Expanding our home as we expanded our family

By on March 3, 2016

We live in a 3 bedroom semi-detached house. When we moved in, just the two of us, it had all the room in the world. Suddenly when you start adding babies, and all that comes with them, the vast amount of space very quickly disappears.

By the time I was pregnant on my third the economy was in the depths of a recession so moving to a new, bigger house was not an option. We knew that many of the neighbours had converted their attic space so we set about investigating that.

In true “just in time” management we decided to go ahead and convert our attic with the builders departing our house, leaving us with a new, raw converted space, about 3 weeks before my little lady arrived.

attic conversion

During my maternity leave we gave the room a lick of paint, installed carpet in the room and on the new stairs leading up to it. We were left with a super space that just needed turning into a practical usable room.

We considered using it as a playroom and a few toys made their way up there but with my oldest being only five-years-of-age at the time it seemed very far away if I was in the kitchen two flights below.

We did a bit of bedroom reconfiguration and ended up buying bunk beds for my oldest two so our new baby could have the nursery. Rather than throw out the old double bed from the second bedroom we put it into the attic space. Suddenly the space was becoming a usable bedroom, though I felt my kids were a little young to be using it just yet.

As my return to work date approached we needed to look at our childcare options. My oldest was now in school so the previous full-time crèche arrangement didn’t work and they didn’t provide after school.
With our lovely new space we thought it was now possible to host an au pair.

Having decided to go down that childcare route we had to quickly set about making it a nice homely space to welcome her into our home.

We put in a little desk, set of drawers, hanging space and a TV. The space looked great. The final issue we had been the light was just streaming through our new roof windows. No one could get a good night’s sleep in that scenario. We couldn’t just pick up a pair of curtains so we ordered some blackout blinds from the company VELUX and that did the trick.  They literally turned the room dark even in the middle of the day. Perfect solution and easily installed a matter of days before our lovely au pair arrived.

Blackout blind[Source: roofblinds.co.uk]

Having an au pair was a great success but I have since taken a career break. My oldest regularly begs to have the attic room for herself but maybe when she is a little older. It is currently being used as our spare room come home office (and general dumping ground!!).

We have also expanded further (our house, not our family!) with an extension that became the playroom I wanted but is right beside the kitchen and really works. Watch out for an upcoming post on how I turned that new extension into a bright practical play space (without needing to look like a scene from Pinterest!).

So, if you are expanding your family and are short on space don’t panic. An attic conversion can create a large, bright and practical space for your family.

Disclosure: This post is in association with Roofblinds.co.uk however as always all content and opinions are my own and I am a genuine happy customer of the website.

5 Comments

  1. Office Mum

    March 3, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    We can’t convert our attic – huge tank, weird shaped roof, and two surveyors have told us we can’t. Of course we knew this moving in, but couldn’t see then how we’d ever run out of space 🙂
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    • Lucy - Learner Mama

      March 3, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      Boo for a weird shaped roof! We were lucky to have had a very convertable attic 🙂

  2. Naomi Lavelle

    March 11, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    We have a huge attic space ripe for conversion, but I shudder to think where we would put all the stuff we have dumped up there! One day we do hope to convert though so I’ll be back for more advice when we finally do!

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