When it comes to lighting, basements present a unique challenge. Basements are usually constructed with low ceilings and may or may not have windows. This means the room is usually very dark and drab. To correct the problem, you can add the right type of lighting to create a bright and cheery room where the entire family will love hanging out.
If your basement has windows, the first thing you want to do is accentuate the natural light. If you only have one small window, then you need to choose window treatments that will allow as much light in as possible. To accomplish this, you need to use light, almost translucent curtains. Additionally, you want to use tiebacks so that during the day, the curtains can be pulled back. Another option is to use blinds that can easily be opened and shut.
For the wall color, you want to choose light colors that will help open up the room. While white and off-white are always options, you could also choose a pale green, yellow, or blue. If you do decide to go with white, remember that you can enhance the walls using hobby paint and stencils or rubber-stamping.
For the lights, recessed lighting is probably your best choice. First, it will work well with the low ceiling and it offers a great source of light. The great thing about recessed lighting is that it can be installed just about anywhere in the ceiling. If there is not adequate room for this type of lighting, you can always install track lighting.
For the floor, again, try to stick with lighter colors that will give the illusion of the room being larger and more open. If the room were large enough, one area rug coupled by several smaller throw rugs would be perfect. Pillows and afghans are also great ways to bring pops of light into the room. For instance, if you have darker furniture and floors, placing light colored floor pillows down will again create the illusion of more light.
Table lamps and floor lamps can be placed in corners where light is difficult to reach. With halogen lamps, you can choose a style that will produce plenty of light while also serving as an accent for the room. While fluorescent lighting is an option, because it is very bright and intense, it tends to produce too harsh a light.
By using a dimmer switch or a three-way light bulb, you can still lower the lights to create a romantic setting or keep them at full light for the family. Since this is the basement, be creative with your lighting choices. Do not be afraid of color and designs, which are great choices for making the room casual yet colorful and fun.