Tag: renovation

Inspiration for the Loft / Attic Bedroom

When we bought our house, one of the selling features was a loft space above the family room that was advertised as a “fifth bedroom”. In reality, it was not a usable space. It smelled of urine from an animal that had been living in the eaves under the roof, it had hideous stained carpet, and it had two open “holes” hemmed in by pony walls that looked down into the family room. I know, I just totally grossed you out, but that’s reality when you buy a fixer, folks!

We fixed the animal problems and now it’s a matter of ripping out old drywall, re-drywalling, framing in new closets, and then putting in flooring, paint, all those things.

While trolling Pinterest, I’ve been taking note of inspiration photos of attic bedrooms. Our loft is right under the roof (although it was an addition on TOP of the original roof) so it is technically an attic space, with dormer windows and sloped ceilings. Here are a few of the ones I’m drawn to.

cottagey guest room

via Pinterest

Attics tend to be dark and lack windows because they were never meant to be bedrooms, but I love the skylights in this one above that flood the room with light. I also notice that many attics are painted white, keeping the space lighter and airier.

rustic sweet attic

via Pinterest

This room is so rustic, sweet and whimsical. I can just imagine a little girl climbing out the window, down a tree, and on to magical adventures. (Though that would be totally unsafe, says the mom in me.) I love the different shades of wood tones that bring so much texture and warmth into the room.

twin beds in dormer

via Prairie Perch

A great use of space in a dormer. How fun would this be for two little girls?

all white attic

via Pinterest

I think an all-white space is a little too stark for me. I love color and warm natural wood. But there’s no denying white makes the space seem brighter.

yellow and white attic

via Pinterest

Again, a little monochromatic for me. I like a little more warm wood and more colors. But I love the oil-rubbed bronze metal and I like the board and batten on the walls. An easy way to get a more cottage look without having to go all-out with planking the walls.

And I can’t forget the awesome attic renovation by The Natos.

the natos attic

From The Nato’s

An awesome real-life attic renovation on a budget. I love the secret little mini rooms hidden in the dormers.

white attic with chandelier

via Country Living

I actually love the idea of putting a chandelier in the attic. Why not?

So after looking at all of my favorite attic pictures, a few elements seem to be consistent. White walls. Some kind of cottage wall treatment (either battens or planked walls). Warm wood floors. Layered wood tones. Oil-rubbed bronze. Small pops of color.

I’m excited.

Our Big Weekend Project

I still can’t believe we managed to pull this off in a weekend.

Granted, it was a long weekend, but this project was completed in just two days. So definitely weekend doable.

This is our living room wall before.

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And this is our living room wall now.

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That’s right. We cut a hole in the wall and installed a sliding glass door into this long and windowless wall in our living room!

By “we”, really, I mean Chris and his dad installed the slider. I contributed by being in charge of the toddler all day and by giving constructive criticism when warranted ;).

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Our walls are ridiculously thin. These mass-manufactured tract homes were built out of prefab wall panels and our walls are only about 2″ thick.

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Chris peeled off the outer layer (after removing the electrical) so he could see what he was dealing with. Then he cut a hole just so he could step through and work.

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You can really see how thin our walls are. Basically two plywood panels joined with pieces of wood and this interesting honeycomb foam insulation, which was disintegrating from age. Also, there were large gaps where there was no insulation.

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Chris and his dad cut the hole to the size of the slider (which we bought from Lowe’s for about $350).

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After cutting the hole they added a new header and side support beams. You can see the header above, whereas the side support beams were inserted into the walls between the plywood panels.

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Because we are planning to install rigid foam insulation and siding over the walls this summer, we wrapped the window frame and surrounding walls with Tyvek, a water resistant barrier. Then Chris added flashing to the sides.

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You gotta flash the windows properly to prevent leaks. Other windows in our house had not been flashed properly and in a driving rain, water leaks through. We can kind of get away with it in Southern California, but still, better to do it right. We’re hoping to flash the rest of the windows properly before we install new siding.

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We were chasing the light, but we got ‘er done! All this in one day!

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The next day we added the pieces of trim, partially salvaged from the board and batten (well really just the battens) we had removed with the wall.

Because our walls are so thin, the window frame was thicker than the wall. Fortunately, the board and batten thickened the wall so it came up flush against the frame, and then the extra trim we added along the top and sides finished it off. We just need to caulk the seams, patch nail holes, and add another coat of paint.

Not bad for a couple days’ work, eh?

Sharing at HopeStudios, AStrollThruLife and SavvySouthernStyle!

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