elements of domestic design


Following on from the thoughts about bedroom space, do not think of a loft conversion as a retreat from the fray. It is a strategic withdrawal! It may also be a home office or hobby space in a quiet corner. At the top of the house you are occupying a space which is often a dumping ground for things that are of little or no use and could be got rid of. If it is a space which has had layers of insulation quilt added, you can’t even use it for storage very easily and traversing the space could be taking your life in your hands. This is often spurred on by an original roof where the tiles are sliding off or disintegrating. Why just re-roof? If you have a roof that can be viably converted (allowing for its size, height, Planning restrictions etc…), then you can often form a space with fantastic views. The new roof can be constructed according to the Building Regulations to be fully insulated so the quilt can go. The floor and structure of the roofspace almost invariably needs some strengthening, but with skilful planning you can have a stunning Bedroom with its own En-suite and Dressing Room.

The access is very important and for economy of space and money it should be over the existing staircase to save taking up any valuable floorspace on the floor below. (This is not always the best solution depending on the layout of the house.) You may also then derive the double benefit of a light source from the roof level, flooding down the stairwell and brightening the core of the house. The installation of this staircase is critical and needs very careful planning and design taking account of the Building Regulations and also Planning issues if it requires a dormer to make it work.

This is often the most easily won extra space in the house and gives you the chance to insulate and renew an old roof at the same time.

‘Go on – you are worth it!’

Practicals:
1. For loft conversion bedrooms, integrated storage is a very sensible way to manage clothes, shoes and accessories whilst maintaining a tidy, uncluttered look. Sometimes freestanding ‘blade’ walls against which a bed head can be set will make the space behind for wardrobes and enable an early riser to start the day ahead of a partner without disturbance. This can be particularly useful.

2. The working from home or hobby room option also can work with a loft conversion. The odd lines of the roof can accommodate desk or worktop space and leave a decent sized space in the middle of the room.