Design Tips: How to Utilise Space within your LoftDecember 18, 2015
Loft conversions are undoubtedly a fantastic way to open up your home with the addition of an extra room at the top of the house, but a combination of sloping ceilings and low head height can sometimes make the space feel a little enclosed.
While some conversion types, such as Mansard conversions, significantly alter the roofline in order to create extra room, others will need a bit of help in utilising the space effectively to maximise potential square footage.
Luckily, LMB have put together a few handy tips to possibly inspire you into making the most of your conversion…
Even the most minimalist of interior design styles have to include some form of furniture, so when space is at a premium it pays to choose wisely. Built-in furniture, with shelves and cupboards stacked on top of each other and set back against the wall, helps to conserve floor space while providing much-needed storage. With furniture extending up to the ceiling, the room also appears taller, and keeps clutter and clothing out of the way.
Similarly, keeping storage hidden and out of the way will also free up space. Consider drawers under beds, shelves high up on non-sloping walls, and fold out desks.
Nothing makes a room feel smaller than dark corners and dingy lighting, which is why illuminating the space properly really helps to open it up. The best way to do this is by encouraging as much natural light as possible.
This is where the slant of a pitched roof works to your advantage, as Velux skylights set into the slope allow for daylight throughout the day (not just in the morning or evening), and ceilings that slope all the way to the floor can accommodate longer windows.
For conversions with a dormer or gable wall, French windows and patio doors are another great option for inviting natural light into the loft. Try combining these with a Juliet balcony for a touch of style (and safety), allowing you to throw those doors wide open in the summer time.
When the sun goes down, replacing the natural light with well placed lamps and ceiling spot lights, particularly set into the pitch of the roof, will help to banish those dark corners and create a greater sense of space.
Brightening up a drab room with a light and airy shade of paint works wonders for opening up the space. A great tip is to paint walls and ceilings the same colour. This reduces shadow lines that cause the eye to instinctively define the area spatially, which can limit its perceived size. Vertical stripe patterns can also help shorter walls appear taller – particularly useful for pitched roofs.
Mirrors, particularly floor to ceiling ones, are the most obvious way to trick the mind into thinking a room is far bigger than it is. Not only is light reflected throughout the loft, but the eye is led to believe that the space extends beyond the limitations of the walls. They can also provide a style statement that sets the tone of the room.
There are hundreds of ways to utilise space within a loft conversion; these are just a few of the fundamentals. Remember: accentuate light, keep furniture compact, utilise wall space and go for brighter colours!
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