Transform your home with a practical attic conversion. A loft extension is a great way to add extra space, whether you crave another bedroom, bathroom, office of playroom. But you need to be sure it’ll be worth the investment – not to mention the disruption. Be inspired by these brilliant loft conversion ideas to get you started.
They’re not possible for everyone, but if you’ve got the space, it’s worth converting your loft. Incidentally, the average UK attic contains goods worth an average of £2,000, so why not have a clear-out and see if you can boost your budget?
A good loft conversion can add between 10 and 20 per cent to the value of a home, with no need to sacrifice the garden space required by ground-floor extensions. Conversions can range from £10,000 – £40,000 (depending on your location, the materials used and the size).
The good news is that you don’t need planning permission for most loft extensions. Adding up to 40 cubic metres in a terraced house, or 50 cubic metres in a detached or semi-detached house counts as permitted development. However, the extension must not protrude beyond certain points.
A simple Velux loft conversion is often the cheapest solution and, as the roof slope is not altered, will maintain a property’s appearance but may also result in limited height. Alternatively, a dormer loft conversion has vertical windows and doors, which allow full head room and greater possibilities when it comes to staircases. Mansard loft conversions look less boxy than a dormer, due to the 70-degree slope of the rear wall and raised party wall brickwork, but require planning permission.
First, work out your requirements and think about how you will use the space. Do you need another bedroom, bathroom or home office? Once you know, look at the floor plan to determine how best to use the room. Also, remember that most lofts will have angled ceilings, which could restrict the type of furniture you can have.
The rules aren’t too complicated – you will need a Lawful Development certificate from the local authority and the build will need to be passed by their Building Control Services (or an approved inspector). They will check it meets the basic standards for structure, ventilation, insulation, fire safety and so on. They are not responsible for checking the general quality of the carpentry and finishes. When choosing a company, shop around for quotes and, better still, ask friends, family and neighbours for recommendations.
You may need a party-wall agreement for your loft conversion. The party-wall is a shared wall, usually between a terrace or semi-detached. A Party Wall Agreement is a written contract from all owners that they agree to the work. A notice will be served to all affected parties in writing. The neighbour can ask for a party wall surveyor to be appointed to inspect the plans and to prepare a Party Wall Award (an agreed document outlining how the work should progress) or they can sign a waiver if the work is agreed upon.
Good insulation reduces bills and helps the environment, and it now also falls under regulations. There are a few options available, including wool, which is a greener option. Often, the building control inspector will specify what you require, as the roof can be insulated in two ways – either filling the space between the rafters or installing insulation over them, which isn’t as practical.
And once all the practical work is done, all that’s left is to decorate, so check out these loft conversion ideas for inspiration.
It’s true to say that this bedroom loses a great deal of space from having slanted ceilings – but what it loses, it more than gains in character. The structure of this loft has been adapted for living in, rather than altered into something entirely different, which is a great way to make the most of your loft in an affordable way. To accommodate traditional wooden furniture, some of the beams have been painted white so there’s not an overabundance of wood.
Turn a large bathroom into the ultimate space for relaxation. An indulgently sized freestanding bath is high on most people’s wish lists for a luxe space, but this bathroom takes things a little further, with its huge proportions and striking gold accessories. And let’s not forget the amazing spiky chandelier, which takes advantage of the high, multi-angled ceiling.
Create the perfect retreat in your home with some extra living space in the loft. While we all like to spend time socialising with family members or friends, time to recharge on our own is so valuable. Keep things simple with classic armchairs in neutral colours and go for a couple of super-cool accessories, such as the mirror and rug here, to make it your own.
Create a customised wardrobe in an attic bedroom to get the best from your space. With low-level sloped ceilings, there’s not a lot of room to accommodate standard, ready-to-go furniture, so you need to think outside the box. This room has plenty of storage – despite its proportions – plus the wardrobe’s clever design adds to the character of the space, too.
If you’re unsure whether or not you can squeeze an en suite into your attic, take a look at this picture for inspiration. Admittedly, it can be hard to install showers where ceilings are seriously slanted, but baths are ideal for this reason, as their lower level means they can be tucked neatly into even small corners.
Leave one wall unpainted and expose the brickwork to make a stylish feature that looks especially cool in an attic with slanting ceilings. If your bricks aren’t in good condition, there are lots of wallpapers around that will help you create the same look, so don’t feel you have to start removing the plaster right away!
