There is a new trend amongst the super-rich in London for ‘iceberg homes’. With property and space already at a premium in the capital many homeowners are finding it pays handsomely to burrow down and dig out a basement or two. According to a recent article in The Telegraph, increasing the size of your property through the addition of a basement can increase the value of a home by around 15%.
Of course, not everyone can arrange to have a basement level constructed beneath their homes, but there are plenty of properties with a ready-made cellar. Often used as a general dumping ground and storage area, the cellar can be converted into a variety of uses to add extra living space along with a rise in value.
Let there be light
By their very nature cellars tend to be dark spaces, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be made brighter whether by natural or artificial means. Where a basement area opens out onto a garden or patio area, for instance, the addition of floor-to-ceiling windows and patio doors can be all that is needed to let outside light flood in.
A naturally dark and enclosed area can be transformed by clever lighting. Overhead spotlights, concealed downlighters, wall lights and accent lighting can all be used in a variety of combinations to create the illusion of light and space. Adding mirrors and reflective surfaces against a light background colour can all help to make a space seem lighter and more welcoming.
Creating a functional living space
A basement conversion can be used for almost any purpose, from a spare bedroom for guests to a family room, den, office or hobby room. For some people, having a large subterranean kitchen allows them free rein to get creative whilst others prefer the idea of a quiet haven for relaxing.
Generally speaking, a basement conversion will need to perform more than one single function, for example, as a spare bedroom and office or perhaps as a storage area and home gym. Decide how you plan to use this new area of your home so that you utilise the space to its best advantage.
One of the best ways of making a multi-functional room look attractive and welcoming is by choosing furnishings which work well together to create a cohesive look. Browse the online collections at places such as http://www.dunelm mill.com/shop/furniture/ to see the diverse ranges available. Whether you like a vintage style of decor or crave a cool, modern style, you will find a vast array of furniture, soft furnishings and storage solutions which will complement your chosen style.
You can never have too much storage, whether for spare bedding, hobby equipment or just the general clutter accumulated over the years. Make sure you include adequate shelving, chests and cupboards to swallow everything you prefer kept out of sight. Even a simple curtain on a rail to disguise an alcove can hide a multitude of sins to avoid your new living space from becoming untidy.
Whether you use your new room as a playroom, entertaining area or spare bedroom, you will find the increase in your home’s value makes the cellar conversion an extremely worthwhile exercise.
Image credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hvc/2180281766/