So, in case you skipped part 1, here is all you need to know about where your heroine left off in her quest for a great craft space to share with her friends – the previously semi-finished attic has been obliterated with the help of my wonderful husband and my good friend Dinah:
I haven’t worked out every detail of how it will be finished but we have a good starting point. We tore down the originally planned knee walls and remaining walls and ceilings from the “nanny suite” at the top of the stairs. To give credit where it is due, my husband recruited a few of his buddies to finish off that part of the dirty job. Originally we were planning to keep that little room, mostly because it has gorgeous old hardwood floors and a great old door. We quickly realized how cool the room would look if we completely opened it up, and knew it had to go. Well, we kept the floors, and all the wood trim, but lost the walls and ceiling. I love how huge and bright the attic space looks when we opened up the other part of the attic! An old slanted chimney (don’t worry, that’s the design) that I plan to white wash divides the floor into 2 sections, one of which will be a home office and storage closet, the other side will be the awesome-cool-huge-bright craft space ::cue angelic music and heavenly light:: Also, it’s going to be roughly 20 x 24 so almost500 square feet, WOWZA. This is a VERY crude sketch, but might give a good overall idea of how it might be laid out:
I wish I could take credit for the plan, but my husband is awesome and brilliant and suggested a decent amount of it. Originally I figured on having lots of shelves and workspace down the sides of the attic, so really not too far from the original layout except a bit wider and eventually we would replace all the free-standing shelves with lots of custom built-ins. It occurred to me that a) I’d prefer to have my craft things closer at hand and I tend to work near the window in the center of the room. b) it might make sense to design the room to have multiple purposes and NOT restrict use of all the walls to storage. So, after some brainstorming and daydreaming on Pinterest and ThisOldHouse.com, I had it!
Imagine, if you will, floor to ceiling built-ins along the window wall. There will be a window bench in the center where someone could sit and read and take in some sunshine and fresh air. The bench would have drawers underneath custom sized for wrapping paper rolls, and all of my gift-wrap accoutrements. Around the nook and up to the peak there will be shelves, LOTS of shelves, ALL OF THE SHELVES. They would be large and open so that I could see all of my various craft supplies at a glance. Since there will be a super cool triangular shaped area over the nook that no one can reach, I’ll also have a library ladder that spans the shelves – THAT was David’s idea, I so love my husband. These 2 pictures are a decent approximation of the arrangement of shelves and how the bench seat will look (in place of the window in the first picture).
For now we are skipping the grandiose plans for a dormer and skylights, that will come in time. I think taking the walls out will help to scatter light and brighten it up without the extra windows. I’m also choosing light bamboo flooring and paint colors to open up the room. And since we are trying to be as environmentally friendly as the design (and budget) allows, we figured re-using a lot of the old wood and choosing a sustainable alternative to traditional hardwood were good ways to do that. We went with the lightest bamboo flooring we could find at Home Depot, and at $1.99 a square foot it wouldn’t break the bank either. It’s also something we can lay down ourselves, since it’s the self sticking “boards” with built-in subfloor. It’s thin, almost like a linoleum flooring, which means it’s light enough that even us gals can schlep boxes of it up to the attic AND it can be trimmed with a simple utility knife too! From what I could find it is also durable and easy to clean, BONUS!
For colors, I’ve been in love with this Martha Stewart color for over a year now, it’s called Haystack and I think is the perfect creamy yellow to inspire me to be creative
I noticed just the other day that they even have a suggested accent color on the back of the swatch. It is a nice creamy not-quite-white color as trim and shelving colors as well. With the bamboo flooring, I think the room will be significantly brighter than it was before.
Haven’t fully decided on furniture, but I don’t intend to buy a bunch of new fancy, stuff. After all we are cutting, painting, glittering, etc. on it. Then, as we were moving things around in the attic to make room for new flooring, I had a great idea! Well, one my husband had mentioned and I hadn’t seriously considered yet. The gorgeous old door from the nanny suite area to the old craft room would make a GREAT work-station. And it would be a darn shame to toss it in the basement and forget about it. Since we no longer need it, I figure my husband can make a clear, craft-friendly top for it and mount it on legs as my new craft table. Then the old folding tables can be added to the pool of open craft table space for any friends who want to drop by and work up there with me Check out the door, it’s beautiful!
I also love how it will allow me to retain some of the attic’s original charm, without the horrible purple walls and cheap trim. Eventually I’m hoping my husband can also build me custom bases for my work table that have built in shelves for day-to-day craft supplies. In the meantime, I think the Ikea saw-horse style legs will work great.
So that’s it for now. There is certainly more to the plan than this, but I’ll share as we learn more.