A Modern Attic Renovation: Home Ec OP Design Studio and Lounge

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By TBDA / Published by TBDA
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Natalie and Alan Papier had lived in their Ridgeland-Oak Park Historic home in Oak Park, IL with their two kids for a few years before reaching out to architect, TBDA, to help them redesign their attic space.
The salvaged floors are a blend of reclaimed antique hardwoods.

The salvaged floors are a blend of reclaimed antique hardwoods.

Most attic renovations in Oak Park consist of replacing unused attic space with a master bedroom suite. The Papiers considered that type of renovation, but decided to keep all their bedrooms on the same floor. Their 2,600 sq. ft. home, built in 1883, was missing a casual hangout space for the family. "What we didn't have was a large family space, like a finished basement, and it made sense as the kids get older that it be used as more of a multipurpose play room/entertaining space," says Natalie Papier. They decided on a modern-day family room, with a mix of uses: space for Natalie’s burgeoning design business, HomeEc OP, a hangout zone for the family, and a space for entertaining. The attic was transformed from a dark, dusty collection of boxes into a textured space composed of three distinct bays, tucked under the grand roof lines of the intersecting gables. "Natalie has a great eye for design, and we worked in tandem to make her vision a reality," says Timothy Eberline, TBDA Project Manager. "The result of this collaboration is a fun, well-lit space for the family to hang out and entertain."

The space includes a kitchenette and dining area.

The space includes a kitchenette and dining area.

The skylight illuminates the nook for reading and lounging.

The skylight illuminates the nook for reading and lounging.

The salvaged wood on the wall and window seat is from old subfloor on site.

The salvaged wood on the wall and window seat is from old subfloor on site.