The attic occupies a special place in folklore—a place that’s mysterious, full of secrets and unknown entities and, somehow, always dusty. What stories does your attic tell? Do you even know? Have you been up there to check out the treasures and potential that wait, just above where you spend your days and nights?
Sure, there are lots of stories of ghosts, secrets and even flowers in the attic. But what if we were to set those aside and take a brand new approach? Imagine the possibilities of reclaiming your attic and using the space to add a new room to your home.
The history of the attic extends to Ancient Rome. Back then, the space just below the top of a building was used “for decorative purposes and inscriptions, as in triumphal arches.” Well, that’s a far cry from a tiny space crammed full of dusty luggage and boxes of who-knows-what. Perhaps the 21st century is the new era of the attic: a time when we shed light on the space and transform it into something usable. Yes! Just after The Age of Aquarius comes The Age of the Attic. These are good times.
To remake your attic—and create a brand new room in your home—follow these steps.
Send in an expert.
I promise, this will be the hardest part. You may be entering into unknown territory, or worse—vermin territory. Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from the space that could be your new, hip studio. Think about it: would you rather cringe when you wonder what’s in your attic or use the space to write your novel, launch your business or start the “attic period” of your artistic career?
Take a good look at Angie’s List. Your friends and neighbors have already hired people to check out their attics, and to take care of vermin, insulation and sealing the attic. Send an expert up, and hope that all he brings down is good news.
Clean up your attic.
Think of this part as a treasure hunt. If you need inspiration, invite some family members over and spend an evening watching Antiques Road Show. When you see the dollar signs in their eyes, ask them to come back the following weekend and do a bit of “treasure hunting” in the attic.
Sell, sell, sell. And donate the rest.
If you haven’t even seen the stuff for years, it should be easy enough to let it go. Sell it on eBay or donate it to a local charity. Think of this as an investment (of your time) that will yield a great return—money earned from sales, tax deductions from donations, and, ultimately, a new room in your home.
Create the room of your dreams.
… with built-in storage, to boot! You can get really creative in an attic space. It doesn’t have to “match” your décor because it’s a space all to itself. Use benches and ottomans that double as storage. Build in some recessed shelving. Use the space itself for storage—hang your bicycles from the ceiling!
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Your attic may be small and, by its very nature, tucked away, but you can make it a big, bright part of your home. It’s time to reclaim that dark and dusty space and transform it into a room that reflects your personal style and your dreams for the future.
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