Basement Family Room Planning in Calgary!

The purpose of a family room is to have a place where the family can relax and relate together.  It might be a place where the kids play games or it might just be a TV room or reading room.  Your basement family room might double as a party room where you entertain guests, play darts or ping pong while the kids have a place to run around and make a mess with their toys.  It’s a good way to have a fun place in the house while keeping the rest of the house clean. 


The key word for a family room is comfort.  Since it is a multi-functional room there is a lot to think about and plan so everyone is comfortable.


Most family rooms will have a TV.  Decide where the TV goes first.  The next thing to do is figure out the best place for your sofa or sectional.  Your furniture should be such that the family can curl up in a blanket and watch a long movie or comfortably sit and have a conversation.  Since the family room is different from a home theatre, the layout of the room and furnishings have to be flexible so you can do a variety of different activities.


Carpet with an appropriate under pad is a popular flooring option for the basement, it adds additional insulation, “R” value, and attractive pricing (unless pets or allergies are a problem). If you choose a hardwood/laminate floor, cement flooring or tiles, it might be a good idea to have area rugs as these hard flooring materials may be much cooler and/or auxiliary heating might be considered.  On the hard surface materials an area rug will give the room a more “homey” look and feel.  A rug is also a way to visually divide a room between a stand-up play area and a place to sit down and relax.  The sitting area should have carpet or an area rug surrounded by comfortable furniture.


Coordinate the wall colours with the furniture and flooring.  Choose colours that complement the way you are going to use the room.  If you are going to use the basement family room primarily as a sitting area, choose wall colours that induce a calm state of mind, like blues and greens.  On the other hand, if the room will primarily be a party or entertaining area, more active colours like reds and oranges might be more appropriate. Use lighter shades than you would select for the main floor as usually there is less natural light in the basement.


A basement family room is definitely a magnet for clutter.  Plan to have dedicated storage space for books, DVDs, VHS tapes, magazines, and scattered toys.  Instead of using open shelving consider closed cupboards with doors.  Put baskets in the shelves and label them for their intended purpose.  It still won’t prevent the clutter from happening but at least people will know where everything goes when it comes time to clean up.  A storage ottoman is another good idea because it can double as a coffee table while providing more storage for coloring books, crayons and board games.   


Remember that the point of this room is to provide a comfortable place for the whole family.  Make this room practical as well as attractive by choosing seats and materials that can take a beating if necessary.  This is a good place for a computer, photo albums, arts and crafts and jigsaw puzzles so people can relax and hang out or play games that are readily available when the mood strikes.

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