Today’s post is an update on our house renovations and a look at our attic conversion. It was a lot of work but it was worth it!
I started tracking my home renovations a few years ago with the intention of updating each new room as it was “completed.” And now, over two years later, nothing has changed since the day we moved in!
I’ve hung some new photos and the house is starting to feel more like a home, but I haven’t done much in terms of decorations yet. We (and by “we” I mean Sam) spent nine months renovating our house while living with our parents, and after a very intense year, we finished building and decorating it.
And what I realized is that the house is never finished.
There’s always something to do, something a little broken, a little dirty, and ‘just there temporarily until you get something suitable….’
At first I wanted the house to be perfect. I’ve been dreaming about what my house would be like for so long that I expected every room to be perfect as soon as I moved in. But we had moved in with almost no furniture and had just spent around £60,000 renovating it. Of course, I didn’t have the budget to buy my girlfriend’s dream Pinterest furniture!
I was pregnant when we bought the house and by the time we finished we had a little baby, so Sam did all the renovations for us. Now I feel this worked. I was really lucky because I didn’t have to get my hands dirty. But those days were the worst. I was sitting at my parents’ house while Sam did all the heavy lifting, and I was going crazy because I couldn’t do anything to help. I felt completely useless, and would often come into my house just to sweep the floors, but I would get kicked out because I was in the way or there were too many things that were dangerous to fall on. It’s gone. I spent most of that year on his Pinterest, yearning for the perfect home and creating boards to create my dream home. It’s my dream home, but definitely not in the Pinterest sense!
One of my favorite rooms in the house is the bedroom. It was also because it was a minor accident.
When we first bought the house, Sam stepped into the attic and discovered it was completely rotten and all the floors and ceilings on the second floor needed to be replaced. Ta. It wasn’t a big deal since most of the house had collapsed, but it was his father who put a spanner in the works by suggesting they remodel the attic.
That night he hardly got any sleep. That’s because he remodeled the attic large enough to include a private bathroom, walk-in closet, and Juliette balcony, and lowered all the ceilings in the house to provide storage space inside. Because he had a grand plan attic.
I quickly dismissed the idea. Partly because I didn’t want to put off moving into the house, but also because all the attic conversions I’d seen were small, dark, and dingy. I’m 5’3, so I’m not that tall, but I hated the idea of curling up in my bedroom and not being able to stand up straight.
Because for obvious reasons (aka I was the size of a whale at this point) I wasn’t allowed into the rotten attic to see how huge a space it was, I kept saying no to remodeling the attic while Sam and my dad kept doing it anyway. I might have been a bit of a crazy pregnant woman at this point. I just wanted to build a nest and get ready for the baby to come, but everyone seemed to be tearing my nest apart!
But renovating the attic turned out to be the best decision we made (okay, Sam and my dad made) during our home renovation. We were given a very large room and we were going to be replacing the floor there anyway so it didn’t cost us much extra. The stairs and glass railings, windows in the bathroom and balcony, and his large Velux windows in the ceiling were additional costs, but not nearly as much as it would have cost him to add an extra bedroom.
I love this Juliet balcony. Especially since the garden overlooks the river. It’s also great during the summer to be able to sleep with the door open and have a nice breeze coming into your bedroom.
The garden looks a mess in the winter, but it’s lovely in the summer!
The door here leads to a walk-in closet, but it’s such a mess that I don’t have the courage to show it to you. I haven’t found a stylish storage system yet, so I’ve been putting together a random assortment of draws, rails, boxes, etc. I really like it because it keeps clothes out of my bedroom.
I love this big window above the bed. I intentionally didn’t put up any blinds because it’s so nice to see the stars at night.
We left the attic beams intact, so everything is very unstable. I think I’ll get used to it, but I felt dizzy at first.
I don’t have enough space for a bedside table, so I keep a small basket next to my bed instead. Convenient for storing books, Kindle, magazines, etc.
This cactus light was £10 from George in Asda and the cactus candle was around £1.50 from Primark. The square candle was £2.00 from Primark and the large green candle was £12 from Home Sense. It smells amazing. One of the reasons I ended up publishing this post was to light that candle!
these canvases are from mypicture.co.uk. Although the canvas is 80 x 60cm, it looks small on this large wall. This site is always having sales so it’s very cheap and very suitable for canvas printing. These canvases currently cost £33.
It wouldn’t be my bedroom without a globe somewhere!
Careful parents will notice that this is a super cheap baby changing unit from IKEA. There are convenient ways to use it when your baby doesn’t need it!
Other observant people will notice that something else is missing here, and that is the shower. The private bathroom has a sloping roof which requires a custom made shower screen which is quite expensive. When I first moved in, I kept saying, “I’ll order next month…” And two years later, I still don’t have my £800 shower screen. We’re both used to using the family bath for showers, so this shower space will continue to be my makeup station for now!
An unpainted door in the far wall provides a small hatch into the attic. There is a small space in the eaves on either side of the bedroom (the other space is accessed from the wardrobe) where you can store all your attic rubbish like Christmas decorations and suitcases.
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I love this room and my family and I spend a lot of time here. The newly added lots of cushions and blankets are also a great place to nest!
Read more about our house renovations
A sneak peek at my new home
Home renovation project: 8 months
Decorate your kitchen with a travel theme
travel themed kids room decor