Who doesn’t want to maximise their investment? Although that is what thousands of us are doing in undertaking loft conversions, after the plans have been drawn and the hammers hit, ensuring that your new loft actually adds to your home is imperative. Depending on the purpose of your conversion, it can be difficult to decide what to do in terms of design. So, we present 10 design ideas for loft conversions that offer aesthetic and practical solutions. The selections below use vibrant colours, unconventional storage solutions, art and multi-functional furniture to combat space issues and add lots of personality. Even though there is no fixed formula, when decorating a loft there are a few sure fire tricks that can help you make the most of your space. Take a look at the lofts below and get inspired.
Natural light has always, and will always be the best complement to interior design. Having a room at the top of your home allows you to take full advantage of the sun by incorporating more windows, skylights or even a faux balcony. You should also consider what types of light fixtures you want to install. Hanging bulbs, chandeliers, pendants and fans will reduce the amount of headroom you have and may not be an ideal choice.
Buy fitted furniture. Regardless of what you’re planning to do with your new conversion, investing in fitted furniture is always a good idea since it creates the illusion of more free space. Fitted furniture does not only apply to mattress frames and chairs; fitted wardrobes conserve space in a bedroom or custom designed desks for a study can be made to fit and complement the room’s dimensions exactly. Multipurpose furniture such as a sofa bed or a fold-down mattress is great as well as it allows you to utilise space efficiently.
Your loft may be smaller than an ordinary room, so finding clever ways to enhance that space can make a world of difference. Under eaves storage, In-wall shelving and dressing rooms can help conserve valuable space. Bespoke shelves are another great option since they can be fitted as a floating unit on the wall or from floor to ceiling providing much more storage space without infringing upon the room. Use any unusual corners or tight spaces for more storage. Creating custom cupboards and drawers below slanted velux windows can maximise space that would have otherwise been unusable.
If you had the space and were able to accommodate an en-suite shower room, choose neutral or brighter colours to open up the room. Also, the space is likely to be smaller than an ordinary bathroom, so don’t try to cram too much in! Vases and potpourri are lovely, but ensure that you’re able to move around comfortably without knocking things over. Niches in bathrooms can provide simple storage and if you are able to incorporate a floating sink, do it. The more floor you can see, the less cluttered the space feels.
If you have a study, you could try to add something unique and personal to your space by turning it in to a game room, complete with a snooker table and consoles. Or a high-tech entertainment room, featuring a television and speakers built in to the walls as well as comfy chairs; for thematic purposes, you could hang canvas prints of your favourite movies posters or comic book covers as well. If you aren’t in to films, ordinary art pieces can have the same effect. Art will liven up a room and can act as a conversation piece.
When choosing your colours pick something that will make the room feel bigger and more spacious. White and lighter colours will help to keep the room feeling open and spacious. Neutral tones work well with both bedroom and bathroom designs, because they make the space feel relaxed. If you are adverse to neutral tones, consider an accent wall to punch things up. Adding a splash of colour to one wall, as opposed to all walls, will satisfy the colourist in you while still allowing the room to feel open. Sloping walls are another common feature of lofts and can sometimes cause the room to feel tight. Where you have a slanted ceiling, try painting them the same shade as the ceiling to lift up the room rather than closing it in. If the slope is steep or extensive, it is best to paint the whole room the same colour; you can use varying tints of that one colour on different walls to add interest.
Make your home cohesive. When decorating a new space, it’s easy to get carried away and install trendy stairs and a winding banister, which all reflect the latest trends, but if they don’t match the existing features of your home then the loft will feel disjointed. To avoid any disconnect, try to keep the carpets the same tone and material, and choose railings that match the ones on the lower floors. Also, if your stairs are wood, try to pick the same type of grain. Every tree has a distinctive look, so oak will not match birch!
To retain privacy, choose the correct blinds for your space. While you do want as much natural light as possible, if the room is going to be used consistently, you will need shades. For dormer windows, consider using a pull-down screen. Since Velux windows are in line with the roof and often on an angle, sliding blinds can be built in to avoid any awkward overhang. A combination of privacy, light control and style is attainable with great fitting blinds.
Install a radiator. Generally a loft conversion will be very well insulated, and may even have access to the central heating system but you can’t be too careful. In colder weather, lofts can get chilly so having a radiator fitted gives you a heating option that won’t affect the rest of the home. It does not have to be a large eyesore either; small radiators are available as well as unique heating units. Retro look radiators, for example, can give a room character in addition to providing heat while stand up heaters are great for heating bathroom tiles and bedroom floors.
Everyone undertaking a loft conversion should seriously consider soundproofing. Invest in sound proofing when constructing your loft conversion to ensure peace and quiet for yourself and the people living below. If your loft is complete, and noise is an issue, cushion floors with plush throw rugs or colourful mats to minimise sounds while retaining style.
These designs managed to mix practicality with copious amounts of style while staying true to the adjacent rooms; but as we mentioned earlier, it's not a science! Your home is an extension of you so while designing, be sure to incorporate things that you like, even if they are unconventional.
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.