Don't let the sloped ceilings and awkward architecture of the attic throw you off – with a little know‐how, you can transform this often‐underused space into cozy sleeping quarters. Whether you're in need of a guest bedroom or simply want a brand‐new space for yourself, check out the following professional tips for setting up a fabulous attic retreat. Arrange your furniture carefully. "Factor in space to sit and stand around main pieces of furniture, like sofas, chests and desks,” says interior designer Meredith Heron. "Be sure to place the bed somewhere that you can get in and out comfortably.” Use sloped ceilings wisely. "Dormers are great for window seats, desks or reading nooks,” says Heron. "These types of activities don't require ceiling height, so where things are constricted, they provide extra function to that space.” If you're short on storage, built‐in shelving is another wise use of the space where a sloped ceiling meets the floor. Consider skylights when arranging your layout. Do you like to read the morning paper in bed? Place your bed beneath the skylights. If you'd prefer natural light while getting ready for the day, arrange your space so your vanity sits under the windows.
With a new school year upon us, now is the perfect time to give that teen lair an overhaul – and hopefully eke out a bit of quality bonding time in the process. To make this a successful decorating experience, it helps to keep an open mind about your teen's creative direction. Recognize that he or she has good ideas, and at the same time set clear limits that work for you (a project budget, paint but not wallpaper etc.) for results that will make both of you happy in the end. Start an ideabook and create a floor plan. Gather inspiration images and collect the best in an ideabook on Houzz. Just looking at all the images together should help clarify what your son or daughter wants. Once you have the general style nailed down, sketch out ideas for the new floor plan. A taller‐than‐average bedside table can do double duty as a desk – a great space saver in a small room. Also, think about adding a focal point over the headboard. A quirky sculpture, artwork or a pretty textile are all good choices. Just be sure anything that could fall on the bed is very well secured and not too heavy. Think about color and lighting. Once you know the look you are after, it's time to think about paint. Use extra‐large paint swatches or get sample‐size amounts to try out colors directly on the wall before buying enough for the whole room to avoid a misstep. Lighting can instantly make the biggest change in a room, so now is also the time to create a lighting plan. Add ambience with café lights strung across the ceiling, install a dimmer switch for an overhead fixture and don't forget proper task lighting for the homework area.
You can find old painted shutters at any salvage shop. Just remember to seal them before using them as a headboard. Unpainted shutters add to the earthy, exotic feel of this room. A large, framed piece of corkboard does double duty as a bulletin board and as a ... well, as a headboard. Hurray for pallets! They are often free (check first before taking), and they make excellent places to hang stuff on as well. Old fireplace mantels are salvage shop treasures that frame a simple upholstered headboard beautifully. In many places earthquakes prevent hanging anything remotely heavy over the bed (lest it fall on someone's head during the next tembler). This fabric art looks like an extension of the plain, nearly invisible headboard here and adds a danger‐free way to decorate the wall.