So, I know this has been a long time coming, and what seemed like a quick and easy renovation (how long can new flooring and paint take?), but truth be told, renovating with a toddler and having out of town guests is a serious undertaking.
The construction part of the attic only took about two weeks from start to finish (and that includes days in between while waiting for carpet to be installed and our electrician to make it back over for finishing touches) but the time it's taken to actually get it decorated and in order, well, that's another story. So, here we are, well over a month later, with the final reveal!
So, let's just take it back to the beginning for a minute, and show you the before picture as well as the mood board I designed before the renovations started.
So, here it is. Finally. Our FINISHED attic space!
We decided to run luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring as the original hardwoods were unsalvageable. The floors were extremely un-level which led us to having to reinforce the subfloor with 3/4" plywood. Vinyl and Laminate are very similar products in many ways, but also very different. I will write a follow up blog post about the differences, but for now, we decided to go with Vinyl. We used this floor from Home Depot. Although we haven't had it for long, I absolutely love it. It's got a nice warm oak tone and is extremely durable.
I knew I wanted white paint in the Attic. We used Benjamin Moore White Dove throughout our entire home, however, it has some slight yellow undertones that I was trying to avoid for the attic. We decided to go with Simply White Benjamin Moore for both the walls and the trim. It is a very true white due to all of the natural light and not a ton of weird shadows.
A double work desk was a must for us up here and I knew I wanted it directly under the windows. We wanted to be able to have a designated spot to work as we both work from home. I also envision that as Jude gets older, he will be able to do his crafts on the right while I work on the left. He's a little young right now to care about coloring and crafts, but I know he'll be able to grow with this space.
We also wanted this space to have a place where we could relax and unwind. We do not have a finished basement, so having another place to watch movies and relax was also on our must have list for this space. Our old home had two living areas, so we were able to repurpose the couch and tv that wasn't being used for up here and didn't have to purchase either of those items. I wanted a tv stand that was floating on the wall because of how close it was to the desk, it would look too crowded. This one from IKEA (linked below) was the perfect option and size for our space, and the drawers hide all of our cords, cables, and junk).
Jude's play space takes up the other side of our attic. We moved his teepee (linked below) up here from his bedroom as well as his toy shelf. We try and use the Montessori approach to his play-time and toys as much as possible as he attends Montessori daycare, so his toys are all laid out within plain sight and his book shelves are very low for him to grab books and put them away. We brought his toys up here that take up more space, like his IKEA slide as well as his train track. Some of his other bigger and more obnoxious toys live in the walk-in closet that is also up in the attic (not pictured as I'm still trying to organize it in a way that Jude can grab toys out of easily and put the stuff he's outgrown higher up).
The stairs to get to the attic was re-carpeted with a neutral gray. This was the first time I have ever had new carpet installed. I'm usually the one tearing it all out! We needed to carpet the stairs because our home is almost 100 years old and the stairs to our attic are extremely steep. We wanted them to be comfy as well as safe, so carpet was the way to go. We chose a medium pile Gray (Space Gray) from Motor City Carpet and they were fabulous to work with. They came to our home with lots of samples for us to see directly in our space. They installed it timely and also cut the remnants to whatever sizes we want.
I get a lot of questions about HOW to decorate a room. A lot of time, people feel paralyzed or stuck in making any decisions, because they aren't sure what's trendy, what will flow together, and if they'll like it a few years later. My advice on this has and always will be the same, and it's pretty simple. Do what feels right for your home and who lives in it. When you really peel the layers back on decorating a space, that's the fundamental goal. Here's a quick little breakdown on how this room transformed and the process we took.
1. Figure out how you want to use the space. That's where you should always start. For us, I had visions of using this space as a place for Jude to play with his toys, to do crafts next to one of us while we work, a 'reverse basement' in a way, by adding an extra space for us to unwind and relax, as well as a retreat three stories up for our guests to have a private space of their own when they come to visit. Decorating a space that isn't practical is a waste of time and money. It won't end up getting used to its fullest potential.
2. Figure out how you want the space to feel. Do you want it to be cozy and moody? What about bright & airy? Full of unique items or clean and minimal? Maybe it's a combination of all of these things. For our home, we wanted it bright, clean and minimal. It the was the design I was drawn to and flows with the rest of our home. Check out Pinterest or Magazines and pay attention to what catches your eye, regardless if it's 'trendy' or not. If you do like things that may be a bit edgy or trendy and you're scared to use it, think about incorporating it as accent pieces, so if you do end up getting sick of them, they are easy to change out quickly and inexpensively.
3. Figure out your budget. Pick items you'll splurge on, and items that will be more budget friendly For this space, flooring was our definite splurge item. I mean, it had pink carpet for crying out loud! We wanted a floor that was durable, quiet under our feet, and neutral. We also hired a painter due to the vaulted ceilings. We just didn't have the equipment or time to paint the space. We hired an electrician to move our window a/c unit to a different unit as well as replace our ceiling fan. Due to these expenses, we decided NOT to wrap our beam in wood, which was on the original plan, because it was just for aesthetic reasons and we wanted to save money where we could. We also decided to repurpose a lot of items that we already owned, including our tv, couch, rug, toy shelf, tee-pee and other accents. I thrifted some pieces, like the wooden rackets on the stairs, and bought stuff off of Facebook Marketplace, like Jude's Ikea Slide. I picked out a lot of furniture from IKEA that came at a lower price point, and got other accents, like our blinds and nesting tables on Amazon.
I am so happy this space is done. It's been great working up here during the day with the daylight shining in, and so cozy at night with candles lit and watching Making a Murderer Season 2 because we are obsessed with that show! Send me any questions you have below in the comments!
Couch: We've had it for several years. It's a Queen pull out sofa. (it's discontinued in this color, but I linked it in Grey)
Cushion Covers: These are just the covers, so we were able to cover the existing throw pillows and not have to buy all new throws! It's a great money-saver!
Desk: top (two of them to make the double desk)
JUDE'S PLAY SPACE:
Teepee (also came with Bunting hung on wall)
ABC print: The Found Cottage
Poster Prints: The Found Cottage
Slide: Discontinued from IKEA. Found on Facebook Marketplace
Wooden Rackets: Thrifted