A kid-friendly reno

Toronto Life - - Editor’s Letter -

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

Where: Park­dale

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.

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