When was the last time you took a look around your attic? As you climb up the steps, waving away cobwebs, you may realize this dusty space has been forgotten. You may realize that this room is much bigger than you remembered. Is the room filled with boxes and random clutter? Forgotten memories? As you walk around this space, you begin to see exciting possibilities for this “newfound” part of your home. But where to begin…? Architect and builder Micheal Gould is here to show you how to make the most of this hidden treasure.
Now that you’ve rediscovered this space in your home, the first thing to do is de-clutter and a deep scrub!
Start de-cluttering your attic. Take a look at each box and choose what items you no longer need and are ready to let go of. Some things you can save for future projects, others you can donate to a local charity (such as Goodwill), or pass on to younger members of the family! Once you have emptied out the attic and given it a good vacuuming and dusting, it’s time to see what you’re really working with…
A short check list for assessing the current condition of your attic…
Does this space need basic repairs or renovations to the structure? Are there holes or leaks from the ceiling? View examples of what to look for in the check list below.
- Check for peeling paint or cracks in the structure.
- Are the baseboards intact?
- Is there mold in any areas of the wall or ceiling?
- Is the floor safe, sturdy, and strong?
- Any loose floorboard or weak spots when you walk across it?
- Does carpet need to be pulled due to age or wear and tear?
- Are there any cracks or structural issues?
- Do the windows need to be washed from the outside or inside (or both)?
- Do you really know how large your attic is? Time to measure it.
- Can the room be split into multiple sections?
- Can you possibly take a wall out (without causing damage to the structure) to open up the room?
Providing a safe, easy way to get into the attic…
Make sure you take the time to evaluate the way up to the attic. Are your stairs safe? Can an elderly family member or child go to and from this room easily and safely?
- Install supportive beams to go along side steps. This will reduce the chance of falling.
- Carpet the steps to reduce the possibility of slipping.
- Add lights to the base of each steps so people can climb them with caution at any time of day or night.
“If you’re building a stair-case from scratch, consider a switchback layout. It needs more room than a straight run (roughly 45 to 50 square feet per floor versus 33), but its footprint is more squarish than linear, so it will often fit in spaces where a straight run can’t go. Just make sure the landing is large enough to maneuver furniture upstairs. Follow the “Rule of 7’s”: Enforcement varies, but codes typically say that at least half of a finished attic must be at least 7 feet high, and that this area must be a minimum of 7 feet wide and 70 square feet. A contractor or a local building official can help you assess how the rule will apply to your attic and how modifications like dormers can resolve height shortcomings.” This Old House
A good investment for many years to come…
Spending a few weeks renovating the attic will have a long term affect on the value of your home.
Your property value increases when you renovate rooms of your home. The newer and more recent renovations you have, the better re-sale value! If you plan on selling your home in the future, working on the home little by little is a wise way to upgrade without becoming overwhelmed with remodeling the entire house at once. Investing in your home by creating these beautiful, high functioning spaces will pay off in the long run!
Now that you’ve prepared the area, let’s get to the fun part choosing what type of room the attic is going to become!
Do you have several ideas in mind? Need some help narrowing down your choices? Let us inspire your design with some creative ideas…
We all could use some extra meditation time! Imagine if you could start and end every day in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted, filled with happy house plants, comfortable seating, and bright natural lighting. This meditation room would have all of the simple comforts that inspire peaceful thinking and good vibes. Style the room with a beautiful mandala rug and an array of crystals. Place a copper gong in the corner to help unlock your chi!
“While there is not a specific set of rules that need to be followed when creating a meditation room, there are some things you should take into consideration. Take some inspiration from the following ten ways to create your own mediation room, but most importantly, follow your mind and heart, only putting in elements you love—elements that create a personal feeling of zen-like bliss.” Fresh Home
After cleaning out the attic, you’ve discovered it’s filled with wonderful memorabilia you could never part with! Toys from when the children were first born. A hand crafted rocking chair. A box of old photographs that once belonged to your great grandparents. Who knew all these beloved memories were hidden in here? It’s time to take better care of all these wonderful family heirlooms with an organized, dedicated storage space. Line the walls with proper shelving units and bookcases. Catalog the space so you will never forget the wonders that are within your home. The storage room can even be a great place to store important files and documents. If the room is spacious, you can split it into two. Have a special corner laid out with comfortable chairs and a coffee table. Style it with throw pillows, cushions, and a blanket to make it extra cozy. This built-in reading nook is the perfect place to curl up with the family photo albums and a nice cup of tea. It will be perfect for reminiscing on the past!
“Design illusions are your best friend when it comes to decorating a room with low ceilings. Opt for lower furniture and scaled artwork to create the visual effect of higher ceilings. If you want to make your attic space a quiet room to lounge in, bring in a settee, lounger, or upholstered bench, a small side table, and a reading light.” House Beautiful
Now that your children are all grown up you, get to experience the joy of being a grandparent! The best way to become the “cool grandparent” is to ensure the kids have a blast when they come to visit grandma and grandpa. Kids are messy. They can come in like a tornado – contain them in one room designed to serve as a n area for them to embrace their imagination and store all of their toys and crafting supplies in one place. The attic playroom can feel like a princesses fairytale tower or even be made to look like a mighty pirate ship…ahoy!
“After the entryway, floors, and lighting have been addressed, you can turn your attention to the most important part of a playroom: the decorations. Incorporating a popular theme and bright colors can really create a welcoming environment for your kids. When picking out paint colors, choose lighter hues as they can also make the space appear brighter.” Do It Yourself
Is your attic on the smaller side? Minimal room for activities, more like the size of an additional closet? No worries, it still has a world of potential and does have enough room for creating a seasonal closet. Imagine no longer having to stuff all your winter boots and sweaters in the back of your closet! No you’ll have adequate space and organization for every season. Use industrial clothing racks and clear sweater bags to store out-of-season clothes. Install built in shelving units for shoes, purses, and luggage. Style this room with mirrors, faux fur rugs, and stencil inspirational quotes about self confidence on the walls in vibrant colors. This will become an additional, fun changing room as well!
“Organizing your closet seasonally means that you swap out your wardrobe with the change of the seasons while transitional items keep their permanent place. In other words, your closet reflects warm and hot weather clothing in the Spring and Summer, while you pack away cold weather clothing until it’s time to dress for cold weather. This method is practical in homes with limited closet space, and when your climate is extreme. It makes dressing in the hotter months easier because you don’t have to bypass all sorts of arctic Winter woollies to get to that breezy silk blouse and pair of linen pants. You shortcut your outfit creation process by focusing your seasonal wardrobe assortment.” You Look Fab