How to design the perfect flat (with no design or home improvement skills!) | homify | homify
Error: Cannot find module './CookieBanner' at eval (webpack:///./app/assets/javascripts/webpack/react-components_lazy_^\.\/.*$_namespace_object?:3646:12) at at process._tickCallback (internal/process/next_tick.js:189:7) at Function.Module.runMain (module.js:696:11) at startup (bootstrap_node.js:204:16) at bootstrap_node.js:625:3

How to design the perfect flat (with no design or home improvement skills!)

Izelle du Pisanie Izelle du Pisanie
Classic style bedroom by laboratorio di architettura - gianfranco mangiarotti Classic
Loading admin actions …

An attic is one of the most useful and underrated rooms in any home. It might be a small space but in certain designs of house it is a space that would otherwise be wasted. It is especially beneficial when the overall size of the house is rather small, and a bonus can be found on the upper level. 

An attic can have many different uses and may undergo several different connotations. It is a great space for a meditation area, walk-in wardrobe, study or guest room, but sometimes the space in beneficent enough to accommodate an entire apartment in itself.

Whether hoping to create a private space for a son or daughter, furnish a flat to rent out, or make the best of an attic apartment as home, let's look at how to design a perfect attic flat. 

Think about available space

Before starting out with designing an attic flat, it is essential to sit down, take a good look at the area, and think about what can be done with the space. Not all attics are equal, and therefore not all attic solutions will be equal. 

There is no need to despair when an attic seems way smaller than what is necessary for a whole living space, because there are various ways to overcome the available space obstacle. This can, however, not be done without careful consideration of the space's limits and possibilities. This will always be the very first step.


Sometimes an attic is much closer to its full potential than what it seems like. It may not need construction or structural changes, but simply a bit of refurbishing. 

One excellent way to bring about a big change is by laying down a rug. This can bring in interesting pattern and colours, and will certainly make the attic feel more like a home. 

Another option is upholstering furniture or existing fixtures. In this picture, an alcove is enlivened by an embedded and upholstered couch and fitting cushions. Once again, pattern and colours can make a world of different to the feel of the space. An added benefit of upholstered items is the texture that can be used with different textiles. This brings depth into the room and creates an inviting atmosphere. 

Something old, something new

An attic space may seem difficult to furnish, especially in older houses where it has been used primarily as storage space for innumerable years. This shouldn't be intimidating though, as it can easily be manipulated and used to our advantage. 

Incorporating modern style elements and objects with the existing fixtures of the attic can make it a very attractive space to live in. Think about the wooden floors that most (especially older) attics have. With a bit of treatment and care, such a wooden floor can bring a beautiful, rustic quality to the space. This will then also provide a great foundation from which to equip the rest of the apartment. The strategic use of modern elements that compliment and are complimented by the existing features can create a lovely and intimate space such as seen in this picture. 

Clever storage ideas

Let's face it, with the dimensional limits of attic spaces, it will either be used entirely as storage space or will have a painful lack thereof. Fortunately, when starting with step one (careful planning), there are a multitude of ways that this dilemma can be solved. 

The key is working with the space that is available, and thinking about how to fit storage around the contours of the room. Built-in cupboards is an excellent way to achieve this, as it can be custom-fitted to the walls and exactly into the nooks and crannies of the room. What's more, leave such storage spaces without doors or enclosures, will make the room seem just as big as without the storage area. This will also be great motivation to keep the closet and cupboards tidy!

Made to order

When it comes to picking out pieces of furniture for the perfect attic flat, the options might seem quite limited. It can be very difficult to find pieces that are appropriate for the space, functional, and still not too imposing in the small area. There can also be a lot of pressure to pick perfect items, since only a limited amount of pieces can be accommodated in this abbreviated home. 

The good news is that we are not alone. There are tons of professionals that understands the contemporary challenge of balancing space limitations, sustainability, cost and style. The recommendation here is aptly to order special furniture which has either been design particularly for spaces like yours or to your particular specifications. This is the most effective way to get exactly the right look for your taste whilst still keeping the attic flat completely functional. 

Choose colours and materials wisely

Planning, planning, planning. That's what it all seems to come back to. The situation is not different when it comes to deciding on colour schemes and the type of materials to be used for the different parts of the attic apartment. This is also a brilliant way to differentiate spaces from one another—bedroom, study, kitchen. 

The use of vivid colours in your attic space will make it feel bigger and less closed-in. Warm colours can also be beneficial, especially in older home-attics, which are constructed mainly of wood and can feel much colder. 

Materials should be soft and warm, as to create a living space feeling. This is necessary in most cases to compensate for the atmosphere created by the original purpose of the space—sterile storage. 

Keep it simple

Simplicity is a prerequisite when it comes to living in small spaces. Too much clutter can be suffocating when you already had little air to start out with. This applies to fixtures, furnishings, objects and colours. Although vivid colours can make a space seem bigger, too many different vivid colours can complicate the space and have the opposite effect. 

As stated before, special furniture should definitely be considered to best suit the available space. When trying to keep things simple, multi-purpose furniture should also not be left untouched. This also relates to the storage issue. A bed such as this one is functional in both its original purpose as well as for storage and the minimisation of used area. 

Why not take a look at the benefits of another small-space living idea: Can You Actually Live in a Container House?

Could you live in an attic? Let us know in the comments, below.
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

Need help with your home project?
Get in touch!

Discover home inspiration!