“Especially since COVID happened, basements are becoming more of an extension of the upstairs. So, instead of them being a completely separate space that might feel like an afterthought, they’re now becoming, as you walk from the upstairs to the downstairs, they’re feeling more like one cohesive space.”
—Slate Designer, Shannon Embly
Are you considering remodeling your basement this year? Explore the most exciting basement design trends from award-winning designer Shannon Embly, and discover how Slate works to bring new life to basements through design and function.
A trend in basement design is that they are increasingly becoming an extension of the style and feel of the upstairs. Because homeowners want more of a cohesive feel, this trend often involves matching:
⦁ Overall vibe of the upstairs
“Sometimes you’re carrying the same flooring from the upstairs to the downstairs,” said Embly. “Sometimes it’s the same color palette or the same just overall design feeling that a client has.”
According to Embly, basements are now more multi-use than any other area in a home. Basements today are used for:
⦁ Home offices
⦁ Entertainment areas
⦁ Self-care areas for activities like yoga
“Basements now are becoming more of a space that everybody in the family is using. So, they’ve gotten a lot more personality than they used to.”
Basements are changing because the world has changed. With the current economy, many parents of adult children are creating space for those children to move back home. These multigenerational houses rely on basements for living space.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, more people work from home. That trend is likely not going away soon. This creates a need for many to build home offices in the basement or to move things downstairs to make room for new home offices upstairs.
With a growing emphasis on mental health and self-care, more people also recognize a need for oasis spaces in their homes. The basement is a popular choice for cozy self-care areas too.
Some of the ways Embly has helped clients accomplish so much with their design is by finding creative ways to utilize the space. This includes using Murphy beds that fold into the wall to make a basement living room into a flexible extra sleeping area. She has also used built-in shelving with cabinets to store private items and to display decor. She teaches homeowners to harness design to create distinct areas with specific purposes.
With a complex mix of client needs, basements often must become multipurpose. Embly leans on relationship building and her design expertise to deliver amazing results that satisfy a variety of these client needs.
Many homeowners want to redesign their basements but, for several reasons, can’t do major layout changes. When that happens, Embly focuses on finishes and lighting.
“The basement might have lower ceilings than the upstairs, and it might not be quite as large of a space, but you can really make it something special,” said Embly. “Not just with decorative lighting but even recessed lighting. Anything you can do to brighten that space up to make it feel larger than it is.”
Embly uses dimmer switches in her recessed lighting designs. This allows clients to enjoy a bright room that appears larger or a dim room that’s cozy like a home theater.
Finishes can also help set the tone or mood of the room. Whether using matte, glossy, bright, or neutral, Embly helps her clients express their unique styles and create a feeling of spaciousness.
Successful basement design is about more than just what is trending or simply what homeowners require in their basement remodels. It’s about relationship building between client and designer.
Embly likes listening to and getting to know each client; orienting herself in their homes; and seeing what she can learn about their preferences, desires, needs, and current style choices.
“I got into this business not just because I love design but because I like building relationships with people and making that personal connection. So, I try to never stray away from that.”
She conveys the designs to her clients using technology, which allows them to see mock-ups of their spaces. This helps clients feel safe in the hands of Slate as they undergo their remodels because clients know what to expect.
At Slate Design and Remodel, the client relationship is always paramount. If you are shopping for reputable remodelers in the Northern Virginia area, send us a message. We are looking forward to connecting with you.