5 Loft Conversion and Interior Design Ideas
Given the current state of the housing and mortgage markets, it’s not surprising that many people are choosing to improve or extend their existing homes rather than move. A loft conversion is the obvious choice when it comes to gaining more space. It is ideal as it doesn’t involve changing the footprint of the house, you may not need planning permission and it can become a surprisingly attractive and versatile space. Here are some ideas worth thinking about.
1 Adding stairs
At its most basic a loft conversion can provide a hobby room for your model railway or a play space for the kids. But if you’re relying on a folding ladder for access it won’t be counted as extra living space when you come to sell the house. Adding a permanent staircase may be expensive, and it will cause you to lose some accommodation in rooms below, but it makes a world of difference to the usability of your conversion. Space-saving options like spiral staircases can make this more practical than you might think.
2 Pitch perfect
The usability of a loft conversion is partly down to the pitch, or slope, of the roof. A steeply pitched roof that allows you to stand upright will need less work to convert and provide more space. If your roof has a shallow pitch you’ll lose some space at the edges but you can still make effective use of the area by adding dormer windows to increase the height. Remember to allow for insulation nibbling away a few extra inches. In an older building with a very high roof you might want to consider creating a mezzanine floor system in one of the rooms below.
3 Office space
Lofts are ideal if you’re looking for space to use as a home office or studio. The separation from the rest of the house makes it somewhere you won’t be interrupted. Make sure you plan the windows and lighting well – you don’t want to be working in a gloomy place. If your work involves a computer, then make sure your Wi-Fi signal is strong enough to reach the loft or plan to run a cable from your router.
4 Extra bedrooms
Using the loft as an extra bedroom for guests or teenagers is a popular use of the space. Because it’s separated from the rest of the house, it’s a good idea to plan for an en-suite bathroom too. Modern technology means that the plumbing for this shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re starting from scratch, you also have the opportunity to add extra features like built-in wardrobes and entertainment systems to give the space an extra wow factor. If your bedroom conversion has Velux-style windows make sure you fit blackout blinds so that you can get a good night’s sleep.
5 Shape and size
A problem with loft conversions can often be that you end up with awkward spaces due to the shape of the roof. But with a little imagination you can turn this into an advantage. Think about building in storage against the eaves or making a feature of having an unusually shaped window. Making subtle use of colour can help too; pastel shades to make the room seem larger or a contrasting end wall to give a feeling of more space.