Ah, the attic. That traditionally forgotten receptacle of luggage, tax files, old games, holiday decorations, and broken appliances you might one day fix. It is often unfinished and mostly forgotten, but there are several ways to convert it into an actual valuable, functional area of your home. You may need to finish it first, which is its own project — but once you do, here are some of the best ways to reimagine this oft-overlooked space.
For anyone with roommates (family or otherwise) who has worked from home during the pandemic, the idea of being productive in a quiet, secluded space removed from the chaos of the house sounds like manna from heaven. Why not add a desk, IKEA bookcase or cubbies, a wall calendar or whiteboard for important daily tasks, and a filing cabinet to meet those work deadlines in relative silence?
(Just make sure the wifi works consistently before going this route.) Oh, and as a bonus: You’ll be farther away from all the snacks.
If you know the inconvenience of displacing another family member onto a squeaky air mattress in your room every time guests stay the night, then converting the attic into a guest room is an enticing option. As long as the dimensions fit living space regulations (ceiling height, stair dimensions, insulation and egress, to name a few — check with a contractor or architect), your attic can be a fantastic, private retreat for friends and family who stay overnight.
There are several good reasons to convert your attic space into a playroom for young children. First, attics are usually smaller than other rooms in the house, which is perfect for pint-sized furniture like beanbag chairs, mini-bookcases, labelled toy bins, and short tables and chairs. Most kids will love having their own unique, triangle-roofed space of nooks to explore, and the reduction of noise and toysplosions in the main living areas will make any parent rejoice.
(Note: it may be harder to get an only child to retreat to another part of the house alone. This may work best for close-in-age siblings who can help each other through any “scaries.”)
Admittedly, this is also a form of storage, but nice, upgraded storage. Instead of tossing extra sweaters and seasonal footwear in random paper bags and stuffing them in a nondescript corner of your attic, install tiered clothing rods, shelves, cabinets, and a mirror, and you’ve got a functional walk-in closet. If the attic isn’t close enough to your bedroom to access quickly, use it to store clothes that aren’t the right size (but may be again soon), out-of-season shoes and coats, even sheets and towels that may not fit in your linen closet.
Game room / man cave / she shed
If you don’t have any other space in your house purely for games and entertainment, consider the attic. Imagine enjoying a beverage around your pool or ping pong table, dartboard, video game station, or that standing foosball table you’ve been wanting since college. Love jigsaw puzzles, knitting, reading, or simply staring at the ceiling in blissful silence? This can be your spot.
Added benefit: It can house all the sports paraphernalia and “art” that one spouse may not want throughout the rest of the home. (I’m looking at you, Guinness poster.)
Arts and/or crafts room
If you (or someone you live with) loves creating arts and crafts involving glue, pipe cleaners, paint, beads, markers, and glitter, boy will you like the idea of stashing all of the accoutrements in one place. Install shelves, vertical bins (to store all the tiny things), a pegboard for wall storage, and enjoy never having to rush to clean up an unsightly mess before guests arrive again.
What’s better than the windowless seclusion of an attic in which to watch movies, I ask you? Well, besides an actual movie theatre, not much. The sloped ceilings, quiet space, and potential darkness are all ready-made for a great movie-watching experience. Install a TV, throw down a loveseat, beanbag chairs, a mini-fridge for refreshments, invite some friends, and grab the clicker for a cosy night in.