Jay Johnson - Your family has grown, but the walls of your house have not. As you and your partner have a relatively low income, you can't afford to move at this point in your life. However, as your children are growing up you need the extra room. So what do you do?
Fortunately for you, you have a loft or attic upstairs that is currently full of clutter. You decide that the time has come to move all of the clutter out of this superfluous room and you're going to turn the attic into a makeshift bedroom - or media room, study, or hangout area. Unfortunately, you can’t afford to do a complete conversion or buy new designer furniture. So what do you do to make it comfortable enough for use by your teenage son or daughter (who probably thinks it’s cool to sleep in the attic anyway)?
The first thing to do is to make sure that all of the clutter is well and truly gone. There is nothing more unfriendly than sleeping in a bedroom that feels like a junkyard, with no room to keep anything in. If you are able to do so, try to do some kind of new paint job. Even if the walls aren't perfect, cheerful colors look good. If the walls of your loft are wooden and don’t look so good painted, put up colorful sheets and drapes to add to the atmosphere. Find a color scheme that would look good and add to the character of the loft. (Many attics do have character and it would be a shame to spoil the atmosphere!)
Does your loft have a decent window? If not, you may want to add a skylight. If you're worried about burglaries and would prefer not to do so, then at least make sure to fit proper ventilation for comfort and safety. Lighting should be bright, but not too glaring.
The floor may be somewhat harsh, so you should sand and varnish the floorboards as best you can, and then cover them with a beautiful rug. You would need a soft rug, such as wool braided rugs or shag rugs, which would make the floor much more comfortable, as well as enhancing the look of the loft.
Matching or coordinating and contrasting the sheets on the bed with the rug and the drapes on the walls can also add to the atmosphere. Perhaps your teen has a theme that he or she particularly likes, or a certain color or a style. If he or she is involved in the choice of style, they will enjoy their new room all the more. The room can also be decorated with various ornaments and knickknacks, such as wind chimes and sea shells, and a few pictures on the walls would not go amiss. If you can’t afford to fit a cupboard or the attic is not big enough to put one inside, a rail fitted along the wall will be sufficient for hanging clothing, along with a set of drawers. Nothing has to be too elegant in a loft, and if anything, funky and inexpensive furnishings will only add to its unique atmosphere.
Clearly, you don’t need to be wealthy to extend your house. You just need to know how to make the most of your space and to use it in the right way. But let's say that you have a lot of structural work to face in your home to make an attic or loft space truly habitable. The following video will help you plan for the remodeling you'll have to face.