House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

9 Basement Door Ideas & Design Tips (with Pictures)

basement door

basement door

Basement doors can be a bit complicated. Often, you’re dealing with terrain constraints. Some basements don’t even have exterior doors, making designing one incredibly difficult.

Luckily, there is plenty of inspiration on the internet for all sorts of different basement entrances. Whether you’re looking to upgrade or completely replace (or build) your basement door, here are some of our favorite ideas.

The 9 Basement Door Ideas and Design Tips

1. Bulkhead Door

Green Bulkhead Door leading to basement in garden cellar
Image Credit: Nancy Kennedy, Shutterstock

Bulkhead doors are the “traditional” style for basement doors. They work well with terrain constraints since they can be put nearly horizontal with the ground. The stairs are typically on the inside, which prevents slipping should the steps get wet.

Bulkhead doors do not have to be straightforward and boring, though. There are plenty of ways to spruce up your basement door. You can cover them with wood for an antique look or use lots of right angles for a modern look.

2. Spruce Up Your Stairs

No matter the design, the large majority of basements are accessed using stairs. These stairs can easily blend into the background. However, you may also want to spruce up the stairs and make them a significant part of your design.

These eclectic stairs are a unique design feature that surely spices up this basement. The antique, colorful wood combined with the modern floor tiles provide a unique, unforgettable design addition.

3. Outdoor Stairs Can Be Spiced Up Too!

Indoor steps aren’t the only ones that can be spiced up for a unique basement entrance look. Consider spicing up your outdoor steps as well. These stairs are quite simple, but the rock wall spruces them up and turns them into a design feature – instead of an ignored part of your house.

You don’t have to do much to spruce up your steps. Typically, just a little bit of attention can make the stairs look significantly nicer. Add some friendly pavers or spruce up the wall to make the steps something to remember before your visitors even get to the door.

This is also a great place to do some landscaping if you have the room. Landscaping can look just as good as lovely as a beautiful rock wall.

4. Hidden Entrance

In some cases, you may be able to hide your basement entrance altogether. You can hide it underneath your deck just like they did in this picture. This is perfect for terrains where it is difficult to make the basement door look good. Instead, you can hide the entrance altogether.

This also makes the space above the door somewhat useable. You can walk on it and momentarily use it for chairs and similar items. If you’re short on space, this is a great way to take advantage of every square inch.

5. Terraced Landscaping

This is an excellent example of using landscaping to fix up your basement door and entrance. You may not have much room to plant things along the entrance. However, by making a step-down design like in this picture, you can make some room to plant various things.

This is a great way to use every inch of space you have available to you.

6. Big Doors

Basements can often feel small and cramped. Basement entrances often are as well. One easy way to make them feel more open and inviting is to make your entrance bigger. This will take a bit of work, as you’ll need double the amount of walkway space. Take advantage of the more extensive walkway by choosing beautiful tiles and stones.

With a more enormous doorway, you can quickly leave the doorway open to let in some fresh air. Bringing in larger pieces of furniture is also more comfortable with the larger doorway!

7. Floor Entrance

On top of hiding your basement entrance somewhere outside, you can also easily hide it underneath your inside floor as well. This is perfect for those in tight spaces, where you could use the extra floor space that the stair entrance is taking up. At the same time, this is also an easy way to spruce up your stair entrance if none of the other styles appeal to you.

After all, you don’t need to spruce up an entrance if you can’t see it.

With that said, this is one of the more challenging options on this list. You’ll need quite a bit of DIY know-how to make it happen, depending on your flooring and where your entrance is located.

8. Underneath Your Deck

Basement doors are often underneath patios and decks. The best part about this sort of door is that it can easily be spruced up just like any other home entrance. You can add tiles and pavers to bring some unique style to the space.

Feel free to use the area around the entrance as a deck. Add some chairs and a grill to make it a usable space. This is also an excellent opportunity to do some landscaping. Consider using bushes and vines to put the area up a notch.

9. Wooden Doors

Most basement doors are metal or look like your usual exterior door. You can easily spice up the entrance by using a uniquely styled door like one made out of wood. Match the door to the rest of your home’s style.

This works best if your home isn’t mid-century or modern. Otherwise, a traditional door might look best. For antique and farmhouse-styled homes, though, your entrance can quickly look unique with the use of a unique entrance door.

divider 7


There are countless ways to design a basement door. Perhaps you’re just looking to spice up your traditional door or spruce up the entrance a bit. Alternatively, you could get rid of your current door altogether and place it with a unique one – or one that is handmade.

Some of these projects are easy, DIY options for a single weekend, while others will take relatively more time and planning. On many occasions, you may be able to do multiple projects to make your entrance unforgettable.

Featured Image Credit: Jason Finn, Shutterstock


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools