This Finished Attic Before and After is a Must-See

It makes the most of every square inch.

Finished Attic Before and After | Whipped by Clare Paint

To call the Hollywood-inspired finished attic designed by Raleigh-based firm CAROLYNLEONA “multi-functional” is an understatement. The space–which originally stored nothing but Christmas decorations–now includes a guest bedroom, bathroom, home gym and movie theater. 

“And we did work a small storage room into the design so they can continue to store holiday decorations here,” Liz Goldberg, designer and founder of CAROLYNLEONA, says. Using a palette of Whipped, Windy City and Deep Dive, Liz created a cohesive flow through each of the attic’s spaces.

Balance form and function

Finished Attic Before and After | Clare Paint

Before the renovation, the attic was more than unfinished. “There was no drywall or insulation,” Liz explains. “Our clients used a small section of the vast open space for storage, but the rest remained empty.” To maximize the area, she divided the open plan into multiple rooms, a layout which required plenty of forethought. 

Finished Attic Before and After | Clare Paint

Although the family wanted the finished attic to function as a “getaway,” they also needed space for working out. “Having a home gym has been really useful for them,” Liz says. The design required a balance of form and function. “It needed to have enough open space for flexibility to roll out yoga mats or take cardio classes,” Liz explains. For stylish storage, the team designed built-in benches which “serve as a convenient place to put on your Peloton shoes or sit and take a sip of water between exercises,” she says. 

Create a cohesive color palette


Finished Attic Before and After | Clare Paint


Finished Attic Before and After | Clare Paint

Liz and her clients selected the hard materials, including tiles and flooring, before choosing paint colors. “It was really important to find paint colors that elevated our finish samples,” she says. “The Whipped White had just the right amount of warmth to it without adding any yellow tones, which we then layered with Windy City on all the interior doors and trim for a subtle contrast.” Used throughout each of the rooms, the result is a soft, layered effect that brings more depth to the space in a subtle way. 

Work with what you’ve got

Finished Attic Before and After | Clare Paint

There wasn’t a ton of light in the attic, so Liz designated one attic window to the home gym and another to the guest bedroom. In between, she created a dark room that functions as a home theater for the family. To bring attention to a stunning wood grain ceiling, she painted the beams in Whipped, a warm white that pairs well with wood tones. She also made the most of the layout by creating a wet bar that shared a wall with the guest bath, cutting plumbing costs. 

Liz describes the wet bar as “an absolute show-stopper.” Cabinets painted in Deep Dive, an oceanic blue, conceal an integrated fridge for beverages. Using the bright blue as an anchor, Liz created a backsplash from handmade tiles and floating shelves. “The design challenge we solved here was incorporating the angled ceiling to make it feel less severe and more intentional,” she explains.

Use a finished attic to add living space

Finished Attic Before and After | Clare Paint

In the end, the multi-room attic proves that you don’t need to build an addition to get better use out of your home. “Our clients and their children use this space daily and it’s truly an extension of their home,” Liz says. “And it instantly became a major bonus for entertaining and hosting all of their friends and family.”

Finished Attic Before and After | Clare Paint

By taking a multi-use approach, she transformed a place to store Christmas ornaments into something much more meaningful–a true retreat, right under the family’s own roof.

Next up: Before & After: This Cloffice Makeover is Small Space Goals


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