| Great Spa­ces Four fam­i­lies who turned cob­webs and crawl spa­ces into lust­wor­thy at­tic suites

When a big­ger house isn’t an op­tion, an at­tic ren­o­va­tion gets the job done

Toronto Life - - Contents - by iris be­naroia

“I used to work in my dreary base­ment,” Lisa says. “It’s the worst for an interior de­signer, because there’s no nat­u­ral light.” Re­lo­cat­ing the of­fice up­stairs was im­pos­si­ble, because space was maxed out in the three-bed­room Vic­to­rian semi she shares with her hus­band and kids. “We searched for four years for a house with just one ex­tra room,” Lisa says. “Noth­ing was within our bud­get.”

In 2014, she popped the hatch to the at­tic to scope out the house’s ne­glected third floor. “It was lit­er­ally a hole,” she says. “There wasn’t even a stair­case.” Fur­ther ex­plo­ration re­vealed an eight­foot ceil­ing.

She re­designed the dust pit into a 450-square-foot, Zen-like mas­ter bed­room with an en­suite bath­room. Baltic birch, white oak and slate fin­ishes give the at­tic an earthy look. Pocket doors with translu­cent pan­els di­vide the bath and bed­room while al­low­ing light to fil­ter through. A med­i­ta­tive nook tucked un­der the pitched roof is dressed in a bo­hemian car­pet and Moroc­can pil­lows. At the land­ing of the new stair­case is a sun-splashed den where large, west­fac­ing win­dows frame the trees be­yond.

And that of­fice? It’s now lo­cated in the for­mer mas­ter bed­room. Stephen has turned the base­ment into a pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dio.

Iris and Bryan Kerr turned their at­tic into a stylish mas­ter re­treat

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