Quite often you have nearly as much square footage in your basement as you do in an above-ground floor. That means you have a lot of possibilities when finishing a basement. One of them is adding a small kitchenette. It doesn't need to be as spacious and decked out as your main kitchen. However, a basement kitchenette can facilitate entertaining or just lounging in your new basement rooms.
It's highly unlikely you'll do as much food preparation in your basement kitchen as you do in your main one. Therefore, you don't need a full range of appliances. You'll want a refrigerator for sure, but it may not be necessary to install a full-sized one. If you're just storing a few snacks and drinks, a mini refrigerator is probably sufficient. Likewise, a range and over aren't necessary unless you're planning on a lot of entertaining. A microwave is likely enough. A sink is essential for clean up, but you probably don't need a dishwasher.
A next big consideration for your kitchenette is the countertop material. It's not necessary to put in an expensive material such as granite. Instead, choose a material such as laminate or formica countertops. Formica comes in numerous color and pattern options that can resemble natural stone. You can also choose options that simply fit your design style, such as bright colors or bold patterns. Laminate is relatively maintenance free and highly durable. What's more, formica typically features built-in antimicrobial protection. Laminate is ideal for your basement kitchenette countertops because it's much less expensive than natural stone yet still stylish.
One way to section off your kitchenette from an open plan finished basement is with a kitchen island. Indeed, as Better Homes and Gardens points out, an island can provide additional storage and work space. You can even have it built high enough to accommodate seating. For the storage, again it will be different than your main kitchen. Brainstorm what items you need stored in the basement specifically. For the surface, have it finished in the same material as the rest of your countertops. You can choose a complementary color of formica for added style.
A kitchenette is different from a wet bar because it includes food preparation. However, you can incorporate a wet bar into your kitchenette, which is useful if you do a lot of entertaining. Think about which drinks you'll be preparing the most, and design the wet bar around them. For instance, if you're a wine connoisseur, it makes sense to include a wine rack and maybe even separate wine refrigerator in addition to a rack for the glasses. However, perhaps you'll be preparing more coffee and other hot drinks. In that case, you want to create a hot drinks station complete with plugs for appliances and space for storing mugs.
Design a kitchenette that complements how you'll be using your finished basement.