The Best Ways To Make A Basement Apartment Feel Like It's Above Ground

Hunting for an apartment can be just as difficult as hunting for a house. High rent prices have made tenants prioritize affordability over other amenities. While units in apartment buildings have been the more common option in recent years, prospective tenants are now having to consider other options to save on rent prices.

Basement apartments aren't most people's first choice in housing, but they tend to be much cheaper than the standard aboveground apartment, according to Apartment List. These apartments are located on the basement floor of apartment complexes, multifamily properties, or basements of single-family homes. To be considered a basement apartment, at least 50% of the unit is below ground.

What keeps most people away from these units is the lack of natural light. Basement apartments do get some light from the ground level, but definitely not as much as aboveground units. But that doesn't mean a basement unit has to feel like a cave. With some smart design choices, basement apartments can feel as comfy and cozy as one that's above ground.

Make natural light a focal point

Basement apartments do get some light, but definitely not as much as an aboveground unit. Make the most of the natural light that you do get from the windows by making it a focal point. Natural light can make your space feel more open and airy, creating the illusion of more space, which can be important for underground units. You might not have floor-to-ceiling windows in a basement unit, but you can reflect light throughout the space to illuminate your home.

One way you can get natural light to bounce around the room is with a strategically placed mirror. Place a mirror across from a window to reflect the light around the room. You can also use mirrored surfaces like a coffee table or vanity, says Bliss Lights.

You also don't want to obscure your natural light source with furniture or decor. Small items like plants can sit on a windowsill, but try to avoid placing large pieces in front of the window. Use sheer curtains to allow light to flow into the room. Heavy curtains are great when trying to block out the light to sleep. But during the day, sheer white curtains will let in ample natural light.

Choose the right color palette

Continue making your space brighter by choosing a light color palette. Experts have always suggested using light colors to make a room appear larger. When you don't have a ton of light coming in, you do want to add lightness wherever you can. Warm neutrals will provide a cozy effect while also lightening the space. Pastels also accomplish this if you're someone who's more into color. But this time-tested rule doesn't mean you can't use dark colors in your decor.

Dark colors absorb the light and that depth of color can blue a room's edges and give the illusion of having more space, says Design Sponge. You can mix in jewel tones or shades of black to add richer shades to your space. The key is to make the face feel cozy within your personal style. Choosing all dark items for your space can make it feel cave-like, but a pop of charcoal in your furniture or decor won't reverse the work of adding lightness to the space.

Be bold with decor

Just because you're in an underground apartment doesn't mean you have to be timid with your decor. In fact, being bold with the decor you choose will make the apartment feel homier. Use this unit as an opportunity to be creative. Creating an accent wall in your apartment with a collection of art or peel-and-stick wallpaper will create a bold design that feels just as stylish as aboveground units.

You can bring boldness into every part of your home by using textures like velvet for a luxurious feel, says Talented Ladies Club. Choose bold patterns and colors for bedding, rugs, and art. Even your dinnerware can use a mix and match of bright colors and patterns. Don't be afraid of buying oversized art for the walls, either. You don't have to have small photos or art; instead, choose large canvases, prints, or photographs to be the focal point of a wall.

Invest in good lighting

You can try a bunch of tricks to bring natural light into the space, but what will you do on cloudy days or at nighttime? That's why you should invest in good lighting throughout your apartment. The right lighting can create a cozy ambiance in your home and in a basement apartment, good lighting is a must.

You'll want to consider the shades on your light fixtures. White shades will allow light to pass through easier, but they can create a colder tone in your home. To get warmer light, you may want to consider colored shades, according to Home Energy Remodeling. Also, pay attention to the hue of your lightbulbs and the color lighting they give off. Bright, white light is ideal for overhead fixtures to illuminate the entire space. But smaller fixtures like floor and table lamps can use warm light bulbs to add a cozy ambiance in the evenings.

Use the entire wall

It's no secret that utilizing vertical space is a must with apartment living. When you don't have a lot of floor space, you'll want to store and display your items vertically with shelves and on the walls. As previously stated, you shouldn't let living in a basement apartment stop you from having bold interior design, so don't be afraid to use the entire wall when decorating. Using the entire wall can help draw the eye up, which can trick the eye into thinking the room has height. This is especially helpful if a basement apartment has lower ceilings.

Choose bookshelves that extend nearly to the ceiling. These vertical lines can make the room feel larger. You can also add floating shelves to the walls, and place them high on the walls to give the appearance of height. When hanging art, don't only hang it at eye level, extend your collection up the wall toward the ceiling. You can also use hanging decorations, says the Design Tourist, again creating vertical lines that lengthen the space. You could even hang glass art like sun catchers near windows to help reflect natural light throughout the room.