It’s no surprise attic rooms have become Pinterest gold in the past few years. As house prices soar, a cosy nook or extra bathroom is valuable square footage not to be overlooked. We called upon the expertise of Debra Kacher from DK Interior Design to lend a helping hand on how best to transform a loft space…
What are the first steps you need to consider when converting your attic?
Think about your budget and which contractor to work with based on this. For example, are you going to work with specialist loft convertor or regular builders? Gather information on planning permission, ask questions and consider stretching your budget to bring in a good architect. The project rests on budget but it’s also about getting the best out of it so do your homework and make sure you get reviews on or examples of past work from contractors.
How easy is it to convert an attic space into a bathroom?
It’s not usually a problem, so long as draining and soil stacks are already running on the outside of the property in positions nearby or the floor below. Ask a builder to look into this for you.
Would you recommend a bath or shower, is either easier?
Both can work in an attic conversion but if you opt for a shower, you’ll need to consider the head height achievable in the loft. The ceiling height may prove to be tricky if working in the eaves and you don’t want to be squatting every time you shower.
Are wet rooms ever a good idea in this scenario?
Again, wet rooms can be achieved but the contractor will have to check the shower to make sure there is enough space in the joists to get the water to fall away. If not, a shower tray has to be used.
What about styling tips for slanted bathroom roofs?
Cladding a slanted bathroom roof with either a stone or composite will help the moisture run off and prevent condensation – it looks great, too. Tongue and groove can look gorgeous in a shaker style or in industrial style bathrooms, but not in wet areas such as the shower. Tiling can also work but it depends on the position of the slanted roof and how it meets the walls so talk to your contractor about this. Panelling the ceiling looks great, too.
When it comes to bedrooms, how do you deal with storage and a slanted roof?
One of the main benefits of an attic bedroom is the under eaves storage. You can buy great storages boxes to be uber-organised. I would recommend bespoke cupboards which can be built into a slanted roof and still achieve both hanging and shelving space. Otherwise, if your budget can’t stretch that far, you can always make the eaves into a feature with open shelving for books and ornaments.
Top tips for styling an attic bedroom?
There are infinite ways to make your attic bedroom look good but this depends hugely on the overall style you want to achieve. It’s always good, despite any taste, to keep natural daylight a feature with a dormer window or skylights. If the head height is low in a window area, make a window seat and dress it with cushions to make it look cosy. Awkward areas crave shelving so display and store your books or ornaments in those spaces.
In an attic bedroom, you need to be clever with lighting. Think about using uplighters in the floor to make the room look larger, or place small LEDs in the area around a skylight to create mood and ambiance at night. You can also go for a contrasting colour wall against a white sloping ceiling to create the illusion of height.
Anything else to consider?
Always be sure of where the bed is going to go so that you have the head height you need.