Attic Overhaul
April 14, 2019

Last week on my instagram feed, I posted a pic of our third floor and a few people asked to see more of our new Toronto home, so I thought I’d make today’s post about the transformation of the top floor of our Victorian house. It was the first part of the house to be completed so it kind of makes sense to start here.

Essentially, I wanted to recreate a similar vibe to the master bedroom in our old house, seen here. It ran in a past issue of House & Home magazine, back when I was the editor, so you may have seen it. I adored this bedroom and wanted this one to have a similar feel. Plus, let’s be real, I didn’t want to have to purchase all new furniture so it made sense to recreate the look. Of course, it could never be as grand as our old bedroom because it was on the second floor and was blessed with soaring ceiling. This room is on the third floor with the challenges of low walls and angled ceilings that often come with an attic space.


This is what the 3rd floor looked like before we started the reno. The whole floor was essentially cut in half with a small bed tucked under the window below the eaves at the front of the house and a small office leading to the roof top deck at the back. There was a narrow hallway connecting the two rooms so it was really broken up. There was also a tiny washroom in need of an entire overhaul (more on that later). We took the space from this hodgepodge of little rooms to an open master bedroom with ensuite.

Photography: Colin Faulkner

And this is the new incarnation. Now the room is open and spacious with views to the park through the front window and to the roof top deck through a large glass door and windows at the back. It is super cosy up here but also bright and airy.

Photography: Colin Faulkner
Photography: Colin Faulkner

Because there wasn’t quite enough room for a walk-in closet, we flanked the bed in custom paneled closets to recreate the vibe of the paneled walls in our old place. I included four inch wide ‘V’ groove paneling from Brenlo behind the bed for more of a cottage vibe that made sense with the scale of this house. We ran it in key places on each floor of the house for a through line and lots of texture.
I found all of the brass doorknobs at the antique markets of Isle Sur la Sorgue on a visit to the Luberon in the south of France many years ago. They hold a lot of memories and are really special to me. I had put them on all of the closet doors at our previous house as well but I was sure to exclude them from the sale so they could come along with me.

Card design, Aperkoo

For a mod-trad mix, we included two built in drawer units (on each side of the room) with simple flat front, touch latch drawers. I love this move for under an angled ceiling because it makes good use of that tight corner space.
The picture behind the bench is just a framed section of wallpaper and it was the inspiration for the colour blocking on the front of my business cards.

I’ve temporarily placed this vintage modern desk and chair in the space under the front eave. I was imagining something far more romantic, like an antique daybed layered with patterned pillows. But the view to the park across the street is so nice from up here that this has become my favourite place to write, so it might end up staying put.

Photography: Colin Faulkner

Here’s a view to the door to the rooftop deck flanked by built-in closets.
The decision to use wall-to-wall sisal rather than laying hardwood up here helped to keep us on budget. But it was my first choice regardless. I find wall-to-wall in a bedroom to be warm and inviting, especially sisal because vintage area rugs look fantastic on top of it.

I’m always reading in bed so of course I needed to work in some bookshelves. We were able to sneak in a few at the far end of the closets. Located next to the door to the deck, it’s easy to grab a read before heading outside.