Living in the north east, we are exposed to a wide array of rooflines. Classic Cape Cod homes are designed with huge roofs to protect us from storms and shed snow, but they leave us with awkward spaces and slanted ceilings on the inside. As many of the houses in New England today still bear echo of their ancestors and we are left managing interior spaces with less space than we’d hoped for. Slanted ceilings can often make a room feel cramped or small, however that doesn’t need to be the case. With proper design and decoration your slanted ceiling space could be as good as any room with right angles.
We are not talking your typical shelving from Target or Pier 1. Built in storage can really add to a space, not to mention help you stay organized. Slanted ceilings often create spaces that don’t fit most furniture. By building shelves or cabinets into these space you can use space that was once an abyss of nothingness. Not only do built in shelves and cabinets add to your storage space (don’t pretend like you don’t need it), but they can also help to draw the eye to the full space and make the room feel bigger.
The lines your ceiling creates can help give the eye direction, be sure to direct it properly. If you are using an attic space and there are old beams, this can be a great advantage. These beams can help draw the eye without letting things get too cluttered. If you don’t have beams, think of what you can hang, weather it’s a tapestry or group of photos/art. It’s important to be cohesive and have an over arching idea with these hangings. Otherwise you don’t get the singular draw for the eye, and things can be too chaotic.
Ever dreamed of turning your attic into usable space? Thinking wistfully about an office, studio or spare bedroom is great and all, but what about actually doing it? People are constantly looking to upgrade homes and apartments, but the best thing you can do is maximize the space you have. Spray foam insulation and a bit of drywall can do great things for a space.
It’s amazing what small things can make a difference. While natural light is ever the ideal, if you aren’t going to be making structural changes to the house anytime soon, think about what you are using for light. Changing the light bulb to a LED bulb can be more energy efficient and bring more light into your space. Adding a floor lamp can help make the space seem a bit taller by drawing your eye to the vertical space. Also: don't forget the beauty of Christmas lights. While if may be rustic, perhaps you have a reading nook or space for you kids that could use a little magic. Stringing lights from he ceiling and letting them hang can make a space feel a world apart and perhaps that’s exactly what you are looking for.
This is admittedly not an option for everyone, but just a moment to consider it. If the space is really cramped, maybe you could add a dormer or bay window? This could help create a bit more height and even some extra seating. Perhaps just a double hung window is more reasonable. This can help bring in the natural light and brighten up a previously dismal corner. If you aren’t prepare to punch holes in the exterior of your home, consider the walls inside. Tearing down a wall and connecting what was previously an awkward closet to another room can help create one great big space. With some built in cabinetry or shelving you can maintain the storage space and create a larger room, as a bedroom, bath or living room. It’s your home, take back the corners.
The following is a true story, adapted from a 1921 edition of the American Journal of Ophthalmology...