Converting your loft into one or more rooms doesn’t just increase the value of your property; it allows you to gain some valuable extra space. You could convert your loft into an extra bathroom, bedroom, study, library, studio or storage area, or even a playroom for your children.
Unless you’re planning to add just a bathroom, it’s a good idea to carpet your loft or use rugs rather than bare hardwood floors, as this will reduce noise and increase insulation. If you’re installing skylight style windows, choose blinds with an insulated backing. For bedrooms, consider dark-coloured blinds, as attic rooms generally get most of the natural light.
A quiet place for work or rest
Converting your loft into a study or library will give you an undisturbed place to work or read in peace. If your windows are low enough, set your desk by the window so that you can appreciate the view. While sloping walls are no use for shelves, the straight walls at either are good places to but your book cases. Add a sink and mini fridge to make a kitchen space and you won’t need to go downstairs for a cup of tea.
For bedrooms, the largest issue you are likely to face is getting the furniture upstairs. It’s most practical to buy flat packed furniture and construct it in situ, and if the entry way is restricted consider a futon bed rather than a regular mattress, which can also be put away to create extra room when you don’t have anyone sleeping there.
Choose light wall colours that reflect the abundant natural light. You can increase your storage space by creating wall cupboards to take advantage of sloping ceilings. You may even want to partition off the far end of the room to create a permanent storage area. Another good way to use space is to add a small shower room – perfect for reducing bathroom traffic when guests are staying!
Keen artists may want to turn their loft into a studio and take advantage of the light. Plain white walls will give the best light, and long benches running along the sloping walls will make an ideal place to spread out a larger project. Add a shelving unit or cupboards to store your supplies, and install a sound system to give you music while you work.
Play area, storage or some luxury
If you have children, attics can be converted into a play area to house their toys and keep bedrooms a little tidier. For older children, this can be a place for playing video games or watching movies with friends. Consider a colourful pallet with lots of interest, and add feature lamps and blinds. Fitted side cupboards under the end of the sloping roof will keep toys tidy, and you can include a large table for jigsaws and board games. Futon sofas or large bean bags double as a spare bed for when friends stay over. You can also house smaller pets here, where they can be taken out to play easily.
If what you really want is a brand new luxury bathroom, your loft conversion will need full plumbing and sealing. Use soft laminate flooring to reduce noise and insulated blinds to keep the heat in. If you’re planning to add a large feature bathtub, make sure you check with your builder to ensure the floor is strong enough. You might want to go more in the shower direction and add a wet room with multiple jets, which will look wonderful with dark stone tiles and tinted glass. You could also build a sauna or steam room for a little at-home luxury.
If you don’t really need an extra room but find yourself short of storage space, convert your loft into a fitted storage room designed to house the things you don’t have space for downstairs. Bulky winter sports equipment such as skis and snowboards can find a home here, and you can even include brackets for larger items like canoes and kayaks. Fitted cupboards are preferable to shelving to reduce dust, and it’s a good idea to paint walls a light shade so that it is easy to spot any damp or mildew that might creep in over the years. For long term storage, ensure ventilation is sufficient.
This is a guest post by freelance writer Claire Wilson for LMB Loft Conversions. Claire usually covers home improvement and lifestyle and loves to make minor improvements to her London home herself.