Whether used as a private hangout for an in-law (complete with a kitchenette) or a more freewheeling space for socializing, each of these walkout lower levels presents a versatile place for homeowners to adapt to their needs.

Workshop and Wet Bar Downstairs

Photo courtesy of Skycastle Homes
Photo courtesy of Skycastle Homes

Designed to maximize sweeping views, this home spreads out over two stories and a finished walkout basement to give a family plenty of elbow room. The main floor holds the master suite, which treats owners to a private deck, luxurious bathroom, and walk-in closet. The study nearby would make a handy nursery, snore room, or quiet reading space. In the middle of the home, a three-sided fireplace sheds warmth to both the great room and large dining area. An island adds more prep space in the kitchen. Near the garage, the well-organized mudroom makes it easy to take dogs on a walk and then rinse muddy paws in the nearby shower. Three bedrooms rest upstairs, while the finished lower level holds a versatile multi-purpose room with a wet bar. You'll also find a full bathroom, the large laundry room, and even a workshop. See more images, information, and the floor plan.

Party on the Lower Level

Fisheye Photography
Fisheye Photography

Spreading out over two levels, this home brings luxury to a sloping lot. On the main level, the master suite steps out to the covered deck and also features a huge walk-in closet and deluxe bathroom. A study on the opposite side sits next to a full bathroom, making it ideal as an easy-to-reach guest suite. There's room for casual entertaining in the kitchen, where the island seats three and the breakfast nook displays the view through a bay window. On the lower level, a wet bar and family room get the party started. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an exercise room provide ample space for family and friends. See more images, information, and the floor plan.

Kitchenette and Keeping Room for Guests

This hillside home boasts open-concept living spaces on both floors, each level with its own family room, spacious kitchen island (the kitchenette downstairs will be perfect for guests to make their own coffee and snacks), breakfast nook, and keeping room. The first level holds the luxurious master suite, complete with tons of closet space and a large shower with a drying area. Outdoor living space reigns supreme, with a very wide porch on the top level and an equally spacious terrace below. See more images, information, and the floor plan.

Separate Apartment Upstairs, More Space Below

Photo by Chuck Heiney
Photo by Chuck Heiney

A large optional guest suite over the garage and a kitchenette in the finished lower level make this home from Visbeen Architects a great choice for homeowners who want to give their friends or family members lots of privacy while visiting. Everyone can hang out together in the open living room and kitchen, where the island boasts seven seats. A two-sided fireplace steals the show between the kitchen and hearth room. On the second floor, the master suite enjoys a generous bathroom and easy proximity to the laundry room. Two more bedrooms (one designed specifically for bunk beds) share the hall bath. This plan took home the prize in the Model Homes category for its size at the 2014 American Residential Design Awards. See more images, information, and the floor plan.