Most people put guests in their guest room. (Our guest room has been taken over by pianos.) And have closets in their bedrooms for nice dresses and suits. (Our closet is teeny and fits only seasonal essentials.) And have an extra shelf in a bathroom or maybe a hall closet for linens. (We don't.) But our attic has come to our rescue and taken on these challenges and more and it does a beautiful job with all of it. It's part guest getaway, part storage area, part linen closet. The layout is sort of odd and the blue carpeting isn't my favorite but it's as cozy as can be up there and we (and our guests) love it.
This old dresser at the top of the attic stairs is where we keep our sheets and extra blankets and comforters. It's a really roomy piece of furniture and fits our linens perfectly but the finish and hardware were just the worst. It needed updating in a desperate sort of way.
I decided to paint it white and there was no way I was going to lug this downstairs and outside in order to paint it, so I grabbed some drop cloths and milk paint (which is non-toxic and isn't harmful to breathe in, even when painting indoors) and got to work. I chose a color called Grain Sack, which I know looks uniformly white in these photos but in person the color has amazing dimension and depth. It sometimes looks more grey, other times more beige, occasionally more ivory than white. It's a brilliant color and I really enjoyed working with it.
My inspiration for the braided leather handles came from this lovely blogger. This part of the attic is smack in the middle of the room and quite far from the two small windows that are up here so it was hard to get a good clear shot, but the braided leather looks really pretty in person. I bought the leather lace from Michael's and to make the handles I cut strips, knotted, braided, then tied off. It was a little time-intensive but worth the effort.
Everything from the brick to the leather pulls to my collection of old family quilts gives this little nook such a rustic feel. I'm really enjoying how it naturally came together this way.
And here's a peek at the comfy little sleeping area next to the dresser. This is actually one of three beds that we were able to fit in the attic--there are two twins along the opposite wall! It's sort of like sleepover camp up here and when my parents and two brothers come this Christmas they'll all have a real bed to sleep on. I feel so thankful to have the space to host our families and thankful that we can give them each a comfortable space for themselves.
This project wasn't a glamorous one but this isn't a glamorous part of our home--it's pure comfort and function, rustic, simple coziness, peace and privacy. And I think we got it looking pretty cute, too.