a basement mudroom area with inset of built-in storage bench
Photo: John Granen
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Five Smart Ideas to Steal from this Basement

It's so cheery and welcoming, you hardly know you're on the bottom floor.

1. Dress up the walls.

Tall wainscot gives the space a homey vibe while saving the drywall from dings 
and dents.

2. Be smart about storage.
Built-ins near a walk-out entry have room for coats and boots. Positioned to hug the stairway, they save space.

3. Layer on lighting.
Traditional wall sconces add charm in a basement, where can lights usually prevail. Here, a warm bronze finish and white shade complement the surrounding woodwork.

4. Build a better stair.
The first-floor door was removed to let sunlight spill downstairs. A handsome handrail and newel post were finished to match the built-ins.

5. Channel natural light.
Take every opportunity to brighten up closed-off rooms. A reeded-glass light on the bathroom door fosters an airy feeling inside but still permits privacy.
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