Must Read: Basement Makeover Tips

Published by:



Basements intimidate most homeowners who are looking to turn them into functional and useful spaces. It’s probably because most grew up with the notion that basements are storage areas for junk items. The fact that they are dark does not help the situation either. But times have changed, and many people have seen the light. Some men want to turn it into their man cave, a place they can get away from the stresses of life and family while some women see this space being perfect for an art and craft studio, an exercise room, a kid’s room or a guest room. The possibilities are endless and are only limited by your imagination.

But while many have had their eyes opened to these possibilities, getting the work done proves to be a challenge. To shine light on your path as you embark on this project, below are some tips you could follow.

Prefer comfort

If you are going to change things up in the basement, go for comfort. The basement is not the place to have fancy chairs and couches. Have every piece you bring in, provide you with great comfort. Think of lots and lots of cushions and soft recliners.

Throw in orphaned furniture

Chances are you will not have many people down to your basement. This provides you with the luxury of trying out new things. You could incorporate that old dressing table/dresser. Turn it into a TV stand or something. It will provide you with additional space for your essentials. Your old dining set, on the other hand, could make a perfect gaming table for those fun poker nights.

Have flow

The pieces you introduce do not need to be a perfect match. They, however, have to flow correctly. Bold patterns on your rugs or throw pillows can add great flow and continuity to your basement. Also, remember you still have the option of painting old furniture to tie the pieces together.

Light it up


Basements are dark places. As such, your design would be incomplete without lighting. Floor and table lamps could be a great source of light adding perfect ambiance for those movie and game nights. Large mirrors strategically placed also help to light up the room.


Combine purposes

Who says that your basement can only serve as a man cave or an exercise room only? Basements can be converted into functional dual purpose rooms. For instance, you could have yours serve as a guest room come kid’s playroom. To pull this off, the furniture you use should serve both purposes.

For instance, your old dresser could serve as your TV stand and storage for your kid’s toys. A sofa bed will provide both seating and sleeping space while storage trunks can also serve as seating.

Your environment

If your basement has lots of moisture, you should use furniture with moisture-resistant fabrics or those made from outdoor-friendly materials. If the floor is cold, have area rugs all over the floor to warm up the room.

Basements do tell a lot about your personality and interests. Rather than have it dark and disorganized, spend some of your free time creating space you can have fun in.

4 Lights to Perk Up Your Basement Dining Room

Published by:


One of the easiest ways to cheer up any room is to change the lighting. More often than not, homes come with boring stock lighting that makes the entire room look dull. This includes the lighting in the dining room, the one place in the house that is centered around entertainment, conversation, and food.


Since dining rooms are smaller rooms than, say, your living room or kitchen, having a centerpiece that stands out is key to helping the room appear inviting. If you find that the boring brass pendant above your head is enough cause to move dinner elsewhere, check out the following lights that can instantly perk up your room.



One of the more iconic forms of dining room lighting, chandeliers bring a sense of sophistication and elegance to any room. These days you can opt to find a classic design that will make your diners think they are in an episode of Downton Abbey or one that has a sleeker, more modern look. Chandeliers do, however, have a reputation for appearing fussy and monstrous, so consider the overall size (both height and width) and style before settling on one.



Perhaps one of the most versatile forms for the dining room, the pendant can be found in multiple designs, shapes, and the number of lights included can vary. An oversized pendant with a shade or surrounded by eclectic materials can function as the statement piece your room needs without making the room appear overdecorated. If you like a particular design, you can install several evenly spaced single pendants across a long table to introduce pattern into the room’s design.


Flush Mount

If you’re instead looking for a light source that is both beautiful and out of the way, you may want to look into flush mount lighting which is installed against the ceiling. This can also be a great option if your dining room happens to have a low ceiling. Unlike the stock versions that typically come with a new home, these do not have to be bland and can easily replicate chandelier and pendant styles without having to worry about height.


Recessed lighting

If you decide that instead you want non-intrusive lighting for your dining room, consider choosing recessed lighting. These lights sit within the ceiling, deliver a beautiful ambiance, and require little upkeep. Recessed lighting does require extra work to with installation if you want more than one light shining down and requires cutting into the ceiling.

Staircases and balustrades

Published by:


Living upstairs-downstairs provides a whole new canvas to bring individuality to your home. In years gone past, what enabled you to get from one floor to another was treated as a necessary waste of space and the opportunities to integrate the staircase into your décor plans was minimal. There were no artisans who could interpret your taste into something that would complement the architectural style of your home.

Traditional designs were limited to wooden railings and the only thing you could really do to individualise it, was to paint it in whatever colour spectrum you chose for that part of the home. Otherwise, you had to be content with the not so attractive option.

Old1 Old2

Artisans in the form of metalworkers and welders come from diverse backgrounds. And, it is not limited to the male gender any more. Female art and architecture students have the world at their feet and can choose any medium that catches their fancy. Bex Simon from Surrey in England is one such innovative and groundbreaking artisan. Her designs are modern and she draws inspiration from nature and is adept at interpreting her clients’ desires.

Bex1 Bex2

There is also Jesse Meyer from Milwaukee who creates bespoke metal items.

Jesse1 Jesse2

History of the staircase

John Templer’s study of the history of the staircase is a fascinating read. The first stairs (ladders) came from Africa and enabled the users to lift their homes off the ground to protect against animals, marauding tribes, and floods. The staircase evolved from there to being a proper contributor to our interior and exterior décor.

