Updated: Mar 21
Every writer dreams of a cozy nook away from the noise and bustle of daily life where they can focus on their work and let their imaginations soar.
Come along with us on an inspiring journey as we renovate an awkward attic space into a snug writer's garret, fit for authors and readers of all ages!
Our house, built in 1891, was full of unusual corners and cubbies left from over a hundred years of renovations and additions to the original building.
At the back of the second floor, these simple stairs curved around two landings to lead to the third floor, which was being used as attic storage space.
The space was quite a mess.
At the top of the stairs, the final landing was separated from the rest of the third floor by an unusual glass wall. Apparently a previous landlord had set up an illegal apartment up here, but by the time we arrived, it had all been dismantled, including the door!
We began by boxing in the skeletal stair railings and adding wallpaper that looked like stone castle walls. (We chose this aesthetic because the room at the base of the steps became a Magical Common Room inspired by Harry Potter, and we wanted this staircase to look as though it led to the Gryffindor dormitories.)
We papered just the knee walls, then painted the new trim a dark brown to mimic the vintage wood that would have been used in a house of this age. The bright white new door got a coat of the same paint, which happened to be a very similar shade to the antique desk we picked up on Craigslist for about $100.
We covered the glass wall with an opaque contact paper with an Art Deco pattern that was thin enough to let light through but heavy enough that no one can see into the storage section of the attic.
This classic desk became the focal point of the new Writer's Garret, with its fold-down top, correspondence cubbies and secret hidden compartments. What would YOU hide in here?
We added a short bookshelf on the opposite wall, topped with a Victorian birdcage full of fairies, along with a smooshy beanbag chair in the corner.
Here's the view from the Garret back toward the stairs before we added the wallpaper and paint.
On the right, the exposed brick is part of the old chimney.
And here's a view up the stairs toward that chimney, this time with all the wallpaper, trim paint and Professor Umbridge's framed proclamations.
Then it was just time to fill in all the accessories! Every writer's garret needs a vintage typewriter, along with a few retro clocks, bottles, inkwells, and feather pens. Corners are softened with plants, vintage books add warmth, and teacups and snack supplies are tucked here and there.
The most fun part of the process was finding inspirational artwork, and of course I needed a dragon :)
This tiny landing could have become a magnet for miscellaneous junk, but its very size is exactly what makes it perfect for its new purpose. All a writer really needs is space for their imagination, right?
Do you have a favorite place to write? Tell us about it in the comments!