It was only a small space, but then it is only a little house, and I am only a pocket-sized person! The loft space in La Petite Maison is not very high, and there was no obvious place for a staircase, so there was no point even contemplating converting it to a usable room.
That's what they told me - the architect and those "who know these things," (all men naturally)! I smiled politely, murmured something non-committal and sallied forth to instruct my men-folk to proceed with my plans.
My first inspection of the loft had been a painful one, as I ascended from the precarious slingsby ladder onto the loft floor and instantly cracked my head open on an inconveniently placed wooden truss traversing the area almost directly above the hatch. The impact threw me backwards, and I half fell back through the hatch and down the ladder, badly bruising and scraping my side and leg.
The incident only made me more determined that a loft conversion was in order, and so we began what was to be a very, very long project. The wonderful William was well equipped to know what was required, and capably made the first steps to transforming an unsafe and unwelcome area into a safer place were I could at least ascend without injury.
With the loft cleared and new flooring insitu, it was easier to see what space there really was. Running the full length of the house, an area was partitioned off at one end for a small storage room. At the other end a hole was cut in the floor for a staircase.
The tediously laborious job of insulating was next on the list, and hours were spent sweltering in the dim artificial light as Mr Long-Suffering and I painstakingly measured, cut and fitted the huge sheets of foil backed insulation. Somehow we endured this, although it seemed to take an eternity to complete the whole roof; the entire summer appeared to slip by as we remained closeted in the roof space, but the new roof windows gave us a lift and flooded the area with a hitherto unseen natural light.
Fixing the plasterboard in place took another lifetime,
I already had a plan in mind for the flooring. A Pinterest friend (thanks Laura G!) had pinned a very interesting Pin with instructions on how to create a floor using plywood. So upon the arrival of several huge sheets of plywood, we set about slicing them into strips and sanding the edges. Oh yes, it was another time-consuming task, but nothing compared to the insulating and plaster-boarding!
Mr Long-Suffering then carefully positioned the boards, nailing and glueing them into place. Once William had fixed the skirting and architraves in place, the new room was ready for me to begin painting. Emulsioning, priming, undercoating and topcoating completed, only the floor remained.
Two further days spent applying floor paint and what was once a dark, dangerous, cold and wasted space has now been transformed into a light, bright, warm and safe environment.
A space created for me to create!
A lampshade waiting to be covered in lace is one of my first projects, while an old sewing machine table frame has been dismantled and the legs painted, to which I shall attach a table top, (that I have yet to construct) and this will then be my workbench.
But first I really must finish painting that staircase!