Your House Needs This is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

You're remodeling your basement, or at least repainting it. When it comes down to it, you could pick any color, but which one's right for you? Do you want to brighten a sitting room? Create a cozy man cave? Make an energizing workout room? Even if you're not finishing the basement, some paint will keep everything in better shape than bare sheetrock. Here are some Basement Color Ideas that might work for you.

1) Teal

Teal is a vibrant color that'll be excellent if you're trying to make a kitchen, family room, or basement apartment. Basements often look dull from a lack of light, but teal is bright enough to make the room look sunnier and happier. To create the illusion of an upstairs room or apartment, you can also hang teal curtains like these over a blank wall. Since they're blackout curtains, you won't be able to see that there's no window behind them.

2) Accent

Most color schemes have at least three colors, though one or two will be dominant. When choosing your colors, you'll probably want to pick one main color for most of the room, then choose a second color and an accent. As a rule of thumb, the room should have 60% of the main color, 40% of the second, and 10% of a third accent color. You can learn more about how to apply your color choices in this Designing Idea article.

3) Cream

Basements can look dull and dingy because they typically don't have many windows to let light in, and a lot of them have low ceilings. One way to keep them from feeling as dark and dingy is to use light colors, though white may not be a good idea for walls if your basement doesn't stay as clean as the rest of the house. A cream basement like the one in this Carissa Cleans It All video will create a bright and sunny look, even in the absence of sunlight.

4) Burgundy and Gold

A finished basement is a luxury. You can use one as a second living or dining room, a home gym, or another space just for the family. Since they're a luxury, you can make them look like one by choosing a rich palette like burgundy and gold. This color palette is luxurious and makes the room feel extravagant, which is perfect for a bonus room like this. You can even learn how to set up a room with a gold and burgundy theme in this SFGATE article.

5) Emerald

Your basement probably has a couple of short windows near the ceiling, but overall you're lacking in natural light. One way to make the space feel brighter is to use vibrant colors like emerald on the walls and large areas. We loved the idea of an emerald and gold wallpaper like this that should catch whatever sunlight it gets and reflect it brightly. The walls will stand out and make the entire room look brighter and more cheerful with something like this, or even with emerald paint.

6) Black Industrial

If your basement is finished enough to start using, but you're not planning on fully finishing it, you could consider leaving the ceiling open and painting it black. This creates an industrial look that's perfect for a semi-finished basement, and the black paint will hide any dirt and dust. In addition, it saves a lot of trouble since you'll still have access to any pipes in the ceiling, and it makes your ceiling seem higher than it would if it were covered in drywall.

7) Multicolor Steps

If you have kids or use the basement as a family or recreation room, then bright colors are the way to go. We loved how Beth from Beth Bryan Designs painted her basement stairs with board and batten and multicolored steps. Each backstop is painted a different color; you could even let each family member choose one or two colors! This is a creative and colorful way to express yourself and give your children a say in the decoration of an area that won't be as visible to guests: the basement!

8) Neutrals With Patterns and Textures

If you want to create a tasteful man cave, basement apartment, or lounge, you might not want to go with nothing but bright colors, even if they'd reflect sunlight well. Instead, you can start with neutrals, either on the light side to reflect sunlight or on the dark side to create a cozy atmosphere. Then, add textures and prints like ones on the countertop and throw pillows in this video. The solid color base with some textures creates a rich atmosphere, while the neutrals don't rely on sunlight to look attractive.

9) Tranquility and Optimism

If you're creating a man cave or family room, you'll want to create a calming, happy, and spiritually uplifting environment. It should be a place where you feel entirely at home and can always rest your mind if you need to. When you choose your color scheme, you can keep this in mind and choose colors that create that kind of atmosphere. For instance, teal is a mix of blue and green. Blue is a calming and stable color, while green is a happy and optimistic color. You can learn more about the effects of color here.

10) Black and White Stencil

Stenciling is a neat trick that's unique to basements since it's typically done on concrete. Instead of putting in carpet or another flooring that you'll have to maintain, you can paint the floor black and white using wall stencils. The end result is pretty, as you can see in this Stencil Stories article, and the contrast of the black and white will make the area stand out. Think about ways that you can use stencils like these as accents instead of covering the whole basement floor, too!

