Is your basement an empty shell or a paneled nightmare that's been waiting for years to be useful? If you are ready to make some changes, consider putting in some form of a kitchen. It will significantly expand your opportunities for entertaining and living in your basement.

Party Time

Turn your basement into the perfect place to invite friends over for an evening of fun. Whether you want to watch the big game or mingle with some neighborhood couples, you can make your unused space an entertainment haven. How? Add a bar area. Admittedly this would not be classified as a kitchen, but add a few kitchen appliances and you increase your party possibilities. What should you look for?

  • A beverage cooler is an essential appliance for an entertainment space. It will keep drinks cold and readily available when your friends want them.
  • A microwave makes it easy and convenient to warm up some appetizers. Instead of running up and down the stairs for food you can stay with your guests and enjoy the party. For better aesthetics, look for one that can be mounted under the counter.
  • A dishwasher allows you to take care of dirty plates and glasses without having to haul them upstairs after the fun is over. You can find small dishwashers that are less than 18" wide. You can also buy a dishwasher that opens and closes like a drawer. If you don't want to run a separate water line for your dishwasher, look for a unit that hooks up to the sink.

Family Gatherings

Do you want a space where you can make lasting memories with your family? Create the ultimate family room by installing a kitchenette. This option allows you to enjoy the conveniences of a kitchen without taking up a lot of your living space. With a kitchenette you will have food at hand when the crowd gets hungry.

You can install many of the same appliances in a kitchenette that you would in a full-sized kitchen, just look for smaller versions. In addition to the dishwasher mentioned above, consider purchasing the following appliances:

  • A refrigerator is a must in a basement kitchenette. It allows you to store enough food for snacks and occasional meals. Many manufacturers make apartment-sized fridges that are the perfect size for this situation. Ranging in size from 7 to 10 cubic feet, these small refrigerators will meet your needs without hogging up space.
  • A 2-burner stove top allows you to cook while taking up less counter top space.
  • A convection oven is a good option for a kitchenette because it is smaller than a conventional oven and can be installed under the counter.
  • A wall mounted microwave with a fan is an excellent choice for a kitchenette. It allows you to warm things up quickly without taking up the minimal counter space you have. Mount it over the cook top so it can serve as a ventilation system as well.

Living Space

If you want to turn your basement into an in-law apartment or a guest suite, consider building a full size kitchen. It will be more functional and easier to use than a kitchenette. Make room in your design for full-sized appliances. Consider replacing your convection oven with a full-sized conventional oven. You will also have room to include some small counter top appliances such as a toaster, blender, and stand mixer.

With any of these additions you will need to make sure that you have adequate plumbing and electrical systems installed. Make sure that you have an appliance repair and service that you can turn to should you need help.

You will appreciate the convenience of having a bar, kitchenette, or kitchen in your basement. You will have what you need close at hand and enjoy your time down there even more.