You are the most giving of us all. You are designing your basement so that your friends have a place to hang out.  Maybe you build a guest room so friends can spend the night, or the week, or just move right in.  Consider these basement development ideas planning your basement with friends in mind.

Games Room

Billiard table, ping pong, arcade games…anything in the name of fun.  This is both a good place for you and your friends and also for your teenagers. Few things are more important to your teenagers than having a fun place to be with their friends. Building a games room in your basement provides fun for them and peace of mind for you.

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How Much Space do I Need?

  • Pool Table
    • A regulation size billiard table is 4-1/2 feet wide by 9 feet long. When you factor in the length of a pool cue (at least 58 inches) around the perimeter of the table, you end up with a room that needs to be 14 feet wide by 18 feet long.
    • Adding in storage for your cues and other accessories is an important detail that shouldn’t be overlooked. Would you prefer a simple pool cue rack on the wall, or would you like to integrate a dart board into your design for added fun? Whatever design you choose, make sure to leave space in your floorplan for storage as well as the table itself, as there’s nothing worse than bumping the end of your cue into the wall and missing your shot as a result!
  • Foosball Table
    • A foosball table is 56″ long and 30” wide. Accounting for the rods sticking out on both sides and size of the players, set aside an area 7 feet wide and 8 feet long so everyone can play comfortably without getting a rod into your stomach because you’re pinned against the wall!
  • Ping-Pong Table
    • A ping-pong table in and of itself requires a large footprint in your basement, covering an area 9 feet long by 5 feet wide. If you want an exciting ping-pong match without the unfair advantage of using the wall as part of your strategy, plan for a space that is 19 feet long by 11 feet wide.
  • Arcade Game Cabinets
    • For a truly nostalgic experience, consider installing a few arcade game cabinets loaded with your favorite games. Most arcade game cabinets are 35 inches wide by 27 inches long, allowing you to position at least 3 cabinets in an area that’s dimensions were 5 feet by 12 feet.

Guest Bedroom

Yes, they could just stay at Super 8, but it would be nicer to host people in your guest room. Then you can stay up late together, retelling that story about when you were kids. No set checkout time, unless of course, they have a flight to catch.

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Four Essentials for a Comfortable Guest Room

1. Clean and Uncluttered

No one wants to sleep in a storage room, especially in someone else’s house! A guest room should be clean and uncluttered so your guests can sleep comfortably without worrying about toppling the pile of boxes if they need to get up in the middle of the night! If your guest room needs to pull double duty as extra storage, install shelves to organize everything so that it feels orderly and tidy instead of chaotic

2. Necessary Items Close By

A towel rack on the wall or a basket with a few rolled towels will allow your guests to feel comfortable in your home and eliminate any embarrassing rummaging through the bathroom looking for a towel!

3. A Comfortable Bed!

You don’t want to be in the poor house after outfitting your guest room, but a real bed instead of a pullout couch will make your guests happy to return to your home! Ikea’s Morgedal mattress can fit the bill for a comfortable, yet affordable guest bed. An added bonus is the Morgedal’s foam construction makes it easy to move when you decide to rearrange the furniture!

4. Comfortable all Year Round

During the heat of summer, your guests will adore the cool (but not chilly) atmosphere afforded by your basement’s natural insulation. On the reverse, during the winter months, a well-designed heating system can keep a basement bedroom warm and cozy without feeling stuffy.

Space to Entertain

Twister in your living room is fun, but the lamp will get broken. In your basement, there is room to set up the sofas, watch the game, play board games, or do whatever else you love to do. Give yourself space to be together without sitting on each others’ laps.

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Conversational Seating

Instead of aligning the couch and chairs to face the TV, change the seating orientation away from the TV to allow for conversation to flow naturally. If you are buying new furniture after you develop your basement, consider moving away from giant sectionals and couches and purchase several smaller armchairs that can be grouped together in small groups around the room for a more intimate feel to your basement.

A Mini-Bar

You’ve invited all your friends over, and you are enjoying the evening in your new basement development. But then you decide a drink would be nice, and maybe a snack? But its all the way upstairs in the kitchen! It would be a nightmare trying to balance all the drinks and a tray of food down the stairs. How about installing a mini-bar in your basement to make entertaining a breeze instead of a disaster waiting to happen!

Home Theatre

If movies are your thing, then theatre, here we come!  This doesn’t have to be Cineplex, but a nice big screen with some crisp sound and comfy chairs would be great. Add some homemade popcorn popping at your wet bar, and you are set for the perfect night at home.

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What if You…

  • Hard-wired the cables and speakers during our renovation, so you didn’t have to look at a mess of wires and cables everytime you sat down to watch a show?
  • Included a wet bar in our basement renovation so grabbing a snack while you watched a movie wasn’t a lengthy ordeal up another flight of stairs?
  • Painted the ceiling and walls the same dark color for a sophisticated theatre experience?
  • Installed a cabinet to showcase all of your gaming platforms and controllers simultaneously?
  • Raised the flooring under your seating area by a few inches ensuring that everyone has a great view of the screen?
  • Installed a bar within sight of the big screen to create the best atmosphere for the big game?
  • Included storage closets within the design of your basement theatre to neatly store all of your media components within reach but nicely out of sight?
  • Installed fans into the ceiling to prevent the room from becoming hot and stuffy whenever you used your electronics?
  • Other great ideas can be found on Decoist or Houzz.


The opportunities that present themselves when you develop your basement are nearly limitless. But with a few guiding ideas, you can discover the potential that your basement contains as it allows you to build those social connections with your friends. How will you develop your basement and share time and memories with your friends?