Angel and Blume


A living room for all occasions

Clever storage, multipurpose furniture and bright colours were key to revitalising this dark and cramped attic room.

Revamping a dark attic roomWho Lives here:


Mandy and Michael Williams, 47 and 61, who both work at Addenbrookes Hospital, their daughter Lucy, 8 and Michael’s two sons, 25 and 30 who regularly visit.


What was the room like before?


An attic conversion which we used as an extra office space and guest room; there was a cumbersome desk in front of the window and a double bed for guests which made the room very cramped. There was also very little storage for clothing when visitors came to stay so it was always cluttered.

What inspired you to change the room?


I had struggled with the room for 5-6 years, so after attending an Interior Design Course at Angel + Blume I asked the lead designer Cate Burren to help me redesign the space and turn it into a multipurpose living area.


Revamping a dark attic roomHow did you make the space work better?


We got rid of the desk to uncover and make a feature of the window and allow more light in and we replaced the bed with a sofa-bed so it tidies away when we want to use the space as a living area. Storage cupboards were designed to make the most of every space and a hidden desk unit was built into one corner of the room.


What was your biggest triumph?


The most useful aspect of the room for me is the storage space and the biggest surprise was the effect the new lighting had. Because the lighting scheme was designed specifically for the room it can be altered to suit the different times of the day and also used to support the different uses of the room, so it has made a big difference.


Were there any problems?


Our biggest challenge was the location of the room at the top of the house and the narrow stairs leading up to it. The sofa had to be specially made so the back and arms could be taken off to get it up the stairs and through the door.


What influenced your colour scheme?


We wanted to make the room feel airy so we painted the walls a light stone colour and added bright colour accents with the sofa bed and blind. We also painted the dark woodwork a soft green which helps to keep the whole scheme looking clean and fresh. 


“As a multitasking room it works brilliantly; I love the fact that when you use the room for one purpose you can totally shut away the other elements such as the desk or the bed.”


Revamping a dark attic room Revamping a dark attic room
Revamping a dark attic room Revamping a dark attic room


Original article appeared in House Beautiful December 2011. Photography by Simon Whitmore.