Growing Pains? Try House Gains!
You love the neighborhood; you don’t want to move. You love the lines of the house; you don’t want to disrupt them with an addition. But your kids are growing up, becoming (much) more active. Perhaps there’s a new one on the way. A house that’s size was just fine five years ago, has started to feel cramped. Everybody needs more room. Something has to give.
This is exactly the challenge our clients Mike Leitner and Vanessa Matiski were facing when they turned to us for help.
Repurposing the Space with No Name
In “From Messy Entry to Organized Mudroom” the importance of redefining underutilized space inside the home was discussed. I think of such space, where odds and ends pile up, as “nameless” space. Most homes have these pockets of clutter and inefficiency. Identifying and giving such spaces effective roles in the home can effectively increase the size of your house without changing its footprint or curb appeal.
In Mike and Vanessa’s house, the attic was just such a space. Accessible only by steep stairs, it contained a small wood panel office and an old sofa. The rest of the area was mostly storage. Remodeling this space, transforming it into a bedroom for the grownups, would free up the downstairs bedroom that they were using, effectively enlarging the house. And that’s exactly what we did.
We lifted the roof above the stairs to get a little more headroom, and we created dormers on another side of the house to get more space above the bed. The steep stairs leading up to the attic were replaced. In order to make the best use of every available square foot, we asked Mike and Vanessa to pre-select the furniture they wanted. We measured it carefully then created a niche that perfectly fit their king-sized bed and two nightstands.
In the end, the cluttered, underutilized, hard-to-access attic our clients had been living with for years became a spacious and inviting destination. In fact, they consider it a kind of sanctuary, remote from the rest of the house, where they can replenish and restore. And their kids have more room to do what kids do, downstairs. It’s the same house but they no longer feel cramped. Simply by identifying and repurposing existing “nameless space,” Mike and Vanessa were able to enlarge their home.
If you want to read more about this project and see a before picture, read the SPACES before & after article, “Dreamy Attic Redo.”
We’ve been creating new spaces for growing families for many years now. If you love your house the way it is and you don’t want to leave the neighborhood but you need some extra room, consider inviting us for a look. Together we may be able to add livable space to your home without drastic changes.