How to ace up your attic conversion and make the most of every cranny

It’s all in the detail when it comes to utilising your floor and vertical space, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Getting the design of an attic right will help optimise its layout
Office loft conversion with fitted shelving and bespoke storage units Getting the design of an attic right will help optimise its layout

The only way is up… nothing beats a well-designed attic space, especially when looking to maximise every inch of your home.

No wonder so many homeowners are creating more room for today’s living – and increased value for tomorrow, meaning that extra space at the top of your house is a win-win situation – but one which requires some carefully considered choices.

Whether it’s a bedroom, office or dressing space, experts share their top tips for working creatively around sloping ceilings, awkward angles, limited lighting and smaller proportions.

Unlock the layout with sloping storage

“Often an under-utilised space in the home, attics are perfect for creating something from nothing,” highlights Rachal Hutcheson, national retail manager at Sharps.

“Getting the storage right in such an awkward space will help unlock the layout of an attic, especially when it comes to sloped roofs and asymmetrical walls.”

“Freestanding furniture can be a bulky option for unique spaces, and take up critical floor space,” warns Hutcheson. “Fitted wardrobes for example, designed to the exact contours of a room,  offer around 40% more space than freestanding pieces.”

Creating a work-from-home area in the attic is something we’ve seen grow steadily over the years, notes Hutcheson, which is an attractive and incredibly practical use of the space.

“Made-to-measure designs will maximise desk space for files and folders, with additional open shelves for easy access and drawers to help declutter with ease.”

Maximise space with multifunctional furniture

As Patricia Gibbons, head of buying at, puts it: “Attics are often required to be multifunctional spaces, doubling up as combinations of guest rooms, playrooms and living areas.

“Maximise your space in a converted attic by introducing functional furniture that is compact, practical and of course comfortable.”

“Opt for a two-seater sofa bed that serves as a seating area during the day and bed at night. Alternatively, modular sofas with built-in storage make for a versatile option to help with space issues.”

She says Jack in a Box Beds are a great space-saving piece, where a storage bench transforms into a comfortable double bed. “Perfect for impromptu sleepovers.”

Consider flexible lighting options to save on floor space

Mara Rypacek Miller, managing director and founder at Industville says: “Lighting is essential to the aesthetic of an attic, and can be critical in such a space where natural light has not usually been considered in the design of the building.

“Where possible, attempt to introduce natural light to enhance the attic’s spaciousness and create an airy atmosphere – before installing fixtures, define the attic’s purpose.”

For storage, she says bright overhead lighting is essential; for a home office, task lighting near work areas is crucial; whereas an additional bedroom space can benefit from softer, ambient lighting for a cosy feel.

“In low-ceilinged attics, wall-mounted lights or table lamps on tables or desks are a great choice to create a more dynamic lighting scheme.”

“When it comes to materials, consider opting for pewter and brass light fixtures – these warm toned metals add cosiness and character to the space, complementing an attic’s unique charm,” adds Rypacek Miller.

Raise the style stakes with statement seating

When it comes to making the most of a space, furniture plays a key part, underlines Gisela Lancaster, head of buying at Sofology.

“People tend to play it safe with attic styling, opting for white and neutral schemes to maximise the appearance of light and space.”

“A considered approach to seating will not only inject personality into a room – but also help elevate whatever aesthetic you’re aiming for.”

Attics with sloped roofs will naturally feel more compact, and so the proportions of a sofa or chair are particularly important in this space, says Lancaster.

“Consider the silhouette of your seating carefully – armchairs with beautiful details, such as curves, fluting or sculptural cutouts will add interest to a space and effortlessly transform a room.

“If you’re looking for something to stretch out on, a corner sofa with a low back can also help make a room feel bigger, and make the sofa feel less imposing in your space,” she adds.