Ever since my husband and I moved into our house in October 2010 we have been working on projects large and small in order to improve what was once a complete fixer-upper into a desirable home with the intention that one day our 930 square-foot two bedroom and one bath house would allow us to make a jump to a home in a better neighborhood with more space. For, you know, dogs. And friends. And our parents to sleep over.

Recently my beloved and I were discussing the house and its future. One of the things we talked about was staying in the house for a few more years and what projects we would want to accomplish to make the best of our house. There was one thing that came to mind based on a house a few doors down with the same floor plan as ours: finishing off our attic for more functional space. Here’s the picture from their listing (when that house was sold, the same set of pictures I used to influence our kitchen remodel):

I was always curious about where they might have put stairs to gain access to this space until I asked another neighbor over the weekend who had seen the house during its open house. Pull-down stairs. Genius. In a home with a compact floor plan it’s a great way to incorporate stairs. Here’s what our floor plan looks like (not exactly to scale):

As you can see, there’s not a lot of unused space. A set of pull-down stairs could probably work in our hallway, though. That way, you would have access to the middle of the house (as versus the garage) and if the space is used as an office or even a guestroom the bathroom is right there. Here’s a shot of our roof thanks to Google maps, which is taken from the side of the house so it’s the above rotated 90-degrees counter-clockwise:

You can see where our fireplace is and also what we refer to as “the coffins” which are actually solar water heating from the 80s (yes, really, the 80s!) that are no longer connected. We need to replace our roof and are thinking that a potential attic project might be best if it coincided with a roof replacement? The point for showing our roof line is that there is actually some plentiful space in our attic– no complicated roof line chopping things up so it could be worth finishing.

And before I get into Pinspiration pictures, the current state of our attic: gross. The space above our garage has no attic, we only have some lofted storage space. But when we were having our kitchen done, there was some questions about a supporting wall and if it could be a beam instead, so I took one for the team and went up there. Naturally I took pictures while I was up there:

An old antenna, you know, just in case. Could come in handy in a zombie apocalypse.

I guess the important question was how much room is up there– is it enough to stand? How many beams are there? Would it be easy to move around? I can’t remember. It was icky and hot and I didn’t want to get super old insulation in my hair or inhale it. But let’s assume that it’s tall enough to stand and that there really aren’t an inordinate number of beams. Besides, if you’re working at a desk you’re sitting or we could have a low bed/futon and you’d be laying down. So for that, plenty of space.

Basically I don’t think it’s an impossibility that we might be able to finish our attic off. I’m not sure that’s it’s something I want to DIY (do you see that old insulation!?!?) but if we were able to bring in a pro to create a blank slate for us and add some window/skylights (a must!) then I think it would be a really neat space. So I’ve been scoping out Pinterest for ideas of what I like.

Check out this tiny, narrow attic with lots of windows:

I like the windows/ skylights as well as the storage but I think our attic is even wider than this. (Image originally from here)

Check out the sleeping arrangement here– even if we had a pretty low space this would work for some of our guests (better than our pull out!?):

I also like that image because it demonstrates that there is a post in the attic AND that they clearly just painted the current ceiling in the attic without adding drywall or anything. We don’t get crazy hot summers or snow where we live so maybe we wouldn’t need to drywall our attic ceiling? (Image originally from here)

For good measure, here’s a home office in the attic which is what we would be looking to do:

Love the wall paper on the ceiling and the bookshelves! (Image originally from here)

My hopes on this project could be dashed pretty quickly if I realize there really isn’t enough space up there to warrant such an undertaking. But for right now dreaming of taking over simply unused space in our home is a great use of time.

Do you like attic living space? Anyone else remember Clarissa Explains It All where she had a rad attic bedroom?