Choosing the right size of windows and the correct position for them within a conversion is essential. To maximise the amount of daylight in the space, glazing should make up 20 per cent of the roof area. The windows’ position will often be dictated by the shape of the roof; for example, a long, shallow room will benefit from windows spaced evenly along its length, whereas a narrow, deeper room will benefit from one large window. ‘Since each room varies in shape and size, consider what type of window is required,’ advises Paul Hicks, sustainability and design manager at Velux. ‘A top-hung option when the window is within arm’s reach allows an unspoiled view and more headroom, while a centre-pivot window, operated by a rod or electronically, is best if the window is out of reach.’
Work without distraction
A home office needs plenty of light flooding in while it’s in use, so steer clear of blackout blinds and heavy materials. Instead, opt for pale blinds in soothing neutral shades that still let the light in but will also reduce glare when they’re closed, allowing you to work efficiently even when the sun starts to drop – as essential for dazzling summer days as for shorter days in the winter months.
Find furniture that fits
Building regulations can dramatically influence how a converted loft space is structured, which impacts on finishes and furniture. ‘Light is a key factor, as ceilings are often lower than normal, sloping and irregular,’ explains interior and fashion designer Sarah Crozier. ‘When it comes to the décor, opt for simple schemes and reflective surfaces, and choose furniture in proportion with the size and scale of your space.’
Fit out a room for the kids
Lofts make great playrooms or extra space for teenagers, but it’s important to keep them cosy so they’ll get plenty of use. You’ll need to insulate the roof instead of the floor, and cover it with plasterboard. You can then add underfloor heating or an extra radiator to your heating system – but check that your boiler is powerful enough to run it. Playrooms also need smart, flexible storage for accommodating different sizes of toys and board games, as well as a desk, so it can become a quiet place to study, as your kids grow older.
Include a home bar
This bespoke design makes clever use of the space in the eaves with triangular open shelving for bottles, a built-in wine cooler, small prep sink, domino hob and dishwasher. Antique mirrored glass at the back of the shelving helps to reflect light around the space, while integral spotlights make sure contents can be easily seen. A curved bar area in front adds extra work space for everything from cocktail-making to enjoying casual meals, making this design just as suitable for relaxed Sunday brunches as it is for entertaining.
Design a classic bathroom
Awkward dimensions and bulky beams don’t have to be a limiting factor in creating a bathroom in a loft space, such as in this cottage conversion. While showers require a minimum amount of headroom and easy access, a freestanding bath can be sited under a low ceiling. Simple shapes and a traditional colour palette work well with period architecture, but there’s still plenty of ways to add character to the space, such as using an on-trend smoky grey shade or a feature wallpaper to define the bathing area.
Install a shower
A stylish shower or wet room is a great use of a loft, but you’ll need to check that you have enough headroom for a shower. In addition, if there isn’t a good-sized window, you’ll need to fit an extractor fan. Concealed shower fittings will help to make the most of the space, and a bespoke glass panel can be made if needed. Don’t be afraid of colour – as long as there’s enough white to balance the look, you can add drama with bold tiles, which are a cost-effective way to create wow factor.
Create a space for work and play.
Right Locano bedroom furniture range in white matt, £3,000 for the configuration shown including W50cm, W60cm and W43cm wall units (H90xD31cm); shelves, W80xD31cm; two double wardrobes (one with two drawers), H205xW90xD59.5cm; five-drawer dresser, H114.5xW80xD48.5cm; with Lifespace silver shelving and desk area, comprising desktop, W240xD70cm; under-desk cabinet, H72xW50xD65.5cm; open storage with two slide-out shelves, H72xW60xD65.5cm; four-drawer storage, H72xW43xD65.5cm, Crown Imperial
Add a focal point
It’s not only baths that can be the statement piecein a room – shower spaces work well, too. Check that the subfloor can accommodate the weight, as this will often dictate what is possible in terms of design. If headroom is limited, positioning a shower in the centre of an open-plan loft bathroom is a smart idea, complete with a stone-clad wall and low-profile shower tray to mimic a seamless wet room without the hassle and expense of tanking.