100 Basement Makeover Needs Lighting
Lighting is key in a basement, so my last splurge was this three-bulb industrial cage light. So much better than the wimpy floor lamp I started with. They aren’t in stores now, but this cage light floor lamp on Amazon is similar (affiliate link). I borrowed a faux tree from one of my client designs, but we just don’t need one more thing to dust down there.
The side table, red throw and silver pillow are re-purposed things I already owned. I’m not saying this space is glamorous, but it’s a cozy little spot to do a puzzle.
$100 Basement Makeover Budget
Here’s what I spent:
- $15 red locker
- $25 futon
- $70 pair of saucer chairs (new)
- $15 faux fur rug-turned-table cover
- $75 floor lamp with 3 cage lights
Adding it all up, including the $100 cash I made from selling two items, it nets out to about $100.
Have the kids used this space they begged for? It would get more use if there were a TV down here. One of the kids comes down to do the elliptical machine. Hubby sometimes has lunch there. And, yes, we’ve got a puzzle going on right now on the coffee table. It was definitely worth doing, if only to get the clutter out.
Are you putting off using some of your home’s space because you think you need a big budget? Could you use some of these ideas to pull off your own $100 basement makeover?