From Top to Bottom: Attic & Basement Renovations

January 27, 2021 | Expert Advice

Families are spending more time indoors than ever before, and many are looking for ways to multiply the livable space in their homes. The answer might be right over their heads… or under their feet!

Renovations on the Rise

Basements and attics are two of the most frequently requested areas for a renovation — and interest in basement/attic renovations has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether you need a dedicated office space for working remotely, have a family member moving in, or simply want a multi-purpose “flex space” to meet the growing demands on your home, your unfinished basement or attic presents a great opportunity to add that much-needed extra functionality.

Benefits to Remodeling Your Basement or Attic

Aside from the obvious benefits of adding more usable space to your home, basement and attic renovations are also a very cost-effective way to increase the resale value of your property. Zillow reports that homeowners who finish their basement can expect an average return of up to 70 percent — and the other 30 percent you don’t earn back might feel worthwhile when you consider the added functionality and comfort you’ll enjoy for years to come.

A basement-level family room reinvigorated with a custom fireplace and reclining sleeper sofa.

Furnishing Your Newly Refinished Space

Meanwhile, our vast collection storage systems offer infinite customization options to fit spaces of any size. Specify our Clei modular storage systems to create unique cabinetry or shelving configurations; or design a completely unique bar area, library, home office, or media center using our fully customizable line of storage solutions by Turati. Both of these storage options integrate with any our wall beds for a seamless, built-in look.

Most finished basement and attics tend to be used as all-purpose flex rooms, so it’s no surprise that many Resource clients come to us looking for multi-functional and transforming furniture specifically for these spaces.

With a wide assortment of multi-functional wall bedstransforming tablesflexible seating, space-saving storage systems, and more, our collection is uniquely suited for basement or attic remodels. But aside from maximizing available square footage, many of our systems can be also be customized to meet the unique challenges that basements and attics present.

For those looking to add extra sleeping space to their attic or basement, our Circe and Adam series wall beds are popular choices. These queen-size wall bed systems can be ordered with fold-down desks or integrated sofas, allowing your newly remodeled space to double as a living room or home office when the bed is not in use. Best of all, these particular models can be ordered without their two upper shelves to accommodate lower ceiling heights, which are common to both attics and basements.

Projects We Love

Here are some of the genius techniques our clients have used to breathe new life into a basement or attic:

1. Sara Jazayeri’s Westchester Split-Level Renovation

When interior designer Sara Jazayeri took on this split-level home renovation in Westchester, NY, one of her clients’ most challenging requests was to open up the cramped garage-level study while still allowing for extra privacy when needed.

Taking down the existing doorway wall, Sara transformed this space into a bright, airy, and open room that feels and functions like one twice its size. Thanks to a Circe Sofa wall bed from Resource, this study instantly transforms into a guest room with a queen-size bed and built-in Wand reading lights. Meanwhile, motorized roller shades create a privacy partition with the push of a button.

One level down, Sara used one of her tried-and-true design tricks to bring more natural light into the dark basement. Sara installed a custom built-in coffee bar, complete with upper shelving with a mirrored backing.

 

Interior Designer Sara Jazayeri installed a Circe Sofa wall bed and motorized roller shades in an area just off the garage in her client’s split-level home.

2. Drew Scott’s Multi-Functional Bonus Space

Who better to look to for some renovation inspiration than the Property Bro himself, Drew Scott?

Long before we helped the Property Brothers furnish an ADU on behalf of Brad Pitt on the premiere episode of Celebrity IOU — or furnished a remodeled garage for #TeamJonathan on season 7 of Brother vs. Brother — Drew Scott came to Resource Furniture’s LA showroom looking to furnish an impossibly tiny, ultra-narrow attic in his private home in southern California.

Resource worked with Drew to furnish the room with an LGM revolving wall bed, which allows the space to transform from private study to guest room in an instant. The LGM even features integrated slide-out nightstands to further maximize space in this cozy attic.

Drew Scott installed an LGM revolving wall bed to transform a cramped attic into a multi-functional study/guest room. Drew Scott installed an LGM revolving wall bed to transform a cramped attic into a multi-functional study/guest room.

3. Italian Beach Cottage

This dreamy vacation home in Varazze, Italy overlooking the Ligurian Sea is located on the fourth and uppermost floor of a historic 1940’s building — essentially, in an attic. With only 550 square feet of liveable space and a severely sloping roof, the challenge was to furnish the home in a way that makes the best use of space while maximizing natural light for an open, airy atmosphere.

Designed by Pierluigi Colombo for his sister Roberta and her family, this tiny home utilizes a variety of high-end transforming furniture systems to maximize space and functionality without compromising style. Pier and Roberta are two of the owners of Clei, the Italian manufacturer of our multifunctional wall beds and modular storage solutions designed to maximize even the smallest spaces. Resource Furniture is the North American distributor for Clei.

Using a versatile Giro, a transforming console-to-dining table with a unique rotating mechanism, the area just off the kitchen easily converts into a dining room or workspace when needed. Meanwhile, the Tango Sectional sofa with wall bed transforms the living room into a bedroom with the simple pull of a handle.

Click here to read the full project write-up on our blog and see more photos from this stunning installation!

Giro, a transforming console-to-dining table, converts an area off the kitchen into a dining room or workspace.

Some Things to Consider…

Finishing your basement or attic can pose a number of unique challenges and cost considerations, including:

  • Ceiling heights
    One of the biggest considerations when renovating a basement or attic is low ceiling heights. While regulations will vary depending on where you live, most building codes typically specify that at least 50% of the ceiling areas in a finished attic or basement must be at least seven feet high to be considered “habitable space.”
  • Lack of natural lighting
    These areas of the home tend to have fewer and smaller windows, meaning lighting will require special attention.
  • Access
    If your attic is only accessible via a pull-down ladder, you’ll need to install a proper staircase in order to meet building code regulations for habitable space. If you have an existing staircase leading to your basement or attic, be sure to check with your contractor to make sure it is still up to code.
  • Plumbing & HVAC
    Will you need to run plumbing or HVAC systems through your newly renovated space? Or will you need to hide or move the existing utility systems stored away there?

 

As with any major home renovation, always be sure talk with your contractor ahead of time to discover the potentials of your space. They will be able to determine whether you’ll need to move existing utility lines and/or run new ones; finish the floors, ceilings, or walls; and will make sure that everything’s up to code!

Whether your basement or attic is just in need of a facelift or a full-on gut renovation, the end result will be a beautiful, functional space that you’re family will enjoy for years! Not to mention, you’ll be adding tremendous value to your home if or when you decide to sell.

Start Designing with Resource!

No matter where you are in your basement or attic renovation, the team at Resource is here to help! Our designers are experts in space-planning — especially when it comes to small or awkward floor plans, as is often the case with basements and attics — and your dedicated consultant can help you determine the best transforming or small-footprint furniture for your desired layout.

Need more information to help you get started? Click here to read our post on working with a Resource designer, then schedule your showroom appointment today to get designing!