Wake Forest House

Aug '17

In a new housing development buzzing with activity a family of four had big dreams for their unfinished attic space. Having an indoor space for their two young teen daughters and their friends to gather on a daily basis became a top priority.

Typically, the protocol of design meetings is that the “decision makers” are present and in this case, that also meant the daughters. On the top of their priority list? Room for slumber parties, movie nights, art projects, and personal “hide outs”. The main goal for the parents were that the open floor plan room needed to easily be converted to a space for the parents when the kids moved out of the house.

Ikea is Basicspace’s go-to for secondary living spaces for their affordable business model and minimal clean design aesthetic. With a creative mind, Ikea can be hacked to look custom and high-end. A tight budget never means you have to forfeit on aesthetic; you just need to design smarter.

On the “game” side of the renovation, walls were built around Ikea cabinets to replicate custom built-ins and created a seamless look. Typically “dead space”, the small crawl space at the eaves of the roof were utilized as storage by designing removable wood panels disguised as wainscoting. Above the angled ceiling of the stairwell going up to the attic space is also usually wasted space. However, it looked very much like a potential arcade basketball court to us – kids and dad approved! With a quick trip to the Reuse Warehouse, we repurposed an old wooden plank from a New Jersey dock to use as a bar top for added character. A great place for drinking soda as the kids play foosball, or for the parents to enjoy a beer.


General Contractor: Carolina Customized Interiors

The “quiet zone” side was finished with window seats and sconces in each of the dormer windows – perfect for a reading nook. Matching desks were placed in between the windows for homework and crafts. Also on this side were two hidden doors camouflaged as chalkboards behind which were the girls’ “hide outs”. Above each of their rooms on the floor below, we enclosed a closet-sized space in the attic and installed hatch doors in the floor. Coupled with a wooden ladder, they could climb from their bedroom into their third floor secret loft space. These spaces can later be repurposed as more storage for the attic.

Anything built-in was left minimal in aesthetic for the ability to transition into a sophisticated adult space in the future. Hints of rustic woods and antiqued reds added some energy for the kids. An overall slam-dunk, we all agreed that we wish we were young again!

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