Attic Renovation Plans

attic bedroom style direction with copy

This is going to be a long post, so settle in!  I have lots to share and lots to do when it comes to our third floor attic renovations.  Lucky for us, the majority of the renovations were tackled back in the 80’s when flooring and drywall were installed to create a finished space.  Since then, however, it’s been a bedroom for one of Matt’s buddies who used to live in the house pre-Erin (and a little bit post-Erin come to think of it…), a man cave, and a dumping ground for all sorts of things that needed stored.  Our basement is wet and damp, so the attic became prime real estate for out of season clothes, Matt’s ever-expanding collections of things from hardware to old computers, electronics and wires, to weapons and battle related things (like a coat of armor). There were also two neon light bar signs…classy.

Due to the fact that we’re loosing our guest room to the baby and also that we desperately need a ‘bonus’ space in which to throw boisterous kids, the man space in the attic is being transformed.  Although I have grand visions of a plush guest suite, in all honestly, our family is mostly in town, so the last guest we had stay with us was 2+ years ago and our needs lay a little more heavily on the bonus space.   Based on this knowledge, I have two potential layout ideas for the space, but first, the terrible… absolutely awful (read: I can’t believe I’m posting this on the internet) photos of the space ‘before’. Please forgive the mess.


The third floor is divided into three areas.  First, in the photo above you can see the largest area which is windowless and is on the south side of the house.  Second, below, you can see the camera pointed toward the middle area where the closet is and the stairs open up and then in the back of the photo is the smallest little window nook area.



This is the window ‘nook’ area as well as a great view of the neon corona sign.  Below is a little corner in the center closet/stair area.



attic option 1

To get a better idea of what I’m working with, I’ve made an overhead layout which is not to scale whatsoever.  First up, the option where the bonus space is the most prominent and the bed goes into the tiny window nook.  I love the amount of couch and TV space with this option, but the biggest drawback is that the window nook is just barely large enough for a queen bed – in other words, there is no space on the sides of the bed and you have to climb in from the foot. That is not ideal. The other issue I have with this layout is that the headboard that I’m bringing up from the current guest room would cover the windows.  Since there are few windows in this space anyway, shutting out any light is a big negative.

BUT this layout does leave a really great amount of space for a larger couch (maybe a pullout?) as well as a few chairs and still leaves great space in the center of the room for open play/toy space as well.

attic layout 1

attich option 2

Option #2 is my original vision for this room with the bed over in the largest portion.  This utilized the middle space as the TV/bonus are and the window nook as a desk/shelving area or play area.  In this scenario, I have a smaller loveseat at the foot of the bed with a couple of club chairs.  The TV is in the center area as well and is visible from the bed and the sofa/chairs.

attic layout 2

This is going to be one of those scenarios where I’m going to have to bring up some furniture and really play with the layout, getting a feel for the use of the space and what makes the most sense.  For now, we might even be able to do option 2 since we don’t have older children who would need the bonus space yet.  Then, as kids get older and we need them to have their own space, we can rearrange and create option 1.

Also, if we were starting from scratch, there would be so many other things I could do, but since we’re working with furniture we have, we want to be able to utilize what we have to the best of our ability.  Speaking of furniture…

Based on my initial inspiration (which is the top photo in this post), I have a very neutral, light, and bright space planned.  Since this room gets very little light, I want to keep it from getting to dark and gloomy up there.  We’re going to start out with the nailhead linen headboard that I made a few years back (see the DIY here).  We obviously are taking this and the mattress from our current guest room.  Then, I’d love to get some wall sconces for above the bed to minimize taking up floor space with side tables.  This will be especially necessary if we go with the bed-in-the-nook option. I love these matte black sconces from Target that were in The List two weeks ago!  Aside from the bed, we have a few tall dressers which we’ll keep in the room, but I’ll give them a little makeover with some new hardware and new legs.  You can actually see the drawers in the above photos of the window nook.

attic product plans

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Next, I need a little style with some textiles and a great light.  For the light, the ceilings in the attic are low, so we need one that sits really really close to the ceiling. I’m thinking of asking the Etsy seller of the above ‘sputnik’ light to make one for me we less of a drop.  Or, I might try my hand at a DIY… we’ll see how ambitious I get.

We’ll decide on the right sofa after firming up the layout, but if we have to go small, I’m liking this modern, but petite sofa from Pier 1. A couple of side chairs for more seating, some art, and pillows will be all we’d need for the TV area.  Although I love the look of these rattan chairs from Target, I’m actually hoping to find a pair of cheap club chairs that I could reupholster at garage sales this summer or on craigslist.

Of course, we’re missing a big piece of the style pie!  We’re painting the entire room a warm off white.  I go through an in depth description of how I chose my white color in this post, but in the end, we landed on Benjamin Moore White Dove in their Aura paint with a Matte finish.  This makes the walls look nice and bright, but not cold at all.

It’s going to be a very trial and error project based on the layout and what furniture we’re able to procure from other areas of the house or from the market.  We’re trying to keep this transformation very very inexpensive – probably just a couple hundred dollars total – so we’ll see what we can manage!

Whew, this is a TON of info.  I’m excited about the change and hope you are as well!





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