For years attic has been a place to store away our memories – worn out photographs of people or places we never knew or did no longer care for, old furniture and other such abandoned household objects. During childhood, many of us also used the attic to carve out a niche for ourselves, hiding our precious keepsakes away from the prying eyes of our family members.
But with our houses becoming increasingly space crunched, attics can no longer afford to be a space uncared for. Instead, we are almost forced to give it a stylish makeover and put it to various necessary usages. Slowly, like An Attic Philosopher Émile Souvestre we too are finding out that attics need not be the most inhabitable corner of our home, for “It is there that the sun sends his first rays and the breeze comes with the fragrance of the gardens and woods.” So what are the possibilities of your attic? Let us explore together.
Don’t be so aghast at the very mention of this idea. Mostly due to sheer budgetary constraints, singles, those in their early careers and students have already converted many of the city attics to their home. So why couldn’t we? However, it is true, certain adjustments will have to be made while designing its interior. In spite of that, an attic bedroom has all the possibilities of being converted into a regal bedchamber. If you are yet not convinced, then have a look at the bedroom designed by Opera Lab, in the image above.
Depending upon the height of your attic, spreading a cosy rug or a thick mattress with pillows and cushions on the floor itself could be a better idea than using a conventional bed. Warmer countries have this practice in place already. With an inviting colour scheme, sufficient light, few other everyday necessities and a vase full of flowers you may as well turn this into the most relaxing corner of your entire home. Setting up a guest bedroom is another way of making appropriate use of this space.
Yearning for a luxurious spa treatment at home for some time? Convert your attic into a chic spa cum bathroom. After a hard day’s work or during the weekends you now have a place to rest your sore feet as well as the rest of the body. You will never regret this little bit of self indulgence, for you may now truly say “goodbye” to those posh city spas that have a toxic effect on your wallet.
Rejuvenating your mind and body is such an essential part of our daily living, yet such a neglected one too. And, while you are at it why not make a romantic haven out of your attic spa? Light a few candles, if possible fragrant ones, sprinkle rose or jasmine water into your bathtub and put on some relaxing music. Inspire your partner to join in the ritual. What follows next remains a secret between you two.
An attic could be fine place to set up a living room. On the other hand, this space can be transformed into a party room as well. Follow a colour scheme that is soothing to the eyes and help reflecting the available natural and artificial light to all corners of the room. Keep your furniture relatively modest. It is important to give the area an uncluttered and breezy feel.
If this space is being decorated to host regular parties then you may be tempted to have a slightly bolder colour palette. Investing in a mini bar, fancy pendant or ambient lighting and high quality sound system would be necessary too. Instead of traditional sofas and chairs, seating arrangements could be made on the floor itself. Just covering the floor with a suitable rug or tatami and adding colourful cushions would be enough in such a case.
The attic can prove to be an ideal place for setting up a study cum home office. Have all your books, manuscripts, antique ephemera and stationery neatly stored up in floor to ceiling book shelves. Arrange a cosy couch or sofa to lie down with a book at your leisure. In one of the corners, near the skylight or the windows install an office desk accompanied by a comfortable chair.
A great view of the outside like in this house could augment the charm of an attic office, particularly when you are too tired sifting through your daily professional chores. But even without that this space will provide you with all the privacy and calmness you need for yourself. You may even dedicate a part of your day for seating up here and contemplating the unique ways of the world. Speaking of contemplation, the attic can be a great place to build a shrine or prayer room as well.
Moving on to a less business, we suggest using the attic to set up a games room. You can enjoy a card game, snooker, chess or any other indoor sporting activity that you like to indulge in with your friends. Ensure a comfortable interior and sufficient light, particularly so if these regular duels have a tendency of stretching on for hours.
If you are an amateur artist you may fancy setting up your studio in the attic. Many of the masterpieces, including some of Vincent van Gogh and Peter Fendi’s, have been painted in an attic. Willem de Kooning even has a painting named Attic. Though being in the attic would not make you a great artist like them automatically, but you would be able to work on your craft undisturbed. The same applies if you are photographer or musician.
Your child would highly appreciate your attempts of building a private corner for him or her, especially after reaching a certain age. A teen room complete with all modern comforts can easily be set up in the attic. Think of your teenage daughter or son’s tastes while giving it a makeover. Unless it is meant to be a surprise, you may even take his or her ideas into consideration.
If the available space is a bit on the shorter side, then using a muted colour tone would be a wiser choice. Invest in stylish wall wardrobe, bookshelves, study table and chairs. Always opt for a full bed which will be comfortable to sleep on. Buy premium quality mattress and suitable bed linens. Choose a few simple decorative pieces to give it a nice and uncluttered feel.
Attic can still be a good place to arrange additional storage, but not in a cluttered and cobweb covered fashions of yesteryear. Consider building a walk in closet in your attic where you may keep your fine clothes, purses, shoes and other accessories neatly organised. Have a prominent mirror or dressing table with ceiling mounted spotlights. Keep other furniture to bare minimum and make sure you have more storage units than you currently need to avoid frequent redecorating. For sure, your collection of clothes, woollens and shoes will only grow with time. This way you will also be able to free up spaces in your bedroom.
To find some more interesting ideas of using the attic, read the story of refurbishment of this house here.