"Remodeling an attic can be a cost-effective way to add more space to your house," says architect William Hirsch of Cary, North Carolina. Because you don't have to build a structure, roof, and foundation, the project can cost a fraction of a similar-size addition, Hirsch says. But not every attic is worth finishing. Consider its accessibility, structural strength, useful areas, windows, and overall cost. But once you get the green light, this oft-forgotten space could become a playdate palace or the secluded spot to give overnight guests the privacy they (and you!) crave. These spaces (slide show, above) are fllled with ideas for making the most of your attic.
Escape daily distractions in a secluded attic study. Pale wood floors and light-color walls create a neutral backdrop for rest and relaxation. Structural posts incorporated into the design scheme serve as a perfect home for artwork. Get more natural light in the space with a skylight. "Properly placed skylights can provide much more daylight than similar-size dormer windows while costing a lot less to install," Hirsch says.
Creamy woodwork, cherry floors, and high ceilings create a cozy sleeping space. Built-ins offer ample storage and free the floor of furniture. Narrow windows offer privacy while still filling the room with natural light. Note: insulation and ventilation are important to consider when remodeling an attic. Depending on the size of the space, you may want to install a new heating and cooling system dedicated to the attic.
High ceilings and big windows make this attic live large. The unfinished look of the walls and exposed rafters creates a modern aesthetic that's complemented by natural wide-plank floors. Floor-to-ceiling bookcases provide ample storage for games and books.