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Published: Friday, 7/16/2010

Summer Living: Creating The Perfect Attic Bedroom

(ARA) - For many people, the attic is an oversized junk closet. It's a space where all of the "I don't know what to do with this" items go and seem to disappear for years. However, homeowners forget that a finished attic can be usable living space. And, whether you're trying to increase the appeal of your home before selling, or simply adapting to a growing family, an attic bedroom can be an excellent upgrade to your home.

Often, homeowners are reticent to create an attic bedroom because they're worried about structural challenges, appealing decor and establishing a comfortable environment within a small space. But a few simple steps can help create a livable, inviting bedroom in the attic.

Lots of natural light

Most attics do not have exiting windows or lighting. And, because attics tend to have a lower ceiling height than the rest of the house, it can be challenging to find lighting options that won't hang so low that people hit their heads on them.

Adding a skylight is a great solution to this problem. Skylights are generally easy to install, and provide a lot of natural, cost-free light. Certainly in the late evening and night, skylights won't offer as much light, so consider supplementing with track lights or recessed lights. Both require minimal space and can be directionally focused on the area of the attic in need of the most illumination.

Be color conscious

Though an attic bedroom is a great way to effectively utilize a home's space, the dimensions are generally very different from other bedrooms. Sloped ceilings and smaller square footage can make the room feel smaller than it actually is. However, good color selection, like using a light or cool colored paint on the walls will help open up the room, and make it feel much larger than it is.

Monochromatic color schemes of soft shades of blue or green can make an attic bedroom look larger, feel cleaner and evoke a relaxed environment. One trick to make the room feel even larger is to utilize a color palette that has a slight gloss to it. A satin finish has a subtle gloss to it that will help create the illusion of light in a small room like an attic bedroom.

Furniture that fits

Though most people would love to have a comfy couch next to their bed and a big armoire dresser and a standing floor to ceiling mirror in their rooms, it's just not possible in a small space. When choosing furniture for an attic bedroom, utilize pieces that have clean lines and are not oversized.

Ornate detailing will clutter the room, and oversized pieces like dressers or armoires will decrease open walking space and make the room feel very closed-in. Consider getting a bed that has storage space underneath. This will allow you to neatly organize folded clothes, without the need for a standing dresser.

Also, make sure not to block any doorways or window areas with furniture. This will also make the room feel much smaller than it is.

For the floor

Generally, light colored wood flooring will provide the best aesthetics for making small spaces look larger, and will also be easier to clean than carpet. However, in an attic, footsteps on a wooden floor could be very distracting for the lower levels of the home. A good compromise is sturdy, short sheared carpeting.

Short, sheared carpeting will look clean, provide some additional insulation and can easily be treated to repel stains and spills. Since attic spaces are generally not as easily accessible, these are all important factors for easy maintenance.

It's all worth it

For any homeowner, a major upgrade project like creating an attic bedroom has to have a solid return on investment. If you need more space for a growing family, an attic bedroom is an ideal way to turn storage space into livable space. And, if you plan on selling your home, attic upgrades have been shown to yield more than a 75 percent return.

Courtesy of ARAcontent



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