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Transform Your Cellar Into A Functional Space

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Are you looking for a way to create more space and add value to your home? If so, it might be time to take a closer look at your cellar. This unhabitable space might not look like much right now, but even the smallest cellars can be transformed into something practical and beautiful. Whether you want an extra bedroom, an office, or gym, transforming your cellar could provide the ideal solution. Read on to find out more about converting your cellar into a functional living space.

Why you should convert your cellar

Many Victorian, Georgian, and Edwardian homes come with a cellar – a room which was generally used for coal storage or as a scullery or larder many years ago. With few people now using coal fires and there being no need for service rooms like these, they’re mostly either used for storage or ignored. This makes them ideal for development by homeowners seeking extra space in their homes.

If you want to create more space in your home but extending it upwards or outwards isn’t possible, it makes sense to consider converting your cellar. It’s a viable option, especially because it’s physically close to the ground floor and reception rooms. Not only is it in the perfect location for additional living space, but it’s unlikely to drastically alter your home’s exterior, with major extension work rarely required. Converting your cellar allows you to create a substantial amount of space – something which is likely to make your property very appealing to potential buyers should you decide to sell up.

Ideas for transforming your cellar

The options for transforming your cellar into a functional space are almost endless, with so many possibilities for this vacant room. You can convert your cellar into a playroom or home gym, or even relocate the boiler there, creating a utility room and freeing up more space in your home. Alternatively, you could turn your cellar into a self-contained unit, making it ideal for use as an annexe or an office. However, keep in mind that if you want it to become an independent separate dwelling, you’ll need to obtain planning permission.

Playroom

If your living room is being taken over by toys, why not transform your cellar into a playroom? All kids need space to release their energy, so giving them a designated area to play could be a great idea. Whilst it won’t require a big or expensive renovation (especially since its use will change once your children have grown up), it’s important to make the space fun and imaginative. Consider square carpet tiles rather than carpeting if damp is likely to be an issue, and opt for durable furniture fabric, such as suede. This is a must for a playroom, with seating likely to get heavily used and become stained over time. Choose bright colours for décor and make sure the room is adequately lit.

Playroom

Home cinema

Subterranean rooms are great for home cinemas as they let in minimal light, giving you the perfect environment to create a real cinematic experience. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in movies without the sound interfering with other rooms in the house. High-quality home cinema equipment is available to suit a range of budgets, but before you go shopping, you’ll need to make sure your cellar has a waterproofing system in place. It will need to be insulated, plastered, and then soundproofed so that it’s suitable for a home cinema. You’ll also need to consider electrical cabling when planning the layout of the room. Don’t forget to buy some comfy cinema-style chairs to relax on too. Go for squashy sofas that are comfy and cosy, or if you want to imitate a real cinema, you could opt for individual armchairs.

Gym

The biggest challenge of working out is often just showing up! At the end of a long day, fighting the traffic to get to the gym can seem like a battle we can do without. If this sound familiar, why not think about transforming your cellar into a personal workout centre? Being able to get fit and healthy without even leaving your home can certainly be convenient and appealing. The first thing you’ll need to consider is your flooring. Whilst rubber is often the first choice for home gyms, you may also want to consider carpeting over rubber flooring to provide greater comfort and better aesthetics. You’ll also need to make sure that the room is well-lit, with overhead lighting helping to boost motivation whilst working out.

Mancave

Most guys dream of having a mancave to escape to for relaxation and “me time”, so why not create one? Whether you’re married with kids or living the single life, a man cave is an ideal space in which to chill out. You’ll have total control over the design and décor, and you can add whatever items you like to enhance the room. For example, you could incorporate a wide-screen TV, video game console, pool table, and even a refrigerator to keep your drinks and snacks cool. Seeing as you’ll be kicking back and relaxing a lot in here, it makes sense to make sure there’s somewhere to sit too. A stunning wingback chair is a good choice for stylish and comfortable seating.

Extra bedroom

Many people are choosing to convert their cellars into extra bedrooms. Whether your family is growing or you’re in need of a guest room, transforming your cellar is certainly an easier and more affordable option than moving to a new house. One of the most important things to think about when turning your cellar into a bedroom is natural light. Natural light is important in any bedroom; however, it can be hard to get sufficient daylight into a cellar. By law, a cellar bedroom needs to have an openable window that can be used as a fire escape. If the window doesn’t provide enough light, you can always create light wells or shafts to promote natural daylight. There are so many décor ideas for cellar bedrooms, however, if the room is relatively small, consider using lighter colours such as white and pastels to make it appear more spacious. It may be possible to install an ensuite too, which can be a good idea if it’s a guest bedroom and you want to make your visitors feel more at home.

Cellar Bedroom

Garden

In many big cities, properties often have very little outside space, with gardens in short supply. This can make it difficult to enjoy nature without venturing further afield. So, why not consider transforming your gloomy basement into a garden? Garden basements are a fantastic way to connect the house with the garden, making a great alternative to a conservatory. Although cellars are underground, they will still let enough light in if you have steps leading up to ground level outdoors. This will allow lots of natural daylight to enter the room. Light is probably the most challenging aspect of a creating basement garden, especially as some plants require more sunlight than others. You’ll also need to make sure your basement is warm and ventilated properly. Just like in an outdoor garden, plants need warmth and the right level of oxygen to grown and flourish. You need to ensure that the space is draft-free and install heaters to maintain a suitable temperature. If the basement is also damp, you’ll need fans to help move the air around and stop rot occuring.

Is your cellar suitable for conversion?

If you’re thinking of transforming your cellar into a functional space within your home, you’ll need to find out if it’s suitable for conversion. You should get in touch with an experienced builder and organise a cellar survey. They will analyse your options and identify any issues that you might face. They’ll also inform you of waterproofing regulations that your cellar would need to adhere to. It’s also important to keep in mind that cellar conversions which are intended to be used as living areas are covered by building regulations. This is to make sure that buildings are safe and hygienic, as well as energy-efficient. The regulations for cellar conversions include waterproofing, ventilation, fire escapes, wiring, and ceiling height. There’s a lot to consider when you’re thinking about converting your cellar, however, a cellar conversion specialist will be able to answer all of your questions and ensure that you’re adhering to UK building law.

If you need more space in your home, or you simply want to add value to it, converting your cellar into a functional space could be the right move. Whether you want to add an extra bedroom, a playroom, or even a gym, the options are endless. There are so many things you can do to a dark and dreary cellar to transform it into an attractive and practical space within your home. Converting a cellar can be stressful, but it’s usually a smooth and organised task providing you’ve got an experienced team on hand.

Anna Sharples

Office and marketing manager for Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs, who sell a range of high-quality tub chairs, accent chairs and more.

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