Showing you this will be a little tricky. If it starts to seem a little geeky for you, come on back tomorrow. But one of the things that drew me to this house was the attic. It was a mess but the beams were gorgeous. I am used to living in places where you would never, ever waste even a broom closet, so the idea of leaving an entire beautiful, habitable floor of a house just sitting empty was a nonstarter. The attic was neglected, no surprise, and was blocked off, probably to help insulate the habitable floors. That was sad because this house design is all about axial symmetry. One axis runs front to back, with rooms opening to either side. The other runs top to bottom, with the rooms opening from the staircase. To let light and air flow through the house and to restore the axis, I had to open the stairwell from ground floor to roof. To stay warm, I insulated and put in somewhat-geothermal central heating.
I have shown you much of the attic, so I’ll focus on the stairs. Tomorrow I’ll do a few attic shots for you guys who have not been with me since I moved from California.
Above is the attic landing. Stuart wanted to note the poor condition of the handrail, thus the odd angle. You can see that a door opens directly to the left. There was also a door to the right. The wallboard was in terrible condition and the linoleum covered a multitude of sins. It all went.
This is how that area looks now. We kept the handrail but reinforced it and shortened the landing, so we could tuck a shower into the bathroom. The bedroom door is straight ahead, with the door to the main room to the right. The flooring is sea grass; I just noticed how it resembles the old linoleum.
Here we kept the rails and that graceful curve. We refinished the stairs and replaced the drywall. The floor tile, which was peachier and cheesier than you can imagine from this photo, was replaced by pierre de Bourgogne.
And finally, here is a detail of the bannisters. I remember looking at those and thinking really, I can just buy them?