A kid-friendly reno
Who: Tristan Fuller, 47, and Alana Boychuk, 43, co-owners of the interior design firm Boychuk Fuller; and their sons, four-yearold Ellis and 10-month-old Kai
When Alana and Tristan bought their house, in 2010, the attic was semifinished. It was hellishly hot in summer and freezing in winter, and the only way to access it was via a steep, narrow staircase. They were using the space to store boxes. Then their second son, Kai, was born, and his nursery took over their common space. “We wanted a family room in the truest sense,” says Alana. “A place to do puzzles or watch movies or escape to when the kids have gone to bed.”
They started by gutting the garret to gain a few more inches of headroom and floor area. Insulation followed, then two roof windows. They borrowed some ceiling space from a closet on the second floor, which enabled them to decrease the pitch of the staircase.
Huge quantities of Baltic birch went into the stairs, the floors and the walls. Custom built-ins in the walls keep the 208-square-foot space exceedingly tidy: drawers under a plush daybed house the family’s Christmas baubles and some bedding, and touch-latch wall cabinets store photo albums and childhood keepsakes.
“I often lie on the floor and stretch, or just stare out the windows,” says Alana. “When they’re open, with the breeze, it feels like you’re on a boat.”
1 Bev Hisey pillows add seasonal colour. The ottoman and area rug are also by Hisey.2 Full-extension drawers under the daybed have ample storage space.3 There’s a Corian jamb around the round window.4 The map of Toronto is from a 1970s street guide series.5 Baltic birch plywood makes the attic feel seamless—plus, it’s inexpensive.