When Geoffrey and Santa bought their first home together near Kew Gardens, they had an eye on a loft conversion from the get-go, but it was a few years until they were ready to proceed. As well as adding an additional bedroom and en-suite bathroom with a loft conversion, the couple wanted to almost completely renovate the property: refitting the kitchen, the bathroom, and making major changes to the living room.
Researching thoroughly before committing themselves to a building company, the couple met with and got quotes from as many as fifteen companies. However, it was only Landmark Lofts’ knowledgeable design consultant who instilled confidence in the couple and came to them brimming with ideas. For example, other companies said they would have to get an ordinary staircase, sacrificing space in the kitchen, while they wanted to have the stairs directly on top of each other. Only Landmark were willing to put in the extra work to achieve this. After first contacting us, it was another two years until they went ahead, but once they were ready they turned straight back to us.
Geoffrey and Santa’s project was a major undertaking. In addition to their loft conversion, the team installed new stairs, rebuilt the original stairs to the first floor, took out a wall in the living room, removed a chimney, replaced the kitchen window, installed a new bathroom, replaced all the doors in the house and re-plastered throughout the property. The couple's Landmark project manager contacted them regularly with updates and the build progressed well. Geoffrey described the site manager, Christoph, as ‘exceptional’, fixing any problems that arose quickly and being flexible and responsive to make interior changes as the project progressed. The couple found the builders to be tidy, highly skilled, professional and efficient.
Geoffrey told us that they appreciated the support of his project manager, Hugh:
“I think most of the time, like all clients, you get very nervous and worked up about how your project is coming along, and you start to freak out, and every time we called him he would calm us down, and go ‘that’s fine,’ ‘that’s normal’... so I think we built up a good rapport, and we trusted him, and he knew what he was talking about.”
The finished side-dormer loft conversion is bright and modern, with its angular white surfaces offset with a rustic brick feature wall to create an intriguing combination of styles. Three Velux windows set into the roof slope bring plenty of daylight into the room, while the open-plan bathroom arrangement gives the illusion of more space. A long space under the eaves, combined with other storage cupboards, wardrobes and cubby-holes, ensure the loft retains a huge amount of storage space. In the living room, the matching stairs are adorned with a hand-crafted hand rail on one side and a glass wall on the other, making the space feel bigger.
The living room matches the loft with its brick feature wall, spotlights and wooden flooring. As well as providing Geoffrey and Santa with extra space and privacy for their own bedroom, the loft conversion has enabled their four year old son Marco to move into a bigger room, which will be ideal for him as he grows older. This has also given the family a spare room to use. The whole property was rewired and re-plumbed, with a new bathroom fitted, bringing everything up to modern standards, and the window in their kitchen was made safer for their son by raising it up.
While Geoffrey and Santa have yet to put the finishing touches on their home and are looking forward to buying more furniture, hanging up some art and fitting doors to their eave spaces, it’s clear that their vision for their home has been achieved. They are both very happy with the result. "It’s made a massive difference," Geoffrey said, "We’ve got our own private bedroom upstairs... it’s got great views, it almost has that feeling of being in a beach house. It’s very comfortable." They told us that everyone who visited has been very impressed, including Santa’s parents who visited from Italy. She said that, "when people who saw it before visit, they say it's a completely different house."
Santa told us:
“I feel really comfortable and confident to recommend Landmark, and to be honest I already have to a couple of my friends. You hear so many stories of things that go wrong, and our friends couldn’t believe that our project was going so smoothly!"
Landmark Lofts is part of the Landmark Group - the only group in London specialising in the project management of loft conversions, extensions and refurbishments to include a Chartered Building Company (CIOB), Chartered Architectural Practice (RIBA) and to be regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The Landmark Group specialises in the project management of loft conversions, extensions and refurbishments.