The High Life
To be precise, we are converting part of our roof space into a sealed room, which will hopefully be spider- and rat-proof, unlike the current creepy, gloomy space. We are also installing a skylight to let in some sun. (I say "we" but it's actually our lovely builder Mick who's doing all the hard work.) I should point out, our attic will be nothing like as big as the one in the picture! But it's still pretty cool.
Ladder access is from Alice's bedroom, the smallest room in the house, so she's looking forward to using the new attic as a bit of a hangout. She keeps urging us to throw out more stuff, to reduce the space we need for storage and free up more room for her.
I have to say I envy her. I've always craved an attic, and I once almost rented a very grotty house purely because of one unfeasibly small bedroom under the eaves. I remember Polly and Diggory crawling from house to house in The Magician's Nephew, and Sara Crewe's magically transformed garret in A Little Princess. The Marlowe sisters scored an attic dormitory for one hectic term at Kingscote, in Antonia Forest's The Attic Term (natch, as they would say). And of course, Jo always did her best scribbling up in the attic in Little Women.
When I was about Evie's age, I used to climb up into the top cupboards of built-in wardrobes and pretend I was in an attic. There was something so unspeakable romantic about the idea of that space, sandwiched between the safety of the house and the freedom of the wide sky, something secret but sheltered. It's one of those in-between hidey-holes that encourage reading and dreaming and musing, a perfect nest for creativity.
But I think you need to be twelve to really make the most of it.