South Osborne Attic Loft

Attic Reconstruction In South Osborne

A dark and unusable attic becomes another finished floor of a small house. The homeowner wanted a restful retreat that avoided the sterile and lifeless aesthetic that can often result from new construction.

We began with reconfiguring and reconstructing the previously steep and treacherous stairs. Though space was tight, we suggested adding a powder room to the walk-in closet in the volume of space left over on the other side of the stairwell opening.

Texture + Light

The addition of four skylights in the bedroom made the loft bright and open.

The introduction of various textured materials like reclaimed brick (repurposed from the old Army Surplus store), custom furniture, and new maple hardwoods installed on the diagonal really gave the space the unique atmosphere that the homeowner was after.

The combination of reclaimed local materials and new modern materials creates a sense of history, story, and renewal that contribute to the experience of being in the loft during various times of day and lighting conditions.

Before And In Process

Previous to any finishing, the attic had some serious issues to address with regard to the structure as well as the building envelope.

We brought in our engineer and corrected several issues, including construction of proper supporting knee walls and collar ties, creation of a new floor to meet the load requirements, and building of a new winder staircase in a different configuration. The new floor allowed us to correct the slope by running a laser level line and sistering huge new floor joists to the old members.

Most significantly, we lifted the sagging front dormer and the roof of the front porch almost seven inches.

We strapped out the ceiling and added soy based spray foam insulation to the rafter bays.

LIGHTING + ART INSTALLATION: The 25-foot-long undulating light fixture is made up of over 500 pieces of lath, some new, some old. (We went dumpster diving for about half of them). A diffuser sits behind the lath, where strips of LED lights on dimmers filter a warm glow through the gaps in the wood. The fixture was designed as a result of the artist-homeowner wanting a space that felt like a studio but did not want the typical track lighting. This was our solution.

COMPACT + FUNCTIONAL: This section of the attic had some serious space constraints, but with a lot of measuring and planning, we knew we could get a powder room and walk-in closet on the other side of the stairwell without making it feel dark and cramped. A skylight over the toilet created necessary head room, and a pocket door prevents a door swing from blocking the stairs or closet access.

RUSTIC + REFINED: The custom vanity, like the bed, was fabricated with the century old cedar floor boards that were pulled out of the space during demolition. Original to the 1912 home, they add both history and texture to the new space. The rough wood is contrasted with a simple square sink and sleek faucet.  The pocket door was reclaimed from a local antique store, and our finish carpenters were able to modify it to fit seamlessly into the space.

HEIRLOOM + SALVAGE: The custom bed was born of necessity and serendipity. We designed it to have friction-fit joinery so it slides apart to fit up the narrow winding staircase. Like the vanity, the bed incorporates the salvaged cedar floor boards and juxtaposes them with refined black-stained birch. Clean lines and modern reveals compliment the rusticity.