11) Blue

Blue is generally considered a soothing color, so if you're creating a playroom or second living room, it'll make the area feel more comfortable. It's also calming for an area where people are likely to take naps or even settle down to watch TV. You can get a paint like this one from Amazon that can go on wood, concrete, plaster, and more. That way, you can paint any concrete half walls and the concrete floor if you want.

12) Gray Walls and Leather

Lighter colors in a basement create a light and airy feeling, which is great in a room that doesn't have a lot of natural light, but what if you decided to take advantage of the lack of light instead? You can create a basement bar or man cave with dim lighting, gray walls, and leather furniture like the one in this "the decor formula" remodel. This color combination creates a cozy industrial-style basement bar and lounge, and the dark gray and natural wood complement the industrial look.

13) Red With Natural Wood

Red looks good in a basement because red goes well with gray concrete or red brick and adds a colorful touch that tends to be missing in basements. You can get just one or two red accents like the rug in this DIY Huntress basement, and it'll transform the space. Natural wood looks good with this color combination if you pick something like cedar that has a reddish or even brownish tint. You can see in the DIY Huntress video that the natural wood and red rug go well together, making a big difference with a few areas of color.

14) Treat It Like a Second Living Room

If your basement is basically your second living room, you can treat it as such. What color would you paint a regular living room? Was there a runner-up color that you thought about before you picked your upstairs living room color? If you're looking for trending colors, you can even explore these trending living room colors for 2021 and pick one that'll make your downstairs living room chic and modern. As you scroll through and pick a color, though, make sure to keep in mind the space and the amount of natural light you'll have.

15) Modern Black and White

Vintage modern probably doesn't sound like a real style if you haven't heard about it before, but the combination of vintage furniture and modern colors and background is actually a rather striking one. In this Little House of Four basement, you can see how they used black and white as their main wall and door colors, with mostly white walls and then black cabinets, doors, and furniture. This kept the black from being overwhelming while creating a modern look that they combined with vintage furnishings for a unique and classy look.

16) Red

The first step in decorating a basement is deciding what you'll use it for. If you're doing something energetic like playing music, working out, or playing pool in your basement game room, you don't need subtle and neutral colors or light and airy ones. You can go bold with a deep color like the red in the music room pictured here. A deep red with adequate lighting looks classy and creates an energetic atmosphere to keep you excited for whatever you're doing, whether it's working out or playing drums!

17) Black Accents

Typically, you'll want to avoid painting with black since it's a dark color that's hard to paint over, and it absorbs light to make any space look darker. If you're creating a man cave or lounge, though, black accents will help you create a sleek, dark, and soothing atmosphere that's perfect for a game of pool, cards, or reading a book. You can see in this video how some leather with a few black accents creates a sleek and cozy man cave.

18) White Ceiling

White ceilings are fairly common, but you might be tempted to do something more decorative on a short ceiling since it's closer to eye height and more visible. If you don't have a lot of light, though, you'll generally want a white ceiling that'll make the room look even more open. You can even leave the joists exposed and paint them white using these directions to make the ceiling feel much higher than it actually is and create a less cramped atmosphere.

19) Multicolor Lights

Lights are always potential decorations, though, in most rooms, you'll only see them in the evenings and at night when it's dark outside. In a basement, even with small windows near the ceiling, you'll probably have a dim enough space that you can always use lights as decorations, which opens up a lot of new possibilities! For instance, you can take multicolored lights like these and string them around the edge of the ceiling as ambient light.

20) Blue With Natural Floors

If you're designing a basement apartment or in-law apartment, you won't want it to look and feel like a basement. Instead, you can use colors that are more typical for an upstairs room to trick somebody into feeling like they're not in a basement. If you do it right, you can create something like this Jennifer Allwood Home basement kitchen. If it weren't for the lack of windows, this would seem like a regular kitchen. You can even use patterns to create areas of interest and trick the eye into forgetting that there are no windows.

21) Tan and Gray Stone

Stone almost always looks good in a basement since they naturally have stonelike textures or concrete, brick, or cinder block. We liked this Falcone Hybner Design, Inc. basement that incorporated tan and gray stone to create a warm and light look that makes the area feel more open and inviting. This kind of color scheme is ideal for a basement apartment or a really nice basement sitting room. For this color scheme, anything that's not stone would be beige, white, medium brown, or other neutrals.

What are you using your basement for? Are you turning it into a basement apartment, workout room, or maybe a family sitting room? We can't wait to hear about your space in the comments below.

You May Also Like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Not Finding What You Want?