Home Staging Ideas to Take Your Basement to the Top

  • A fresh coat of paint and some new carpeting will make the basement more inviting.

    A fresh coat of paint and some new carpeting will make the basement more inviting.  (James Brey)

  • staged finished basement

    staged finished basement  (FOTOGRAFIA INC.)

  • Home staging ideas for the basement

    Home staging ideas for the basement

Your basement may not seem like an obvious room to pretty up, but it's a must -- particularly if you're trying to sell and want to dabble in some home staging ideas to make your place stand out. Trust us, buyers will definitely poke their heads down in this cold, dark place. So, imagine their pleasant surprise when it's actually a functional, comfortable room where they might even want to hang out!

To transform this oft-forgotten underground space into an area that's attractive and accessible, check out these home staging ideas.

Don't just dump stuff down there

Piles of junk, towers of boxes, and a mishmash of other things are a huge turnoff in the basement.

"Make sure this space is organized and doesn't appear to be a dumping ground," says Katie McCann, a professional organizer with Maeve's Method. Allow the buyer to see the room's potential. Arrange everything neatly, either in storage bins or on shelving.

Make a few cosmetic improvements

If you can swing it, a few improvements will go a long way in the basement.

"This part of the house often gets more wear and tear than the other rooms, so invest in new carpeting for a fresh feel and repaint the walls," recommends Gale Sitomer of Gale Sitomer Interior Design in New York City. Also, take care to repair a rickety railing, which makes walking down here precarious, particularly for seniors and kids.

Banish bad smells

Yup, a basement can be downright rank. Take a good whiff to check for any musty odors, say Showhomes franchisees Lisa and Chris Gulliver.

"Keep a fan on for circulation, and use subtle air fresheners as needed," they add. And if your basement is damp, fix this sticky sitch by purchasing or borrowing a dehumidifier for upcoming showings.

Brighten your basement with lot of lamps

Most basements are dark, of course, but you can improve this greatly with the right color scheme. The Gullivers like to use blue hues in pillows and other accessories to compensate for a lack of natural light. Sitomer suggests painting walls an off-white, using light-colored window treatments and other accessories, and putting in plenty of lamps, especially if there's no recessed lighting in the space.

Make your basement multipurpose

If your basement is a finished one, put in as much pizzazz as possible. Jack Menashe, an interior designer and owner of Menashe Design, likes to present a layout showing a variety of ways to use the space.

"Where possible, try to include a spot to watch TV, a place to lounge at one end, and a kids' play area at the other," he explains. An open library wall in between can marry the spaces as well as define them.

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Watch: How to Stage Your Home Like a Pro