©2018 by A French Address.

The Secret Attic

July 28, 2015


I touched upon our mezzanine area for the first time recently , so let’s head back there as I have a few more things to say about this forgotten space.


Elsewhere throughout the apartment we had come a huge way in the past 10 months and moving day was fast approaching. The wall and ceiling surfaces were all plastered, sanded, primed and painted, the key bathroom elements had been installed as had the kitchen units, the hardwood floors had been laid, our electricity rewired and the plumbing work was finished. Phew! Things were looking up. Well, things on the ground floor I mean.


The mezzanine area was another story. Firstly, as explained it was a bordel, packed with all our equipment we had been using throughout the renovation, as well as old scraps of wood, plasterboard and insulation which we had convinced ourselves we would find a use for somewhere. Secondly, there was a huge hole in the back wall and I guess now is the time to explain why! One curious day a few months back, we had been investigating this wall, and were intrigued by its hollow sound. After taking a look at the plans, it was clear that the space belonged to us, so there was nothing for it but to knock through the wall to satisfy our curiosity. Obviously I stayed downstairs at this point, scared of what might come running out from within…


What we discovered was an entire new space, of about 10m2 which extended right back to the outside wall of the building. The odd thing also about this space was that while of course it was musty and dark, it was oddly clean, with no cobwebs, spiders, mice or any other other delightful creatures which enjoy hiding away in secret attics. My mother in law was convinced that the reason for this was the beams in this space being made out of chesnut wood, which apparently deters spiders…if anyone out there can confirm this I’d love to hear from you !


The question now facing us was whether this was a space we wanted to exploit, whilst in the midst of the overall renovation. After all, an extra 10m2 could come in handy. The problem however, was that the floor of this area was also the ceiling of the bathroom, and by no means strong enough to hold the weight of people walking on it. So if we were planning on extending the mezzanine, it would need to be significantly reinforced. What’s more, after a full 10 months of non-stop renovation with the end now in sight, I don’t think either of us could face starting from scratch again with an entirely new space requiring significant energy to bring it in line with the rest of the apartment.


So that was that, decision made. Rather than just blocking it back up again, what we decided to do was keep the space open as an attic, and use it to store all the tools and equipment we had been using throughout the past 10 months. This way we could store them safely away until the next renovating challenge awaited us. All that would need to be done was to slightly reinforce the weight of the floor, and that we could do.


Pleased with our plan, we could now get to work with clearing out the bordel that had accumulated up on the mezzanine, with a space now available to store those items we were wanting to keep. Everything was working out!


In the meantime, before we had the time to properly build the wall back up again, I made sure the hole was blocked up with a large piece of polystyrene whenever I was alone in the apartment, in case something or someone would ever come crawling out of there…





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