Crawford Attic Writer’s Room Conversion by PARA-project

Full-wall bookshelf and reading area of Crawford Attic Writing Room by PARA-project

Believe it or not, this wonderful space you see before you is merely an attic conversion, but what an attic! Set in the loft space of a 1930s house in Syracuse, New York, the residents commissioned PARA-project (Jon Lott) to carry out the renovation, and it’s one of the grandest and best executed loft conversions I have ever seen.

Writers Desk with bookshelf and skylight in loft renovation

This rather book-orientated loft conversion is perfectly fitted for the client’s needs — a writer and a book binder — who intended for it to serve primarily as a work space, but also for leisure and guest accommodation. The work area is kitted out with an array of chairs by Charles and Ray Eames, namely two DCW chairs as well as a DAX armchair and a Soft Pad desk chair; while the adjacent living space features a claw-foot bath and a rather expansive daybed.

Gable shaped window in living area of PARA-project loft conversion

The conversion is set along the length of a loft space, formed by a fairly standard pitched roof, and is essentially one continuous room. The gabled wall at the westwards end of this pitched roof has been replaced with a vast pentagonal floor-to-ceiling window, whereas the opposing end has more modest windows which have then been partially obscured by a full-wall bookcase. However there’s certainly no shortage of light at this more work-focused end as two expansive skylight windows are positioned over the built-in desk and reading area.

View through Crawford Attic Writing Room by PARA-project in Syracuse, New York

The overtly rectilinear floor plan of this attic has to an extent been broken up by the addition of some jutting structures which house the stairway, a WC and a couple of storage cupboards. This creates a minor enfilade effect and offers a degree of distinction between the designated work and relaxation areas.

Recycled cardboard tube forming walls in Crawford Attic Writing Room

PARA-project formed these unusually shaped curved walls with upcycled cupboard tubing (sourced from a nearby fabric manufacturer), which offer an economical solution to creating irregular forms that can be easily manipulated and cut to shape.


The tubes weren’t suitable for conventional recycling (due to the glue used in their production) but the repurposing of these cylindrical forms in this attic conversion provides both thermal and acoustic insulation, while also creating a really unique wall covering.

PARA-project writing loft in the evening

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