When we started this house, we began on the third floor.
I do not have one single photo of the attic that is a true “before” picture. Part of that is because this was my very first project, and I did not understand how quickly things would change.
Part of it is how I was still trying to find the coffee pot, and Paul was already ripping and gutting and tearing and throwing out of windows.
Part of it is how I did not understand that I needed to take a picture of the whole project.
When I did take pictures, I took them of the exact thing we were working on. A corner, a wall, a hole in the floor… I have 1,000 photos of walls being gutted, and not one where I stood back and took a picture of the entire room.
If you’ve looked at my about the house page, you’ve seen that our previous owner painted every room in this house a different color.
A different blindingly-bright-vivid-neon-color.
I guess he felt this somehow compensated for the repairs he wasn’t doing.
Sort of like – yes. The house is falling down. But isn’t it snazzy?
Paul and I had two goals in the attic.
One – seal it up: fix the holes, insulate…
Two – make it mine. All MINE.
My place to make uncontrolled piles of paper.
My place to start projects that I will not finish.
My office, my library, my tower, my castle.
The only thing I am missing is a moat.
And a dragon.
Originally you would have been able to look from the third floor all the way to the foyer. But at some point, someone enclosed the stairway to the attic.
That enclosure is what I labeled “box” in the drawing above.
When you are in the attic, you can see that it is just a squared off box. And since they kept it level with the ceiling on the second floor, the top of the box is raised above the attic’s floor.
Even though I would love to see the stairway restored, the box does serve a purpose and we decided to keep it… It seems likely that a future owner might use the third floor as a master suite, and that those people might expect bedroom-related amenities. Like doors.
Although, hopefully they will not be too picky about things like closets…
It looks “fine” from the second-floor hallway.
Right? Doesn’t this look fine?
But the real reason we kept the box is something you do not know about me:
1. I have super sonic hearing.
Or a mole.
2. Noise makes me want to gnaw my own face off. (I realize that makes me sound like some overwrought crazy woman from a Jane Austen novel… Which we will get to in a minute.)
Noise-induced face-gnawing is a foreign concept to Paul. Or, rather it was… After he married me, he got a lot more familiar with the phenomenon.
Chainsaws, leaf blowers, unloading the dishwasher, dogs barking, the kid who sat next to me during the SATs with a runny nose AND NO TISSUES.
I spent all four hours fantasizing about leaning across the aisle, plunging my pencil into the side of his neck, and hissing – STOP SNIFFING.
I am fairly sure I would’ve gotten into Harvard if I sat next to someone else.
So even though we talked about removing the box, it was never a real option.
If anything, we might have replaced it with a steel vault.
A SOUNDPROOFED steel vault.
With a laser-tracking system that would allow me to target the noises that were irritating me and annihilate them with rockets.
Hopefully soon, something like that will be available at Home Depot.
I will love you EVEN MORE… if you share me with your friends.