Your basement has been sitting downstairs, musty, dusty, and full of boxes, for years. Lately, you’ve been discussing the prospect of doing something — anything — with the unused space. What’s the best way to remodel it? In our opinion, here are the top five coolest things to do with a basement remodeling project.

The 5 Coolest Things to Do With a Basement

1. Make it a Man Cave

Even if you think man caves have been overdone, if you’re a guy, you know you want one. What man wouldn’t want a devoted home theater room to screen The Godfather or throw a party for all those great sporting events? No guy is going to say no to coming home from work and unwinding at his own custom bar, sipping Scotch and playing pool. For the geeks among us, one of the coolest things to do with a basement is turning it into a full-blown arcade, complete with pinball machines and your favorite games that ate all your quarters as a kid. The sky’s the limit when it comes to a basement man cave!

2. Get a Glamorous Closet

Here’s a basement remodeling idea for the ladies. If your current master bedroom closet leaves a lot to be desired, you can make up for the lack of organizational space by turning your basement into the closet of your dreams. Install an island on which to lay out different outfits to plan for a trip. Have your contractor build out shelves to display purses and shoes, as well as install plenty of drawers to provide a place for everything. Full-length mirrors make getting dressed or trying on new clothes a snap. Don’t forget appropriate lighting, since most basements are well underground and don’t have any windows. With a little planning and the right elements, your basement can go from a dark storage room to the closet you’ve wanted since you were a little girl.

3. Give Your Kids a Place to Run Wild

Even if your kids have their own very spacious bedrooms, it’s nice for them to have somewhere to be rowdy when the weather is bad or when they want to watch their favorite movie (for the 100th time). Up until now, this meant roughhousing throughout the house or taking over your living room when you’d rather be watching your favorite show or the big game. A basement playroom changes all of that. Best of all, you can design it in a way that will grow with your family. This way, the space will be just as appropriate when your oldest turns 14 as it is now when they’re only seven.

4. Create an At-Home Wine Room

If you’re an oenophile, finding a place to store and age your wine can be a challenge. If you have unused basement space, it’s prime real estate for an amazing wine room. You can customize the space according to the size of your collection. You’ll also be able to build in different storage areas depending on the type of wine you collect. Custom wine rooms can be designed to keep different areas at different temperatures, as well as to provide constant control over humidity levels. In addition to storage, create a comfortable seating area off of your wine room where people can gather to sip and enjoy. Salut!

5. Keep Your Mother-in-Law Comfortable With Her Own Suite

An in-law suite is so much more than an additional bedroom. It’s the gift of privacy and freedom for both you and your in-laws (or any other visiting family members). When family comes to visit, whether it’s for days or — gulp — weeks, they don’t like being put up in the home office next to your bedroom any more than you like having them there. Why not make life easier on everyone and have an extra bedroom and bathroom installed in the basement? Your family members get their own space, and you get to keep some semblance of privacy.

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