How to Decorate a Dormer Space

by Mary Cockrill
Decorate a dormer space with cozy seating and extra storage space.

Decorate a dormer space with cozy seating and extra storage space.

Spruce up the neglected dormer space in your finished attic to increase the room's function without expanding the actual footprint. The sloping ceilings and angled walls of this awkward-shaped architectural feature can create a daunting design challenge. But with a little designer know-how and a few resources you can transform an empty dormer into an attractive, functional part of the room.

Your kids will love a cozy bench seat between the walls of an empty dormer space. Add cushy seat and back cushions, a snug blanket and a couple of colorful throw pillows to create a comfortable spot for them to read, daydream or curl up and take a quick nap. Pick out fabric for the cushions to complement your existing color scheme and decorating style. For a lengthy dormer space, install a custom bench seat topped with a comfy mattress to offer extended seating during the daytime, as well as an extra bed for your kids' friends when they spend the night.

Use a tricky dormer space to your advantage by building custom storage cabinets into the angled walls. You can also install a built-in shelving unit in the open space between protruding dormer walls. Cabinets with hinged doors provide concealed storage, while open shelves allow you to store books, games, toys and electronics within easy reach. Slide attractive woven baskets onto the shelves for hiding small items that often get misplaced. Add free-standing bookshelves, a small cabinet or decorative dresser in lieu of the custom-built cabinets to save the labor costs of made-to-order storage units.

Install a laminate countertop in the recessed space between sloping walls to serve as a lengthy study desk for your kids. Budget-friendly laminate is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns to suit your existing decor and decorating budget. Tuck backless stools underneath the desktop to provide comfortable seating when desired. Top the desktop with an office supply organizer filled with scissors, pencils, pens, erasers, markers and other study-related supplies to keep them easily accessible and neatly organized.

Apply a fresh coat of paint to the dormer walls to make them stand out. Choose a paint color that's two or three shades lighter or darker than the existing wall color for subtle definition, or apply a contrasting paint hue for more noticeable decorative appeal. If your decor can withstand it, cover the dormer walls in a bold paint color, such as lime green, turquoise blue or juicy orange. The brightly painted walls will delight your kids while providing a cheery, upbeat feel. Hang wooden shutters or blinds over the dormer windows to offer cottage-style mixed with practical function. Install a recessed ceiling light in a dormer space to supply needed illumination after the sun goes down.

About the Author

Mary Cockrill's education and certifications in interior design and home staging have allowed her to author numerous home-related articles. Cockrill has been a top design consultant for a renowned home store and is the owner of Starwood Home & Gifts, LLC, an interior design, decorating and home staging business. She holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education with a comprehensive major in office administration.

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