Cheering Up Unfinished Part of Basement
I don't want to finish my unfinished basement space, which I use for storage and laundry. But I want to cheer it up!
Most of my lower level is fully developed. The exception is a long, l-shaped unfinished portion that contains fixed storage shelves on unfinished (insulation and studs) walls on the interior, concrete walls on the exterior, the water heater and softener, and the laundry area, partitioned from the rest of the space on the short arm of the L by open-stud walls (added 5 years ago for structural support). There is one small, high window (window well). Ceiling is open, so vents, pipes and wires show.
I had some additional electrical outlets and light sockets put in and changed the naked bulbs to multi-light halogens, but it's still not enough light. In addition to more ceiling lighting, ideas for what I should use for more light?
I'm also considering - if I can find it at a reasonable price - bright, pop-py carpet tile. I was thinking of not even running it wall-to-wall, but just down the middle, for some padding and color (floor is painted grey).
I was also thinking of some of those Wall Pops (decorative stick-ons) over a bright/warm wall color for interest and color.
But even with all that, is it just going to look like a sad attempt? I guess I could paint those stud-only walls (which are unfinished wood) some contrasting color to try to bring out the studs as an architectural feature?
Any idea what to do with the fixed wood shelves all along the long L wall? Good sources for bright contact paper?
I am desperate for ideas! I actually like the basement but I don't understand why - even unfinished and used for utilitarian purposes - it has to be so drab....