5 Fun Ideas for Finishing Your Attic or Basement

illustration of home

Finishing basements and attics has become a popular way to expand square footage and create really cool and unique spaces. It gives homeowners the opportunity to have fun and go over-the-top with a space in ways you generally wouldn't in other existing rooms in the house. The sky is the limit with these spaces, and depending on your own interests and hobbies, they can be transformed into one-of-a-kind works of art.

If you are finding yourself stuck for ideas for your attic or basement, here are five fun ways for you to creatively finish your space.

1. Slumber Party Heaven

creative kids play room

If you have kids who love to have sleepovers, this just might be the solution for how to finish your unfinished space.

Whether you've got a basement or attic or both, incorporate built-in bunk beds into your renovation plans. Maybe even join together two sets of bunk beds in the corner of your space to allow plenty of room for playing before the kiddos finally crash.

Hang fairy lights from each bunk to add a bit of magic when the main lights go out. Store all your kids' favorite games, dress-up costumes, movies, and snacks (mini-fridge!) in fun and colorful storage units to fit their personalities.

Have plenty of spare room? Add a ping pong table! You won't have to worry about the noise if they are in a space like a basement, and it will provide hours of fun for your kids and their friends

2. Movie Theater

home movie theater

A home movie theater is hardly a new idea when it comes to finishing basements, as it is probably at the top of many homeowners' lists. Instead of just throwing a big TV and sofa down there and calling it a day, try going all out!

Line the walls with heavy, red velvet drapes; bring in a popcorn machine and theater-sized boxes of candy; pick out the most comfortable sectional (or theater-style sofa) you can find and top it with cozy pillows and blankets. Build a unique bar from reclaimed wood and stock it with your favorite beverages. Install canned lighting on a dimmer to suit all of your lighting needs.

Want to go really over the top? Find an old vintage light-up 'Cinema' sign and hang it at the bottom of the stairs so that it's the first thing you see when you come downstairs. To add a creative DIY touch, try adding a chalkboard on the door of the space to write fun things like movie times and what movies are coming soon.

Don't forget the Top 11 Must-have Home Theater Accessories when doing the remodel.

3. Craft Room

home creative art studio

In today's DIY world, craft rooms are becoming more and more important for homeowners to have. This is where a lot of creativity happens, so creating an inspiring space is even more important. The good news is that you can start out with a blank canvas when finishing your basement or attic to create the space.

Some fun things to try? Paint a concrete basement floor a fun color; hang globe string lights; build your own oversized crafting table; have an entire wall dedicated to pegboard organization; use the space under the stairs for creative storage; have lots of open shelves so that all of your supplies are visible, which helps stimulate creativity when the time comes.

Want to really make this room the most creative in your house? Hang a funky egg chair from the ceiling. This is a great place to sit and daydream about your next project or even read a good book.

As you can see, the list goes on and on. The most important thing is to get creative.

4. Library

attic home library

This is not an idea that is often seen in a basement, but when you think about it, this could be a rather practical place to put a library. There aren't usually a lot of windows in basements, so the majority of wall space is free to bring in plenty of bookcases.

Don't stop at the bookcases though, bring in a cozy area rug, an antique nickel floor lamp, and the comfiest chairs you can find. Canned lighting works really well in this type of space and can allow you to make full use of the space by designing the lighting to highlight your bookcases.

If you want the space to double as an office, find an appropriately sized desk and place it in the very center of the room. This will have you surrounded by your books and will offer a visually pleasing aesthetic. If you want to keep it bright and airy, you might want to use a white or a lighter wood finish on the cabinets and desk. If you prefer a cave-like space for reading, perhaps a dark walnut finish would be more appropriate with a faux brick wall leading down the stairs.

Of course, the attic is a classic space for a library. Its high ceilings are great for tall bookcases and hanging lights. Plus, attic windows are great for creating bay window seating for a little reading nook. You can curl up on a rainy day with your favorite book or watch the snowfall with your laptop for an all-day study session.

5. Workout Room or Studio

home gym

With more and more at-home workouts becoming available—both online and via DVD—having a space to get you in the mood for exercising can be great for a lot of homeowners, especially ones with busy jobs, pets, or children. The more you have going on during your day, the less time you have to make it to an off-site gym or workout class. If you have an unfinished basement, why not use it to stay healthy?

If you have concrete floors, try staining or painting them a rich dark color. Alternatively, you could install padded tile or hardwood flooring. No matter what flooring you choose, you can have a great foundation to build your studio on.

Canned light with daylight bulbs will give you the feeling of being in your favorite studio with daylight pouring in. If the ceilings are low, try sconces to bring in light without the fixtures potentially getting in the way of movement. Bring in big mirrors and hang them on the wall opposite the windows to reflect what little natural light you get in your basement.

Interested in barre workouts or ballet? Install a barre along the mirror to ensure optimal posture while rehearsing in your home dance studio.

To add a bit of warmth and character to space, try adding some framed inspirational quotes, a basket of your favorite fitness necessities (yoga mats, blocks, towels, etc.), a mini-fridge with bottled water, a sound system, and even hang a TV on the wall if you will be following along with video workouts.

Of course, you can always bring in workout equipment for a more conventional home gym.