From this

African1 Africa2

to this

New1 New2

Materials used for balustrades range from intricate metalwork to clear glass, updated wood designs, clear and coloured Perspex, and even no balustrade at all. If you have bought a house and are stuck with the staircase it came with, the easiest way to upgrade the look is changing the balustrade. Don’t allow an ugly balustrade to ruin your chosen décor style. Notice the second staircase’s bentwood design? Here’s an interesting history fact: it wasn’t until 1942 when Charles and Ray Eames started experimenting with molded plywood designs. If it hadn’t been for them, the Eames lounge chair and the numerous Eames reproductions sold by different brands would not have existed..and neither would the ultra cool twisted staircase above!


Reforma de una vivienda de playa.

Reforma de una vivienda de playa.

Templer (and others after him) conducted studies into the human gait on flat ground, and ascending and descending stairs. As can be expected, there is a difference in stride length between males and females and a good stair designer will (and should) take this into account when designing your home’s staircase.


Did you now?

Interesting fact 1:

People often get the name of a circular staircase wrong. A SPIRAL staircase is one that starts small or narrow at the bottom and gets broader at the top. A HELICAL staircase is the same size bottom to top.

This is a SPIRAL:


A spiral staircase needn’t be obviously small to large, and the spiral may only be seen from the top down.


This is a HELICAL


At first glance a HELICAL and SPIRAL staircase may look the same in design, and as with the SPIRAL, the difference may only be seen when you stand at the top of the stairs.


What is the difference between a BANISTER, HANDRAIL and BALUSTRADE?

In American English, a Banister and Handrail are the same. It is something you hold onto so that you do not lose your balance and is usually affixed to the wall, but not always. You can have a Handrail anywhere, not necessarily with stairs, e.g. bathroom or toilet; often as an aid for the elderly and disabled persons. A Balustrade is the structure that prevents you from falling off the stairs or balcony and has a number of vertical supports called balusters connected with a railing.

This is a Handrail or Banister

Handrail HandrailOutdoor

A staircase may have both a Handrail and a Balustrade.

Both Both1

Basement Construction

Published by:


If you desire having basement construction done on your home, there are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind in order for you to make the most of your investment. First, you need to make certain that your basement is ready to have construction work done on it. If you are renovating what is already there, you need to make certain that your basement is leak free and waterproofed. Doing this can prevent significant costs later, as it protects your new renovation against water damage. Once you have ensured that your basement is ready for renovations, you can begin settling on a design for your basement.

Basement RemodelingIf you are adding a completely new basement, the construction process can be a lot more intensive. For homes that do not already have a basement, construction crews will need to work around your current home, which requires supporting your current structure while the new basement is being added. This is a very costly proposition. If you are building a new home and are considering whether or not you want a basement, you should add one during the general construction process than coming back later, as the costs of adding a new basement are considered astronomical in scale.


When you have basement construction going on, expect a lengthy, noisy project. This is due to the fact that many people have completely unfinished basements. When homes are first constructed, the basements are typically left unfinished, as the foundation has to settle and there may be leaking and other issues in the basement. After the settling period is over, then the basement can be waterproofed, checked for leaks, then finished. Many people do not wish the added expense of waterproofing and then finishing the basement after the settling period has ended. However, in high quality construction, especially in larger buildings or homes, this settling period does not necessarily mean you cannot have a finished basement immediately. If you constructors who built your house were careful with the slope of land around the foundation, as well as constructed a solid foundation, you could enjoy a finished basement the instant you move into your newly built home.

If you are not fortunate enough to have completed basement construction from the start, make certain that you do not cut corners. Cutting corners on the costs can get you a finished basement for cheaper, but you may regret it later, as using cheaper products and methods results in a cheaper basement prone to problems.

Welcome to Basement Remodeling

Published by:

Many home owners are intimidated by the concept of basement remodeling, as it is almost always an expensive proposition. However, there are a few things that you should remember before you decide if basement remodeling is too expensive for you.

First, basement remodeling can dramatically increase your property value. As many people do not take the time to finish the basement of their homes, this space is usually not considered worth much of anything. However, a fully remodeled basement can transform a home and capture the attention and imagination of home buyers. As it is hard to sell a property, taking advantage of this perk of basement remodeling can allow you to proceed knowing you will often recoup or even profit from the remodeling.

When you approach basement remodeling, you need to first check the integrity of your basement. Are there leaks in your basement? Is your basement always very cold? Finding out what problems exist in your basement prior to remodeling can help you spend your money in the best way possible. Preventing damage to your new basement should be a key part of your project. If you notice any issues, or if your contractor notices any issues, you should take care to repair them as a part of your basement remodeling project. This will ensure that your property is worth the most and that you do not have a repairing nightmare later on.

Once you have evaluated the condition of your basement, you will need to begin the basement remodeling project. Natural and synthetic hardwood is often a wise choice for a basement remodeling project, as hardwood is often considered luxurious. However, ceramic tile can also be very elegant, as well as extremely easy to clean should anything go wrong. Many people like carpet, but carpet can cause problems in a basement, especially if there are any basement leaks or floods. Both synthetic hardwood and ceramic can withstand massive water problems much better than carpeting can. Pick the materials in your basement with care, and always avoid concrete, as this is not only uncomfortable to walk on, it does not look very good. Once this part is done, next step would be to furnish it. Mid century modern furniture is very “in” right now and so is modern home furniture. We’d suggest shopping online for modern furniture at EMFURN as you’d save on shipping and taxes, which can quickly add up on high end purchases. There’s plenty of sites to choose from such as Wayfair and Amazon, but we’d suggest sticking with smaller retailers as they tend to be more knowledgeable and collaborative when it comes to design projects.