An attic conversion is about adding value to your home financially and making the most of the space to get what you want from your new room.
However, getting the most out of the space can lead to some design dilemmas, as most of us store everything in the attic – so attic conversion is not just about making space for the new use but also about making up for the loss of attic storage.
Before planning begins, it’s a good idea to clear out the attic, get rid of unimportant items, measure the space accurately, and get an idea of the space available – and how we can best use it.
After decluttering, it’s essential to think about how the space will be used, especially in the context of the room’s purpose – if it’s going to be a bedroom, storage space for clothes and personal items is essential, while space to move around without bumping your head is also a factor, especially if the room is going to be an office, playroom or work studio. Once you have identified how much space you have available, it’s time to consider using it best.
The installation of furniture
It makes sense to install furniture while the carpentry and plastering work is being done to save space and money. Built-in wardrobes and shelving can be incorporated into the design of your loft by your loft specialist, while bespoke storage units that make the most of awkward spaces, such as the eaves, offer a practical solution to rooms that would otherwise be redundant or difficult to access:
Furniture hardware: A standard closet may be too tall for a low ceiling or an area near the eaves, but a built-in closet or a closet with a hanging rail makes the most of the available height.
If floor space is limited or a minimalist look is desired to keep the space “open” and not cluttered, consider built-in bunk beds or closet beds to enhance a bedroom or a built-in desk to make the most of a niche in an attic office.
Sloped ceilings: Often disregarded as too low, sloped ceilings at the eaves can provide a natural setting for beds and make the most of limited headroom, but check carefully for headroom during the planning phase.
Dormer windows: Dormer windows are great for maximizing space by increasing headroom. So think before you decide to fit a radiator underneath – that’s fine if you want to stand there in winter and enjoy the view. Still, it’s worth considering the dormer as a newly created, stand-alone space and how you might want to use it.
If you do not intend to commit to a built-in window seat, you can instead use a freestanding stool that serves as both seating and storage while getting used to the new possibilities this space offers you. There are plenty of ideas for this on Pinterest.
Think corners: The current trend for corner sofas has made custom corners very popular. An attic conversion usually offers plenty of quirky corners ideal for custom elements, furnishings, and creating space within the new room shape.
One of the alternative ideas for saving space is that you don’t have to use the whole area to make the most of it. Depending on the design and shape of the loft and its features, it can sometimes make sense to leave a gap without furniture or fixtures to make room for movement or just for an aesthetic sense of spaciousness.
It’s also good to get away from the idea that furniture belongs in the traditionally designated space. Example: A coffee table can provide a helpful low shelf in place of a nightstand;
A standard double desk for a loft office might be difficult to fit, but if a large desk area is needed. The roof’s pitch allows the installation of a countertop or tabletop along one wall to provide plenty of workspace without dominating the room – while can also use the space under the eaves can also be used for storage, either through custom, freestanding, or even basket storage.
Alternatively, lift tables, coffee tables, and “old-fashioned” desks offer great options for office workstations that don’t eat up space in loft offices or studios.
On the roof, the ceiling offers very different possibilities than any other part of the house. So it’s worth considering at the planning stage whether you can maximize space by extending upward, such as with a mezzanine.
If ceiling height allows, a mezzanine can be an excellent solution for adding beds or separating different areas within an attic, such as separating a sleeping area from a study, play, or social area in a teenager’s room.
If a full mezzanine isn’t possible, but there is a little more room for design, the bed in the main bedroom can become a fundamental feature by placing it on a platform. This platform can be built so that there are cabinets, drawers, or shelves underneath to create valuable storage space and take advantage of the room’s height that might otherwise waste.
If a pedestal isn’t possible, it’s worth thinking about the bed type and incorporating a storage bed that can raise the base to create hidden, space-saving storage underneath.
Another way to save space is to double-stitch items that serve multiple functions.
A wet room can look much more spacious than squeezing a shower stall into a small space, and with a Velux window, you can also shower under the stars. Mirrors can be fitted with lighting, ideal for en-suites or to create a dressing area in a dark corner of the attic.
Headboards can also be custom-made and built into the attic shelves. They give a streamlined, uncluttered feel to rooms where you should be relaxing and can also serve as bedside storage for lamps, alarm clocks, books, and photos.
In a multipurpose room where space is at a premium, sleeper sofas with storage can make a bedroom and a nursery space-efficient, while built-in workstations with doors that match the other furnishings can be incorporated into the design to create a home office in a primary bedroom.
Step on it
The newly added staircase to your attic conversion not only gives you access to the space but can also provide much more. There are stair designs that offer storage in the risers or can be positioned to create a hallway or dedicated landing with additional room or storage for the attic space.
Consult with your attic specialist about the options available to ensure that the stairs take up as little space as possible but provide maximum opportunities to save and create space in your new attic conversion.
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