Despite the fact that every house I've ever lived in has had one, I've never actually been in an attic. I find this kind of odd. I mean, it's not like I refused to go into one, fearing I would encounter an unwelcoming family of bats or, worse, a rabid Christmas tree sick and tired of being locked up eleven months at a time. I just have had no reason to take that upward journey.
I'm sure I'm not alone: there are undoubtedly many people who have never looked to see what's beyond the attic door. Many of us simply grew up without a need to look; we grew up in a world where an attic meant one thing: storage.
However, in this day and age, attics aren't just for storage any longer. With home renovations, larger crawl spaces, and real estate prices soaring, attics are being looked at less as a room full of cobwebs, and more as a room full of opportunities.
Make an attic bedroom: The only attic bedroom I've ever known of was featured on The Brady Bunch. Though it was, in a term, far out, it was also fictional. Still, the idea is molded in reality; some houses, particularly older ones, have attics that can fairly easily be turned into a bedroom. They won't be made up of four walls of the same size – ultimately having corners and structures unlike any other bedroom – but attic bedrooms can provide a unique, private, and comfortable area. The originality of the space may even be particularly appealing for those who don't like conformity (i.e. teenagers).
Build a play loft: In my childhood house, the attic door was in my bedroom. This bothered me for two reasons: my room was always cold and I often lay awake at night in fear that from the other side of the attic door would come knocking. Though my imagination played a role in this discomfort, no one, kids especially, really wants the attic door in their room. However, if the attic door led to some place fun, instead of a feeding ground for ghosts, spiders, and – on occasion – a sinister squirrel, this wouldn't be a problem.
For new houses, houses that only have small crawl space-like attics instead of large ones, the attic can be turned into a play room, or rather, a play loft. Filled with pillows, bean bags, books, toys, and a TV with a video game console, kids will find themselves welcoming the sight of the attic door in their room. Using the ladder they can simply climb up to their play space, allowing them to escape from reality, and, of course, their chores.
Turn it into a home office: For attics that aren't quite big enough to be bedrooms, but not small enough, or in the right location, to be play lofts, putting in a home office may be the perfect fit. Anyone who has worked from home, especially in a home with children, knows that a home office can get hectic: with all the noise and distractions, how can anyone get anything done?
But, the attic pulls the term "home office" from the brink of being labeled an oxymoron: attics provide more privacy, more piece and quiet, and less chance that the highly organized files will be disorganized by an intrusive hand, than any other room in the house. Pets, kids, and even spouses simply can't get to a home office in the attic that easily (particularly if the ladder is pulled up), making it more likely that work will get done, and stay done.