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16 Basement Office Ideas & Design Tips (with Pictures)

basement office

A home office is a unique space in your house. It needs to be somewhere that you can concentrate without too much interference from the outside world, but it is in your home, so you will never be able to completely ignore the kids or the dog. If you have a spare room, a converted loft, or some living area that you don’t use, you can turn these into a space to do your work. Another option is to convert the basement into a basement office.

Before you start planning your basement office, you need to take stock of what you have and what you need. If your basement is already made up of storage and spare rooms, then you will have to work with the remaining space. This won’t be a problem if your work is all done on the computer and all you need is a small desk and minimal storage. On the other hand, if you need machinery and equipment, regularly entertain clients or potential customers, and you have a lot of stuff you need to retain for a long period, you will need to find clever ways of fitting more into your small space.

Below, we have included 16 basement office ideas and tips, including some for limited spaces and those with a much larger potential scope. We’ve also included a few designs that are ideal for a walkout basement.

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1. The Professional Entrance

If you have to have clients or customers round to the office, you may want to ensure that the entrance to your basement is separate from the rest of the house. It is more professional than having to walk them past the games room, have them avoid the overly excited dog, and have them apologize for interrupting the family meal at the dining table.


2. Spiral Staircase

Not all basements are blessed with acres of space, but you do need some method of getting from the ground floor level down to the basement level. If you are limited for space, install a spiral staircase. Spiral staircases require very little room and they look elegant. Materials include cast iron, wood, and glass, so you can have a staircase that matches the look that you want from your office.


3. Check Your Outlets

You are going to need electrical power and plenty of it. You won’t want to run extension cords down the stairs, and this means installing new outlets in your new office. If you’re not confident or competent at doing this yourself, you should absolutely get an electrician in to do the job for you. And remember that it is better to have many wall outlets rather than not enough.


4. Light Well

A light well is a gap between the basement exterior and the ground next to it. The gap is usually only a couple of feet but it is enough to allow some natural light into the space. Add large windows and look for reflective surfaces to help bounce the sunlight into the room. It may only provide light for a couple of hours a day, but those 2 hours will make a pleasant change from artificial lighting.


5. Use Basement Windows

Alternatively, install ceiling height windows to take advantage of any overlap from the ground level. The windows can be used to provide ventilation, as well as offering natural light at certain hours of the day. The windows may only be small but they can make a marked difference to the ambiance and feel of the basement space.


6. Glass Doors

Office designers have been using glass partitions and glass doors for centuries. The material naturally lets light through, and in a home office, there is unlikely to be a question of privacy. The glass doors can use clear glass, which allows the most light through, but even frosted glass can be used to encourage a natural passage of light from the entrance or windows through to the rest of the office.


7. Add A Coffee Station

One of the perceived benefits of having a home office is that it is close to your own kitchen. This means that you can pop and make a coffee or grab your favorite herbal brew whenever you like. In reality, that can mean a lot of traipsing up and down basement stairs, which is a nightmare, even if they are beautiful cast iron spiral stairs. Use one of the small nooks or blank areas of the basement to create a separate coffee station.


8. Extend WiFi Connectivity

It’s unlikely that you will want to pay for a second line or an ADSL line into your basement, but you can use your existing broadband and Internet connection. It is possible to pass your internet connection through the house using the electrical wiring, or you can install a WiFi extender to go wireless. If you have an old router or two, you can use these to create a DIY WiFi mesh around your home and basement.


9. Recessed Lighting

There are plenty of ways to get lighting down into the basement for your office. You can use existing light fixtures, but some basement ceilings hang quite low, especially drop ceilings. Recessed lighting will prevent you from having to duck past hanging fittings and gives a professional look to the place.


10. Desk Lamps And Task Lighting

Task lighting is lighting that is placed and chosen to help illuminate you and the required equipment while performing a specific task. Whether this is working on a computer all day or operating some form of machinery in your basement, task lighting utilizes the space you have, and because it is your office in your house, you don’t have to worry about whether the lighting is suitable for others.


11. Soundproof The Ceiling

There will likely be days when the family is running around upstairs while you are trying to hit important deadlines in the basement. At that point, it is amazing just how off-putting a few footsteps can be. Soundproof your basement to prevent family arguments and missed deadlines.


12. Insulation Is Vital

While you’re soundproofing, it makes sense to install insulation, too. The basement is at least partially underground, and the cold earth up against the walls means that the basement can be very cold indeed. Effective insulation in the sub-layers not only helps keep the basement warm but also protects the rest of the property from the cold.


13. Create Built-In Storage

The basement can offer up some unusual and unique spaces. Often, these are left unfilled, or we underutilize the space by filling it with a single item. Turn these nooks and gaps into unique storage spaces, allowing you to make the most of every bit of the basement level you have.


14. Hide Storage With Sliding Doors

Sliding barn doors enable you to hang heavy doors that slide easily. The doors can become a feature, especially in an industrial-looking basement office, and they work to keep clutter and mess out of the way and tidy. Hide your files and other equipment out of the way with sliding doors, so that it is easy to access but even easier to ignore.


15. Floating Desk

Another great way to use one of the unusually shaped nooks in your basement is to turn it into a desk. You’re going to need somewhere to do paperwork and store files. The floating desk takes up less room, enables you to spread out and make better use of the available desk space, and it can look highly effective.


16. Offices For Two

If you’re fortunate enough to have free labor at home, or a partner that helps you run your business, then they, too, will need somewhere to spread out and call their own. There are various ways to provide this extra space but creating desks for two enable you to reuse space and therefore minimize lost space.

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Basement Office Ideas

Often, the basement is an under-utilized space, but it has a lot of potential. Even if your basement already enjoys some use, with a storage area, storm shelter, and more, you can turn even a small cubby area into a useful and professional-looking office space. Above, we have given you 16 basement office ideas and tips, but the key is to look at the space you have and to come up with something to match your space, rather than trying to go against it.


Featured Image Credit: Nikolay Kokorin, Shutterstock

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