Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

We started the renovation on our 100 year old house 3 years ago, and the attic renovation was an amazing transformation! It was transformed from a basically unusable space to this charming vaulted ceiling, exposed brick chimney family room. Here’s what we did… Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

When we first started the attic renovation, we had the original maid’s room up on the third level, but the rest of the space was unfinished. Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

We began by having the insulation company spray foam insulation on all the walls and ceiling. This type of ‘closed cell’ foam insulation has a very high ‘R’ value, (in fact, I think it’s the highest r-value of all the insulation options) which we needed in order to leave the ceiling beams exposed so that we could sheetrock the vault. Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

Some of the windows needed to be replaced… Like this one on the stairway… the top half of the window wasn’t a window at all, it was a louvered vent. Now that we were transforming this 3rd level into heated livable space, a vent would be a bit chilly here in NW Wisconsin in the winter! Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

What was a closed off, old icky stairway when we bought the house, is now a stairway with this reproduction vintage carpeting, featuring a fun ‘whimsical library, (you can read that post here). (if you’d like to see some great choices for ‘book themed’ wallpaper, here are 3 great ‘books’ wallpaper options… (even better than the book border I used!!) Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

This bank of 3 windows were only 2 windows with the third having an attic fan in the window’s place. Therefore we replaced the fan with a window, and installed this beautiful stained glass panel (I found here). All the rest of the windows are the old original ones, which I love the look of… wavy glass and all… but they were only single pane, and really close to the floor. My answer was to install interior storms with tempered glass. It solved the issue of the single pane. It also resolved the worry I had of the safety issue of old glass so close to the floor with grandchildren playing, tempered glass is much stronger and safer. Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

Looking towards the stairway you can see how the exposed brick chimney is a huge feature in this space. (details on how I re-did the retro cart are here) Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

Another nice feature of this attic are the steeply angled walls that lend themselves nicely for cubbies for toys, storage and my husband’s car display. (For the car display, I installed Plexiglas panels across the front to keep little fingers away from the cars, and keep the display dust free.) Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

Beyond the game table is a large TV area. (here you can read the 2 posts when I re-did the game table and game table chairs)

Oh, and the original maid’s room? Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

Here’s a peek into the maid’s room. It had all the original trim, plaster, floor… just really dirty… I really wanted to maintain this room in it’s originality, therefore we carefully worked around it. We managed to have the exterior wall insulated and only had a few holes in the plaster to patch. For re-wiring the room, and installing the baseboard heaters, the carpenters carefully removed the trim to get a little easier access to the space inside the walls, then replaced the trim right back.

Once all that was finished I scrubbed, sealed, primed it and painted it, (the floor is the original finish, just scrubbed and clear coated a couple of coats! Isn’t it cool how the knots in the old wood turned so dark over the last 100 years?!) The trim in this original maid’s room, now my sewing/craft room, was this fun mint green… you can see on the floor at the threshold the green it originally was. That one floor board I wanted to keep for it’s original-ness, so I scrubbed and sealed it with the floor… but for the rest of the trim, after I cleaned it, I primed and re-painted it for a fresh finish.

This 3rd level attic space is a treasure for the house now. Our 100 Year Old House Attic Renovation

Such a fun place for kids and adults! When we sell our house, (yes, we just put it on the market!) I think I will miss this original maid’s room the most.

Be sure to check out this page to see many of these renovation projects ‘in action’: Our 100 Year Old House

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Here are more before and after projects:

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This post is linked up at the following other sites: Coastal Charm, Skip to my Lou, Between Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor Chick, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, StoneGable, A Stroll Thru Life, Home Stories A to Z, Yesterday on Tuesday, Savvy Southern Style, From Evija with Love, The DIY Dreamer, My Repurposed Life, My Thriftstore Addiction

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  1. Randy says

    This is cool to see. My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a nearly 100 year old house with a walk-up attic (full stair case) and we are looking at doing something similar. So, do you have any sort of venting to the outside now from the attic space or did you seal it up completely with the spray foam?

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