Decorating ideas: Basement Family room


It is so strange to me that I “invite” you into my home so often – and yet, we rarely visit our basement.  It is one of our favorite spaces and actually was a big game changer when we planned our renovations three years ago.

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

You see, this space flooded.  A lot.  It especially liked to flood when Dana was in China.

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

When we first began planning our renovations, we worked with an architect who created grand plans of an expanded space of our first floor.  And we were thinking that was our best option.  But then, one morning right around Christmas, Dana had been up several hours before me (he is a 4:00 am kind of guy).  When I came down for coffee he started sharing that he really felt we didn’t need more space, we just needed to use what we had better.

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

So, we set out to fix the water issues.  And knock on wood everyone in unison please – we have.

This allowed us to keep the same footprint of what we had and plan from there.  I will be sharing more on our renovation decisions later this week.

The basement space has been about comfort, fun and three (actually four) zones.

The first zone is the everybody zone with a big comfy couch, fun vintage chair and the TV.  This also the area where my girls’ friends all pile up for sleep overs.  I think that is the part I love the best – how much this is a space for them to be with their friends.

The box with the Springfield and NY was found in the back of a garage sale in MA.  It is constructed of highway mileage signs and I absolutely love it.  We just added casters.  On the inside, there is a sign that reads how many miles it is to Putnam!

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

The style I used down here was more about contrasts.  Modern shelves with vintage treasures. Crisp white and silver light fixtures contrasting with rustic barn wood beams.

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

One of my favorite items down here is the old “N.H. Maple Syrup” sign my girlfriend found at Brimfield for me.  And of course, she knew to get the story behind it for me.  It used to hang at an old hotel in N.H. that also sold syrup.

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

The second zone is the kid and crafting zone.  The cabinets have material and crafting supplies in them (these were purchased at Lowe’s a few years ago).  The table is from Ikea and cleans up really easily from paint accidents and such.

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

There is a fun gallery wall including a painting of Bailey from when she was a puppy done in bright colors by a dear sweet friend.

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

Third zone is the “adult zone” with a bar and fridge.

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

The wood is rough hewn lumber found locally and built by our carpenter and then we poured the resin top.  We decided to the resin after it was finished so it was challenging.  If we had planned it from the beginning it would have gone easier I think.  The white stools are from Ikea.

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

All in all, this is a space that has served us well.  Especially when we have a party.  Because, history has shown that if the Putnams throw a party – it will rain.  When it rains, all the kids go down here and the adults hang in the kitchen.

The door to the left of the mileage box is the under stair closets and cubby and that is where all the toys live.

Decorating Ideas - Basement Family Room

Thanks so much for reading and wishing you a great day!

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27 thoughts on “Decorating ideas: Basement Family room”


  1. I would have loved a space like that when my kids were younger. I have a friend in Upstate New York…when our kids were younger and we’d visit them, the kids would disappear and have a blast in the basement. You made wonderful choices in that area. Love the contrast of the rough woods with the Ikea finds.

  2. I love what you’ve done with your basement space! It’s so fun and family-friendly! We finished our basement 1.5 years ago and there is absolutely no decor down there…….literally just a couch and tv. The kids want this basement (our 4th house) to contain nothing breakable so they won’t get in trouble for breaking, say, picture frame glass during a spirited knee hockey tournament. It’s on my to-do list this summer to show some love to the space – thanks for the inspirations!!

  3. I have loved your basement for several years. If I remember it correctly, I have loved it pre-Pinterest (gasp!!!). Your highway sign box was what drew me in and I loved everything about the very family friendly room. Excellent work. Lori Lucas

  4. Love the feel of your basement and the use of all the wonderful signs. I miss having a basement-grew up with one in NY; not prevalent here in the south. Can you share the wonderful artist who did that gorgeous bright painting of the pup? I would love to have her do one of my two!
    Thanks! Kris

  5. I look at a lot of basements because ours is on the to-do list ! Yours is about my favorite ever! The colors, the lighting…everything is fantastic. My very favorite thing is that canvas of the pup!!!!
    Thank you for all the inspiration!
    Gotta pin and gotta FB share 🙂

  6. I’ve long been a fan of your wonderful basement Laura and used it as my inspiration for my own basement – including my Amy’s “Clubhouse” area. Thanks for the story behind it. I love hearing the history!

  7. Love your basement! If there is one thing I miss about living in the north it is basements! I grew up in a fairly small home in Minnesota but the basement was a life-saver! My dad finished it off with a bar and a big family room and an extra bathroom. It was definitely party zone! Now I’m in Texas and now we have what’s called a “Texas basement.” It’s a family room upstairs. It’s just not the same. When the kids are up there you hear all kinds of banging and noise in the kitchen directly below. But, I’m grateful for the space just the same…just get nostalgic and wistful over basements once in awhile! And, yours is beautiful! 🙂 Have a great day, Laura!

  8. Gorgeous!!! I would LOVE to hang out in this room! We had a flood in our house a few years back so I know it’s horrible to go through but in the end it ends up being worth it. 🙂


  9. Love your basement! I wish I could finish my home’s basement! I am thinking of having drywall put up, but keeping the cement floor (and maybe put down carpet tiles) and staining the rafters to keep costs down. I am always looking for new basement ideas!

  10. love, Love, LOVE! We have a huge unfinished basement that we are hoping to re-do by next year. Love the way you covered the beams with the wood. Gives it a finished, yet natural feeling. I know everyone has a blast down there!
    Great job … thanks for sharing 🙂

    Hugs & Blessings …
    SImply Fresh Vintage

  11. this is how I would love my first floor to look.. a mix of styles that works and looks great!! Where did you get the “be happy for this moment” print? love it! looks good. but again, how fun can it be if I haven’t been there???

  12. Hello! I saw this blog post on pinterest and I love your basement! I want to copy it, it’s amazing! What color of paint did you use on your walls? And where did you get your sectional couch?

  13. I love the resin countertop! Can you tell me what kind of resin you used that was food safe? How has it held up with the use since you did it?