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 on our new Toronto home, so i thought I’d make today’s post about the transformation of the top floor. it was the first part of the house to be complete so it kind of makes sense to start here.


The top floor of the house 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 the entire space was really broken up.


The bathroom was beyond tiny and only had a bi-fold door. I have to admit though that I had a bit of a soft spot for those watery green floor tiles!

We took the space from this hodgepodge of little rooms to an open master bedroom with ensuite.

Photography: Angus Fergusson

Essentially, I wanted to recreate a similar vibe to the master bedroom in our old house (above). It ran in a past issue of House & Home magazine back when I was the editor so you may have seen it. I adored that room and really just wanted this one to have a similar feel. Plus, let’s face it, I didn’t want to purchase all new furniture so it only 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 all of the low walls and angled ceilings that usually come with an attic space.

And this is the new incarnation.

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 paneling behind the bed for more of a cottagey vibe that made sense with the scale of the 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 those doorknobs at the antique markets of Isle Sur la Sorgue on a trip to the Luberon many years ago. They hold a lot of memories and are really special to me. They were on all of the closets at the old house but I was sure to exclude them from the sale so they could come with me here.

For a mod-trad mix, we included two built in drawer units (on each side of the room) with simple flat front drawers. I love this move for under the angled roof of a third floor because it makes good use of that tight corner space.

I’ve temporarily placed this vintage modern desk and chair in the awkward space under the front eave. I was imagining something far more romantic, like a 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’s staying for now.

Here’s a peek at the entrance to the new ensuite. You walk through the built-in closets on the left to reach the roof top deck, (that’s this summer’s project). The big savings came from running wall-to-wall sisal rather than laying new hardwood. But it was my first choice regardless. I love the cosy feel of wall-to-wall in a bedroom and especially sisal because vintage area rugs just look so great on top of it.

At the end of the bedroom reno, I can honestly say that I like sleeping in this room just as much as the last bedroom – if not more because it is just so cosy and, with its bird’s eye views to the park, it is pretty romantic too. Sometimes I imagine it to feel a bit like a small top floor flat on the left bank in Paris.

Stay tuned for more on the ensuite!