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11 Basement Half Wall Ledge Ideas

You’re looking to expand your living space into the basement, but there are a few design flaws, to say the least. You’re trying to figure out what to do about the half wall ledge, but nothing seems to fit, and each idea just looks worse than the rest. For a finished look you’ll love, try one of these Basement Half Wall Ledge Ideas.


1) ​​Install Windows

Your basement ledge is most likely the top of the concrete foundation. While the area under it’s probably concrete covered in drywall, the top part should be regular framing. If so, you can install windows to let light in. This turns the ledge into a large windowsill and frames the windows nicely. You can then use the ledge for plants that need sunlight, or other decorations of your choice. You’ll want to finish the window and ledge with similar trim, like in the picture, to tie the window and ledge together.

2) DIY Shelves

Your basement half wall ledge makes a natural shelf, but if you don’t like the look of that outcropping, there’s a simple solution. Bring the outer wall out by building shelves, as Creekwood Homes did in this renovation, or by framing a fake wall in front of it and covering it with drywall. The shelves give you extra storage space for books, games, or decoration, and give your wall a smooth look that you’ll love.

3) ​​​DIY Stone Veneer

If you like the look of your concrete ledge, you don’t need to cover it up. If it’s already covered, you can always expose the concrete underneath if you like this idea. Give your basement a natural look with a stone veneer. While this video shows you how to do stone veneer outside, you can do it in your basement ledge, too. You’ll just need to be more careful when you clean up your work area. A mop and bucket will definitely work better than a power washer for this.

4) ​​​Fake Window

If you like the look of windows above your ledge, but you can’t afford real windows or don’t want them, try fake ones. This poster from Amazon looks like a real window into a garden. The image has a rustic look, and it comes in realistic window sizes. There’s only one image, so you’ll want to design your space for a single window. It sticks to any smooth surface, and you can reposition it if you need to. Make sure it’s level with the half wall ledge for the best look.

5) ​​​​DIY Wainscot Look

If you want to dress the half wall ledge up a bit, a wainscoting look may be your best choice. The design highlights the ledge and visually separates the ledge from the area above it. It’s also decoration for the bottom part of the ledge, even if some of it ends up covered by furniture. The top part of the ledge is left free for framed prints and other wall art, or you can install windows and match the trim to the wainscoting.

6) ​Brick Look

Your basement is a rustic space. If you’re not trying to get rid of that rustic charm, you’ll need a decorative but rough way to finish the half wall ledge. This peel and stick.  If you already have drywall, you can just peel it off the backing and stick it to the half ledge. Make sure that it’s level with the top of the ledge, so it’ll look right. If the bottom comes out uneven, just trim it. The important thing is to match the top part of the ledge.

7) ​​DIY Board and Batten

If you’re trying to decide how to trim out your ledge, board and batten siding will give you a similar look to wainscot panels, but you can use it to widen the ledge a little. While board and batten are normally used for siding, it’s often adapted as wainscoting, like it is in this tutorial. You can take this a step further by extending the top of the board and batten over the existing ledge. This leads to a slightly wider ledge and a pretty pattern underneath.

8) ​Natural Look

If you want a finished basement, but don’t want to completely get rid of the earthy look, try some natural wallpaper. This wallpaper from Amazon looks like real wood, and the self-stick adhesive makes it easy to apply. Make sure the top edge is parallel to the top of your ledge, in case the floor is uneven. Otherwise, it’ll look like the wallpaper is angled oddly. The self-stick wallpaper is waterproof, so it’s great for basements.

9) ​​​​​Install Trim

If you want to accent the wall ledge without covering the whole thing, the most basic thing you can do is add trim. This video shows you how to trim the top edge to give the area a clean look. You can then pain the lower half of the wall the same color as the top half or paint them two different colors to highlight the ledge. A basement wall ledge is a unique feature that doesn’t exist in other rooms, so showing it off will give character to the area.

10) ​​​​Wood Top

If you’re doing wainscoting or simple drywall, you’ll want some sort of accent in the ledge top. Otherwise, the shelf will look bare. While this works for a sleek modern look, it may not fit your style. This home renovation project will leave you with a beautiful wooden ledge that you can use for decorations or plants. You can blend the ledge into a windowsill like the one in the tutorial, so it looks like one long windowsill.

11) ​​Bar Ledge

Once you’ve decided on the trim or turned your ledge into a wood shelf, you need to decide what to use the ledge for. There are few places where you’ll have a ledge or shelf that covers a whole wall, and a few reasons you would need one. One use for this ledge is a home wet bar. Bars often have a counter to sit at and a shelf against the wall for storage use. You can add a TV and decorations, like the bar in this picture, or simply use it to store liquor.


What ideas have you tried on your basement half wall ledge? Did we miss any ideas? We’d love to hear them. Please let us know in the comments below.


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