Creating an attic interior design scheme might sound silly at first. After all, you say, isn’t the attic just a hot, dusty (and maybe slightly spooky) storage space for my stuff? Depending on the design of your house, your attic or even the bonus room over your garage might be an excellent living space opportunity. With some planning and perhaps a bit of remodeling, your attic space or bonus room may be turned into a home office, extra bedroom or a relaxing, loft-like retreat.
Before you start choosing new flooring and paint colors, though, there are some things to consider. First, is the architectural layout of your home suitable to an attic living space? You will want to have enough head clearance so you can reasonably move around without banging your head on the rafters. If you do have room to move about freely in your attic is there practical access from the lower floors of the house to it? A pull-down access ladder buried deep inside a bedroom closet isn’t going to cut it.
If a practical access method doesn’t currently exist, you may be able to do some remodeling to create one. Consult with a professional building contractor or architect to determine what options are best for your home and whether or not it is worth the effort. If you determine that your attic space is a viable living area and has functional access from the rest of the house you will want to plan some additional details prior to executing your design plan. For example, ensure you have adequate heating/cooling and lighting systems in place. You may find your attic currently has exposed rafters and wall studs. This can be a blessing in disguise since it will make updating these systems more convenient.
Now would also be a great time to consider adding skylights and recessed lighting to really enhance and open the space.Proper lighting is a major part of any interior design scheme, but it becomes even more important when you’re talking about a typically dark attic or bonus room. There is also the opportunity to double check your insulation levels prior to installing the drywall surface. A well insulated attic will pay long-term dividends in home energy savings. Of course, any attic remodeling efforts should only be considered in consultation with a professional building contractor or architect to ensure structural integrity and conformance with local building codes. After any preparatory remodeling work is complete you will be ready to focus on the surface elements of your attic interior design plan.
A typical attic space will have a vaulted ceiling that follows the roof line. Sometimes this leaves short side walls and puts the homeowner in a quandary about how to deal a color scheme. If you are concerned about this, keep the side walls and the angled ceilings the same color so they visually flow together and there is no break for the eye to focus on.
This will also help create the feeling of having more space. Consider painting one or both end walls a coordinating hue in your chosen color scheme. Bring in coordinating accent colors by way of room furnishings. For more on choosing a color scheme for your attic interior design makeover, check out my interior design color scheme page. Other elements of your attic interior design scheme such as fabrics and furnishings should be influenced by the style you want to feature in the space whether it be traditional, contemporary or whatever. Each style has its own signature look that provides a foundation for you to add your own personal twist. See my interior design styles page to learn more.
An attic space or bonus room can offer great potential as an extra bedroom, a home office or a relaxing loft to name a few options. It’s not the answer for everyone, but it might be right for you. If you’ve considered your situation and you think the answer may be yes, consult a professional contractor and then start crafting your own attic interior design plan.