As we prepare to slowly emerge from yet another lockdown (she says with everything crossed), I am delighted to share pictures of our finally completed Loft Conversion. For some years we have had a bizarre staircase leading to no-where so it is an absolute joy to finally have this room. The light is just off-the-scale (thankfully I actually quite like being awoken at 6am by piercing sunlight) and the feeling of escaping to a separate floor during all the home-schooling drama has been a godsend!
So first the super glamorous ‘before’ shots …
And the transformation..
My initial inspiration was the stunning Kitchen of Diane Keaton’s house in her book The House That Pinterest Built, which is probably my favourite interiors book. What’s not to love about this dream Kitchen?! Those beams are incredible!
In order to have the maximum number of rooflights, I designed the loft so that we didn’t put anything at all in the front, street-facing side of the roof where the conservation impact could have been an issue. Basically, the rest of the roof is barely visible from anywhere so that gave me a bit more freedom with the design. I still used Conservation Rooflights throughout, but went for a black steel design with black painted insides, rather than a more traditional velux look.
All the structural support is hidden under the raised sections of the floor at each end, and I chose to leave the eaves fully open right to the floor to really open up the space. With no vertical walls in the room, I attached plug sockets to the backs of the wooden pillar supports, where they can’t be seen. The bamboo pendants I’ve used for bedside lights can be found here, the bedside tables here and the chair here.
The floorboards were reclaimed wood boards which we sanded and refinished to a pale/natural tone. My weapon of choice here is Bona White but instead of applying it directly to the boards (which can give you a white painted look), I mixed the white with the top coat lacquer and painted it straight on in two coats. That way you can also play with how much white effect you actually want to achieve. I think the ratios here were approx 50/50 white to lacquer. I wanted to keep the neutral tone of reclaimed boards rather than actually having a white ‘limed’ finish at all. This method basically just keeps the orange at bay. The boards have been laid on top of a solid chipboard floor so that I could have the gaps without the inevitable dust!
The dressing room space was created by using these hanging rails screwed to the wooden supports and I’m finding it life changing having everything out in front of me when I’m trying to get ready in a rush. The idea of this space was to create the perfect zone for yoga as well but so far I’m ashamed to say there hasn’t been an awful lot of that going on! Plenty of research carried out of course, but not a lot of actual movement. I blame the working from home/home schooling/netflix distractions!
The walls were probably the biggest cause for drama as I wanted to try out a natural clay plaster which you then don’t necessarily have to paint. Why I thought that was a good idea on sloping ceilings, with a plasterer who had never tried this material before is completely beyond me. The carnage whilst he carried out the work was unbelievable and although the finish is lovely and rustic, the colour isn’t quite right and the overall effect definitely wasn’t worth the huge added cost of both material and labour. Having learnt the hard way, my advice would be to go for a normal plaster finish and then paint with one of the many amazing clay/lime/natural paints on the market now. I’m currently obsessing over Bauwerk Paints but wondering if it’s as easy as they say to apply?! Maybe this room as a test-dummy isn’t the best idea!
As always, any questions at all do let me know and I’d love to know what you think! Meanwhile we optimistically prepare for the re-opening of our lovely stores on 12th April and let’s hope and pray this is the last time!!
Images courtesy of Alex Wilson Photography