Multifunctional Attic

Candice takes on the challenge of designing a multitasking attic space.
hdivd709_1a

hdivd709_1a

Meredith and Michael's third-floor attic seemed the perfect place for new guest quarters, but the cramped space — used as TV room, playroom and home office — was in critical condition and needed a style injection.

Meredith and Michael's third-floor attic seemed the perfect place for new guest quarters, but the cramped space — used as TV room, playroom and home office — was in critical condition and needed a style injection.

Before

Meredith and Michael are busy medical professionals who live with their young daughter in a beautiful 1920s home in the heart of the city. They are considering expanding their family, but when that happens they will lose one of the rooms in their three-bedroom house, which means no spare room for out-of-town guests.

Their third-floor attic seemed the perfect place for new guest quarters, but the cramped space — used as TV room, playroom and home office — was in critical condition and needed a style injection, stat. So I called in my design team and set out to heal this pained space by turning it into a comfortable and stylish retreat for the whole family.

After

hdivd709_1b

hdivd709_1b

After a few accents here and there, this attic retreat was complete. By unifying the nooks and crannies, creating different zones for various functions and adding a few unusual touches, this once-hurting attic was cured — and well worth the climb to the top of the stairs.

After a few accents here and there, this attic retreat was complete. By unifying the nooks and crannies, creating different zones for various functions and adding a few unusual touches, this once-hurting attic was cured — and well worth the climb to the top of the stairs.

I had two big challenges before me. The first problem was the attic's angled walls and quirky nooks, which made the space feel confined. I started by painting all of the walls in a warm charcoal gray, which made the angles almost melt away. Then, because gravity didn't allow for hanging much artwork, I put up an entire wall graphic of inspirational and whimsical metallic script.

The second challenge was designing the space to be all things to all people. To this end, I divided the room into four main zones: a TV area, an office, a playroom and a guest alcove.

For the TV area, I installed a wall of dark wooden cabinetry that integrates the couple's large-screen TV and other media components. I also put in a new luxurious gray sectional sofa that is big enough for the whole family to lounge on.

I then designated a corner nook as the room's home office and brought in a sleek and functional new desk. To keep work and play separate, I put up an open, airy shelving unit between the office area and the lounging space.

The room had a small kitchenette that was just taking up space, so I ripped it out and made it into the attic's playroom. I put up a series of gray laminate shelves to store toys, books and other kid stuff and added a curtain in front to keep it all out of view when needed.

Lastly, I designated the window area as the new guest retreat. By day the space functions as a cozy lounger, but by night it flips open to reveal a double bed for sleeping.

After all of the restructuring, it was time to spice things up a little bit. I purposely kept the color contrast down on the walls, ceilings and furniture to help unite all of the room's unusual angles. So the interest in this space was to come from smatterings of color and tactile, textured fabrics.

I installed creamy carpeting on the floors, used light-colored linen on the day/guest bed, put up some shimmering drapes, and then punched things up with rich plum tones in the pillows and other accessories.

To brighten up the whole space, I ripped out the existing track lighting, which made the room look too long and narrow, and installed individual fixtures that help put the room in better proportion. I also installed a lovely pendant in the guest retreat and put some lamps in the office area.

After a few accents here and there, this attic retreat was complete. By unifying the nooks and crannies, creating different zones for various functions and adding a few unusual touches, this once-hurting attic was cured--and well worth the climb to the top of the stairs.

(Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of Home & Garden Television's Divine Design.)

Keep Reading

Next Up

Small-Space Living Room Layouts

Use smart strategies to make your small living room feel larger.

Small Space Ideas for the Bedroom and Home Office

Small space decorating can be a big challenge. Steal these smart ideas to transform your cramped bedroom or home office and maximize your space.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Ideas for Outdoor Rooms

Learn about options and ideas for outdoor rooms and outdoor living spaces.

Garden Design: Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Let your indoor space inspire your landscape design plans.

Finished Basements Add Space and Home Value

A finished basement not only adds extra square footage to enjoy, it boosts the resale value.

100+ Photos to Inspire

Browse beautiful photos of entryways, offices, basements, bars and more.

On TV

Good Bones

6:30am | 5:30c

Income Property

7:30am | 6:30c

Log Cabin Living

10:30am | 9:30c

Log Cabin Living

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.