When we first were looking at park models, we intended to forgo a loft due to finances. I'm so glad we changed our minds. That loft has given us a lot more flexibility as a growing family than we would have without it.
Primarily, the loft has been my husband's "man cave," where he keeps his computer and gaming equipment, but we also keep the cat litter box up there. For a brief time, we had a litter box downstairs, and that was a nightmare with cat litter being tracked all over our house. Never again.
When I was pregnant with Sunshine, we temporarily moved a queen mattress up there so we could turn the bedroom into a nursery. However, due to issues with the cat urinating on the mattress, we ultimately decided that wasn't going to work. (The cat is nearly twelve years old now. When, she dies, we will not be replacing her.)
With the big mattress gone and Chris's stuff relegated to one corner, the loft sort of became a catchall for all sorts of random junk. It was an eyesore, and I rarely even went up there.
Earlier this summer, we found out that Chris needed dental surgery, and when the dentist recommended Chris take it easy for a few days afterwards, we were a bit stumped about how to accomplish that in our tiny home.
Sweetheart (1) still takes daily naps in the bedroom, so that room is off limits in the afternoon aside from sleeping. With two active children, not much relaxing happens in the living room during the day, either.
That left the loft. It needed a major overhaul to become a relaxing space, though. Ultimately, the idea of turning it into a second living area started to have a huge appeal. We decided to go for it.
Over the last couple of months, we've been working hard to fix it up. We've cleaned and consolidated and made several runs to the dump. We shampooed the carpet, deep cleaned the windows, and painted the walls. We then rearranged the space, moving the cat litter into the corner (pictured above during the painting process) where Chris used to keep his computer and moving all of his gaming equipment out of that corner into a more centralized location along one wall. Then we bought some carefully chosen furniture, including a low couch that easily doubles as a single bed.
We aren't quite finished organizing yet, and we are planning to create an enclosed play space for our kids in the far corner soon, but the hard work has definitely paid off already. It feels like we have added another room to our house.
I sometimes crawl up there just to sit and enjoy having a few quiet minutes to myself, at least until someone comes looking for me.
I am amazed at how much of a difference it makes when we take a poorly utilized part of our house and remake it into a practical space that we all love. When every square foot matters, a few simple changes can reap huge benefits in the long run.