Attic Makeovers

A disorganized pile of stuff.
  • Beginner

Household space is at a premium. You can solve this by adding to your house, but more often than not you'll simply have to make the most of the space you already have. In that regard, the attic is usually an underdeveloped resource. This article suggests different ways you can use your attic to alleviate your lack of space.

Caution: in many jurisdictions, it is illegal to turn attic space into living space. Consult with your local planning department and building code before beginning any such project.

A Glorified Closet

Your attic is an ideal place for most storage items, provided it is outfitted properly and easily accessed. Keep in mind that heat rises, so before you store books, papers, or other dry materials, take proper care to protect against fires. Holiday supplies are typically stored here, but other uses might be seasonal clothing or unused household items like dishes, typewriters, sewing machines, etc.

Providing that your attic space has enough head clearance, your attic could become a dressing room, a craft room, a spare room, or even a library or an office.

A Dressing Room

You can transform your attic into a dressing room by adding shelving, hooks, armoires, mirrors, and dressing tables. Proper lighting will be needed, so consulting an electrician may be in order.

The Craft Room

Spare rooms can be hard to come by in houses with several children. An attic can provide an ideal space in your house where you can do your crafts and hobbies. Sewers who are able to leave their sewing machine and supplies out will likely sew much more than those who have to continually pack and unpack them.

Outfit your new space with a large table with storage shelving beneath—this is ideal for any number of crafts. Also, make sure you have adequate shelving and lighting to complete your new space.

A Spare Bedroom

This use of an attic space is always a quaint and charming addition to a home. Because attics are usually set off from the rest of the house, you are free to try a completely different style décor: Colonial American; a themed room based around dolls, butterflies, dogs, or cats; a single-color room; Victorian, etc.

A Library or Office

The attic can provide privacy and solitude for reading or working. Built-in shelving and desks made of rich wood make for an elegant study. Search online or at antique stores for desk lamps and lighting fixtures with old-world character. A special collection of rare books may best be preserved in an attic study, away from the prying, sticky fingers of those you may love best—but love better when they don't ruin your prized possessions.

Finally, consider your attic space for a children’s play center. You can transform your attic—providing it has a safe entrance—into a special nursery for kids to make their own. Shelving can house games, books, and other toys, and big objects such as dollhouses or drum kits can be set up without cluttering your children’s bedrooms. If your attic boasts a window, be certain it is locked.