See How a Home Stager Turned a Gloomy Attic into a Fresh Family Hangout

published Sep 11, 2023
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A beige attic with black carpeting.
Credit: Courtesy of HomeStyled Nashville Staging + Design

The attic, like its downstairs counterpart, the basement, is often an overlooked opportunity to add valuable living space to a real estate listing. That was the case in this three-bedroom, two-bathroom house about twenty minutes from downtown Nashville, Tennessee. 

The home’s renter was using the attic as a combo art studio and storage space, but the room was strictly utilitarian and without an ounce of aesthetic appeal. With its bland wall color, sloping ceilings, and single window, it was hard to imagine the space inspiring its artist resident, and it certainly wasn’t ready to entice a buyer to put in an offer on the home. 

“We wanted potential buyers to see this space as usable square footage,” says Marcie Anderson, owner of HomeStyled Nashville Staging + Design. “We wanted to show that this could be an additional living space for kids or family.”

The two biggest changes Anderson made to transform the attic from an afterthought into a bright, inviting spot that buyers could picture themselves enjoying? New paint and flooring. She gave the room a fresh vibe by swapping out the tired tan on the walls and ceiling for Sherwin Williams’ Pure White. On the floor, she went with a budget-friendly wall-to-wall carpeting to soften the space. The unattractive “boob light” in the middle of the ceiling was replaced with recessed lighting, and the stair railing got an update with a coat of glossy black paint. With this foundation in place, the room could easily function as a TV room, guest space, or kids’ playroom.

Anderson decided to stage the room as an additional living area. “The space is quirky. The angled ceilings and long narrow space made it difficult to envision how to lay out the furniture,” she says. “We showed buyers that you can fit a full-size sofa and accent chairs in the space.”

Credit: Laura Rockett Photography

According to Anderson, one of the most common questions buyers have in any living space is where they will place their TV, and she always tries to provide them with a clear answer. That was especially important in this attic. “Because of the angled ceiling, buyers needed to be able to see that they can have a TV here,” she says. Since televisions don’t read well in real estate photos (hello, hulking black box), Anderson frequently uses artwork to denote the perfect spot for a TV. In this case, that was atop a console table on one of the long walls. 

A primarily black and white color palette kept the attic cohesive with the decor in the main living areas of the house. A final touch in the form of some greenery — including two tall green trees brought in to soften the angle of the ceiling — completed the transformation.

Credit: Laura Rockett Photography

The newly refreshed home, which is on a quiet street within walking distance to a school, was an instant hit with young families. It received eight offers its first day on the market. Whether the new owners decide to use the attic space as an extra bedroom, guest space, another living area, or a playroom, the previously underutilized area was likely an important selling point.