Stairway to Heaven: my Loft Storage Room!

Steps to new loft storage by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

So after ten months and a mini-freak-out-session all over the long-suffering boyf, we finally came to the conclusion that we were NEVER going to have the time/skills/patience to clear out and board up the loft if left to our own devices, and I was beginning to go slowly insane surrounded by work props, suitcases that didn’t fit anywhere and multitudes of DIY equipment (having already totally filled the shed, natch) to the point where I could bear it no more. The OH also has what I lovingly refer to as Sensitive Nose Syndrome, too – namely, any encounters with dust send him off into big, irritating man-sneeeze fits. And as the loft was Mary Poppins/Victorian Chimneysweep-style black with inches of soot, he was in even less of a rush to clamber up through the tiny hatch and sort it out than I was.

So we got Men in to do it. Like storage saviours, they duly arrived, supped on tea, accidentally stuck a foot through the bedroom ceiling and swore a lot, to provide us with this:

New attic storage space1 by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

New attic storage space2 by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

New attic storage space3 by Joanna Thornhill for Stylist's Own

Storage. SO MUCH storage. More storage than my little mind could ever even have dreamed of. OK, on the grand scheme of storage space, it ain’t that big. But for someone who has lived in over ten flat/houseshares and two teeny-tiny one-bed “love nests” with barely enough room to swing a cat, this is pretty much a gift from the Gods (of Excess Stuff). I like to think of it as my own little world: there is Painting Corner over on the left, Side Table Ghost Town on the right, and up against the crumbly brickwork at the back, the place I’ve always dreamed of  – my very own (prop)House of Love. (I remind you that we live in E17. Geddit?) We’re still filling her up with stuff but I figured it’s never going to actually look NICE, so I may as well share her as is. And she’s now got proper access via our very swanky pull-down wooden ladder and extra-wide hatch (Oh, and – it goes without saying – ignore every single other visual element of the landing area, pictured up top. Banishing its horridness is very much on the To Do list, I assure you. Just look at the Clever Ladder and avert your eyes from the rest, please thank-you.)

Aside from getting Handy Dad to pop in a proper spotlight, that’s all we’re doing up there for now, and to be honest I don’t know if we’ll ever have the funds to turn it into a “proper” conversion. But a small (OK, massive) part of me is hankering to do a sneaky half-conversion to turn it into my office/craft studio (cue long, lengthy sigh). Here’s a few of my thoughts to get me on my way:

Loft Ideas - Velux Windows, blogged on Stylist's Own by Joanna Thornhill

1. A couple of centre-pivot roof windows from VELUXScreen Shot 2013-04-27 at 17.18.40 up there. Back when we had our roof replaced the week we moved in, when I naively thought we might have more than tuppence ha’penny left in the coffers once that little job was done, I did enquire about this with the builder, and was given a rough quote of around £1,200 for two of these said windows plus labour. It remains fairly high on the wish list, especially since we inherited a telescope and I’ve told the boyf we can keep it in the loft and, with windows installed, it can be his very own East London Planetary Observatorium… (love the splash of wallpaper in this alcove and clever built-in shelves, too).

Loft Ideas - pink spiral staircase, blogged on Stylist's Own by Joanna Thornhill

2. A fixed staircase. Obviously the grown-up thing to do would be to install a ‘proper’ staircase , starting where the tallboy  sits, just to the right of the bedroom door (next to the inexplicable tap head sticking out from the exposed piping) and run it parallel to the existing stairs. But a silly part of me would love to install a spiral staircase in the space instead. And with that mindset, it may as well be bright pink, right?

Loft Ideas - white workspace, blogged on Stylist's Own by Joanna Thornhill

3. Tuck a little office area into the eaves with freestanding furniture and built-in shelving, to while away the working day tucked up amongst the rooftops of Walthamstow…

Loft Ideas - rustic window nook, blogged on Stylist's Own by Joanna Thornhill

… or leave it a little more Rough Luxe, quit work altogether and just make a secret cosy den up there, vintage-stylee, to spend my days reclining on. But for the time being, I’ll think she’ll do just fine as she is.

{Image Credits: 1. via VELUX – and with special thanks to them for supporting this post. 2. via Paumes – book featuring this image, available from Bodie & Fou. 3. Via House to Home (photograph by Mel Yates). 4. Via Pinterest – original source unknown and I’ve spent over an hour trying to track it down, but it was too lovely a shot not to include so if anyone knows who it’s by, do let me know}


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About Joanna Thornhill

Freelance Interior Stylist, Author, Writer and Crafter working for a range of magazine titles and commercial clients. Author of Home for Now (CICO Books 2014)

3 responses to “Stairway to Heaven: my Loft Storage Room!”

  1. Michael, Community Manager at Dulux says :

    Hi Joanna,

    What a fantastic use of space. I know how much space is at a premium having just moved to a new place and taken out a room at Big Yellow Storage to put all the stuff in that I don’t necessarily use every day but also don’t want to throw away!

    Very lucky to have essentially created another room in your house! What are you going to do with all this new space? I love option 3 myself!

    Michael, Community Manager at Dulux.

    • Stylist's Own (by Joanna Thornhill) says :

      Thanks – sadly it’ll probably be (unillustrated) Option 5 – fill it with stuff that “might come in handy one day” until it’s stacked to the rafters, then reach a point of desperation and take it all to the tip and start again. But maybe one day I’ll manage one/all of options 1-4!

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  1. Staircase to Heaven « Beige is Dead - June 12, 2013

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