This project was part of phase two of our Leslieville home and was recently featured on HGTV.com as part of a reclaimed spaces article. Here is a little bit more information about the project…
The third floor was part of the living space, but rendered unusable for the majority of the year due to the lack of insulation and ventilation. It was frigid in the winter and stifling in the summer. During the attic renovation the room was stripped of all interior finishes, the structure reinforced and new mechanical systems installed. We used spray foam on all exterior walls and roof line to fill-in all the irregular and angular cavities.
In the early planning we did consider the possibility of expanding the roof line and re-orienting the staircase into a full size configuration, but this added too great of an expanse to an already signification whole home renovation. The decision was made to retain the narrow and awkward staircase and focus on better finishes within budget.
Not expanding the attic meant that we had to make the best of the existing volume and foot print. 3 operable skylights where integrated into the roof to bring more natural light and offer a cross breeze in the warmer months. Built-in storage and bookcases where integrated into the kneewall cavity to maximize the available space.
Even the guest bed was squeezed into the alcove. This is a bit of a lucky circumstance, but the width was a perfect fit for a double bed. The end walls of the alcove where lengthened to make it feel even more integrated. We had to use a latex mattress that could come up the narrow staircase in a roll otherwise it would not have made it up to the attic.
Since we weren’t sure if guests would like to sleep in these tight quarters, special attention was paid to their needs and comfort. We added two individually switched reading lights, a generous window ledge and a pair of side ledges for drinks or incidentals. One of the side niches even has a power outlet to plug in a phone or electronic device overnight. The alcove also has a great entertainment system with a ceiling mounted television that drops down electronically and a 5-point sound system. We’ve never had a guest complain!
Most of my residential projects in the Toronto urban core include a form or reinterpretation or re-purposing of existing space. With the continued increase in real-estate values, our clients are faced with an ever greater challenge of maximizing every room in their homes. We explore options beyond the status quo and think creatively. We help our clients Define priorities, allocate space based on function and needs to create a superior interior design.
I don’t have guests visiting every week and it didn’t make sense to dedicate an entire room for their needs, but an alcove in the attic is just enough. We live in a narrow Toronto home with 3 floors and a finishes basement, it is modest but well finished and I personally use all 4 levels every day; it’s perfect, with nothing wasted.