Enhance the beauty of a sloped ceiling with wood paneling.

How to Decorate the Sloped Walls and Roof of an Attic Bedroom

by Kris Gleba

Decorating the sloped walls and roof of an attic bedroom poses a challenge. You may have designated the space as a guest room or as the much-deserved retreat for your oldest child -- or as your own getaway craft room -- but how to decorate it is problematic. Time spent agonizing over the room's angles and lack of natural light have left you feeling as if you have a bat in the belfry and not a potentially beautiful room in the attic.

1. Panel Discussion

The term wood paneling may bring back memories of your first co-ed parties in basement rec rooms, but paneling has, like you, evolved beautifully. It actually looks like wood now. Install tongue-and-groove options such as bead board or fiber planks; you can paint both varieties to personalize it. Cover the ceiling and sloped portion of the walls for a continuous look that makes the room look taller than it actually is. Using a light paint color adds light and helps make the room feel spacious and airy.

2. Paint Relief

Never underestimate the restorative power of paint. If you don't find the right color the first time, simply prime and repaint the space until you get it right. Create a peaceful retreat by painting the sloped walls and ceiling a soothing neutral such as a white with buttery-yellow undertones or a sandy beige. Echo the sky as viewed from the attic windows by painting the sloped walls and ceiling a sky blue. Continue the color on the walls or bring in a new color with a darker blue or complementary shade of tan or charcoal gray. A dark color may make the room look smaller, but it also transforms the room into a comfortable and relaxing sleeping or reading nook.

3. Let's Get Visual

Amplify the power of paint by using it to create visual effects. Embrace the slanted walls with vertical floor-to-ceiling stripes. Thick, chunky stripes in two complementary shades of light-colored paint, such as tan and a slightly darker tan or two similar shades of light green, offer a subtle effect that plays upon the room's angular shape. Use thin stripes of dark colors if you want to create a theme room about your love for striped gum. Bring the outdoors in by replicating nature with painted or decal images of trees on the sloped walls. Create an ethereal room by painting clouds on the sloped walls as well as the ceiling. A few glow-in-the-dark adhesive stars on the ceiling add visual interest for younger children.

4. The Perks of Using Wallpaper

The idea of sleeping in an attic bedroom with walls stripped bare may spark fond memories of nights spent at a lakeside cabin, but the reality isn't as kind. An uninsulated attic can be costly, resulting in high heating and cooling costs. Instead, keep the insulation and drywall and cover the walls with wallpaper that looks like scrap wood. This wallpaper is rustic and befitting of a shabby-chic attic retreat. Alternatively, create an accent wall with wallpaper. Adorn one sloped wall with pink-flowered, chintz wallpaper for a country or shabby-chic style room; chevron stripes in your modern room; or a giant picture of a sexy celebrity -- for your own amusement.

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