09 Sep 2020 • Living
Don’t use your attic as an extra room? This transformed space in an Antwerp mansion will have you taking a second look
Van Staeyen Architecten converted the attic of a family in Belgium into a relaxing multifunctional space for their children and guests.
Musty, dusty and a keeper of all things creepy: throughout history, the attic space has been associated with a slew of negative connotations. A few savvy renovators are flipping that stereotype on its head though: an increasing amount of guides on Pinterest focus on easy ways to transform attics into a liveable, well-designed room within houses. There are countless collections showing the potential, from an extra bathroom area to a study to a bedroom and playroom. With the pandemic demanding increased functionality and flexibility from the home these renewals help expand the imagination and show what could be possible from an otherwise neglected space.
A Jamaican-Belgian family with a mansion in the countryside village of Kasterlee saw this very potential in their attic, calling on Antwerp-based practice Van Staeyen Architecten to turn it into a guest bedroom and hang-out area for their growing daughters. With family and friends often visiting from Jamaica, the clients envisioned a space that could eliminate the need for hotel stays. What’s more, they knew that their children could also appreciate the space as they get older. ‘The attic can be used as a studio, bed and breakfast, for watching TV, counting the stars, listening to music, chilling with friends or getting carried away in a romantic night,’ says architect Johan Van Staeyen. ‘Everything is available for sleeping, cooking, shower and hanging out.’
Curves lines and a light material palette define the attic, which combines white and yellow making for a fresh, optimistic interior. Geometric nooks in blonde wood are built into the structure of the room – the bed, for example, is contained in one such built-in structure. Round furnishings and accessories, including the custom-designed, Kvadrat-upholstered couch, rugs and more, continue the visual identity of the attic. ‘Curved lines do generate a more relaxed feeling than straight lines,’ continues Van Staeyen. ‘They enlarge and soften the space, giving it a more welcoming feeling.’
While a complete attic conversion is undoubtedly all-consuming project, Van Staeyen’s work shows that the mission is a worthwhile one for those pressed to incorporate new spatial uses within their residence.