Consider the space you have carefully. It could be that you have a double-height room that would benefit from the impressive feel of a mezzanine level in part of it. It’s a desirable look with plenty of appeal. Here, this bedroom has a bathroom up high, but you could create a sleeping area above a living area or vice versa instead.
Don’t let wooden beams get in the way of creating your perfect shower enclosure in a loft space. The use of one sheet of unframed glass, held in place by two sleek stainless-steel bars, keeps this wet-room-style enclosure minimalist and unobtrusive. The floor-level drain is also a great way to ensure that you don’t lose any precious height in your shower.
If all you’re looking for is a bit of extra storage space in a compact room, why not add a sturdy ladder for access to the loft above. It’s a great way to make the most of unused space, without having to build costly staircases. It makes an amazing feature, too – who wouldn’t enjoy having a little cubby hole to hide out in?
Similar star decoration
Not On The High Street
Choose a one-colour scheme and stick to it throughout your space for a simple and tranquil approach to decorating your loft conversion bedroom. Anything but boring, it’s all about the texture in this room, from the indented shapes of the bricks on the walls, to the sumptuous fabrics on the headboard, bedspread and carpet. Gently patterned accessories will add a hint of colour.
Loft rooms can be tricky to furnish due to sloping eaves and low ceilings, so consider having bespoke storage built to fit the space. This will make the most of the space you have and allow you to get the exact storage you need. In children’s rooms, such as this one, keep cupboards and drawer storage low so they are encouraged to tidy toys away.
Blur the lines between reality and illusion in an attic bedroom with wallpaper that isn’t what it appears to be. Bookshelves in an alcove aren’t an unexpected sight in a room, so it takes a second to realise that this bedroom’s books and shelves are actually two-dimensional. The wallpaper provides visual interest and creates extra depth in the room, especially against the white paint used on the adjacent walls.
Young & Battaglia at Rockett St George
Where space is at a premium, keep colour schemes simple. This attic bedroom features stained and painted wood and white paint, keeping the feel light, bright and effortlessly sophisticated. Leaving Velux windows undressed creates a modern look.
Dormer windows extend out of the roof and create extra space. There is, however, more work involved and they can be more expensive than a Velux. You’ll need proper staircase access with a dormer design, which can require permission. But the extra expense and work may be worth it with the added value the space will bring. A neutral scheme makes sure the bathroom is kept light and airy.
Don’t let awkwardly shaped ceilings and tiny spaces put you off. Whether you paper a small panel or a full room, use pattern to create a unique look. Wallpaper is great for adding instant personality to a space, so choose a design that you really love. Background colour has a big impact on the overall feel of a room – choose more muted colours in the bedroom for a restful feel.
Place your bed under a sloped ceiling in loft conversions to make the most of the space. If the windows in your extension aren’t large, keep the decor pale to maximise light. Add interest with brightly coloured accessories and patterned bedding.
This is another good example of a mezzanine floor loft conversion. The height of this tall, narrow room is maximised thanks to the addition of a mezzanine room. This is great if you want to add extra space to a high-ceilinged, open-plan room. An engineer will need to calculate the strength of the floor and any alterations required to the building structure.
A limited footprint shouldn’t impact on your creative flair. Add value to your loft conversion with a stylish bathroom. The sloped ceilings create a dramatic frame for the stylish roll-top bath underneath. For small spaces there’s no need to shy away from using bold wallpaper designs. A big-patterned feature wall adds personality in a compact room and gives the space a focal point.
In addition to pulling masses of natural light into this family room, the raised skylight also adds height to the space. It makes the room seem bigger and, despite having only one other window, prevents it feeling claustrophobic or dark. By installing dormer windows, you can increase head height and get the maximum amount of usable space in your room. Dormer windows create a statement in their own right, and can be clad to match the house or in contrasting materials.
Not just for bedrooms and bathrooms, use an empty loft space to create a bright, modern kitchen. This kitchen benefits from plenty of light, helped by the reflective surfaces of hi-gloss furniture and Velux windows. If you can’t use the full height of the room, consider how storage can double as display space and different heights can add interest. By varying the height of the units, you can prevent the room from feeling too closed in.