13 Creative Basement Ideas That Go Beyond Adding a Ping-Pong Table

Sure, you can add a ping-pong table and a mini-fridge to a basement and call it a day, but creative basement ideas are aplenty. When it comes to designing the belowground space, think outside the expected and routine. Whether you have an unfinished area or perhaps a wood-paneled cave that’s relegated as a dumping ground for old furniture, unused sports equipment (you know, all those pandemic purchases), and the unsightly furnace or water heater deserve a design-worthy makeover.  

Homeowners are treating basements with the same attention as the rooms above. According to the 2022 Houzz Emerging Holiday Home Design Trends report, searches for basement game rooms are up 1,267%, and basement entertainment space searches are up 247%. In addition, searches for wet bars and home theaters are up 45% and 44% respectively.

Ready for some basement ideas that are full of style? AD checked in with designers who fashioned gorgeous interiors that might as well be living rooms. Here, 13 ways to outfit your basement and get the party started. 

1. Set the tone with wallpaper

“When a basement will be an entertaining space, keep in mind what the entrance to the basement will feel like and how it will welcome friends and family,” says Rachel Alcorn, owner and principal at Two Hands Interiors in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. At the client’s request, Alcorn designed this basement after a midcentury-modern–inspired country club with rich colors and swoon-worthy features. Its’s safe to say that a striking wallpaper sets the tone. 

Wake up the basement with vibrant wallpaper, as seen in this Rachel Alcorn–designed space.

Photo: Kristi Hughes

2. Create a cozy nook

In keeping with her clients’ midcentury-modern country club inspired basement, Alcorn built a custom banquette. “We painted it a rich emerald green, and it not only creates an unexpected focal point for the room, but it also provides a flexible space to gather,” she says. From having a cocktail with friends to playing a friendly board game with family, Alcorn says this space brings people together—and it doesn’t feel like they’re in a basement.