‘I LOVE COLOUR AND PAT­TERN’

This master bed­room and en­suite in a loft con­ver­sion is dec­o­rated with bold boho touches

House Beautiful (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Tell us why you de­cided to con­vert the loft…

The first floor of our house has nearer to two and half bed­rooms than three, so for a fam­ily of four it’s a bit of a squeeze. We’d ex­tended the ground floor five years pre­vi­ously and were still pay­ing off the debt, but we des­per­ately needed the ex­tra bed­room space, so re-mort­gaged the house and got plans drawn up for a main bed­room with en­suite.

How did you pro­ceed?

We em­ployed a neigh­bour of ours, Steve. He’s a builder and owner of SN De­signs of Twick­en­ham, and his ex­pe­ri­ence of build­ing lofts and the de­sign op­tions avail­able en­sured the process ran smoothly. Plus, he al­lowed us to draft sim­ple plans (rather than use an ar­chi­tect), un­der­stood what we wanted and was happy to tweak the de­sign as we went along, which al­lowed us to be as cre­ative as pos­si­ble.

Was it ob­vi­ous how the room would be laid out?

It’s not a huge space, so max­imis­ing its full po­ten­tial was es­sen­tial. We de­cided on an open-plan lay­out. My dream sce­nario was for the en­suite to be par­ti­tioned us­ing Crit­tall frames, but the cost was beyond our bud­get and it lim­ited the lay­out. The com­pro­mise was to par­tially build out the wall on which the sink is mounted and leave the rest as a large open­ing. It works per­fectly. There was only one sen­si­ble place for the bed – next to the Juliet bal­cony with its views of the park, and fac­ing the en­suite, so we can ad­mire what was one of the most ex­pen­sive as­pects of the room. I have al­ways felt you shouldn’t close off a room that you work so hard to make beau­ti­ful.

What was the timescale for the project?

It took around four months – a lit­tle longer than ex­pected, but we al­ways knew when opt­ing for a smaller build­ing com­pany that this might be the case. Andy and I were happy to com­pro­mise to gain the more per­sonal ap­proach it would of­fer. We de­cided to have our fam­ily bath­room ripped out and re­fit­ted at the same time, so this added sev­eral weeks, plus my at­ten­tion to de­tail and de­sire to have slightly awk­ward items fit­ted didn’t help. The trick­i­est part was hav­ing no bath­room for a week or so, as one was ripped out and the other wait­ing on the gold brass­ware to ar­rive from Italy, which took three months. Thank­fully, our lovely neigh­bours came to our res­cue.

Was stor­age a prob­lem?

Def­i­nitely. I’m quite messy and have a lot of stuff, un­like Andy, who is su­per tidy. I soon re­alised that lots of my pos­ses­sions had to go to en­sure the room was the clutter-free, ‘calm haven’ we craved. Steve, our builder, is also a trained car­pen­ter, so he made the wardrobes fit per­fectly un­der the slop­ing roof and max­imised hid­den stor­age un­der the eaves, which is ac­cessed from three doors.

Did you know what style you wanted?

Yes. I love colour and pat­tern, and I like to mix old and new.

The walls in our house are mostly white, with ac­ces­sories pro­vid­ing in­ter­est, so I wanted to have a bold fea­ture wall for a change. Us­ing Lit­tle Greene’s Royal Navy be­hind the bed sets the mood for the space. I love bo­hemian, eth­nic styles from around the world, so I’ve in­tro­duced lots of dif­fer­ent de­signs and tex­tures. I’m a reg­u­lar at an­tiques fairs, too, as I like pieces with his­tory and to bag a bar­gain.

The pink throw on the bed and the wooden drawer unit in the en­suite are just a cou­ple of the pieces that I found for our new bed­room.

Why did you go for shut­ters?

They have a great Mediter­ranean feel, plus we have them else­where in the house. Also, they dis­guise the French doors, which aren’t very at­trac­tive, and give us loads of flex­i­bil­ity with light and pri­vacy.

Was it dif­fi­cult to choose floor­ing?

I wanted to zone the two ar­eas, with dif­fer­ent floors in the en­suite and bed­room, so it was key that they worked together. Mar­ble is a favourite of mine, and we were thrilled when we found the gor­geous yet af­ford­able op­tions at Topps Tiles for the bath­room. I’m not a car­pet per­son, so the floor in the bed­room was al­ways go­ing to be wood and we’re pleased with the vin­tage ef­fect of the solid oak floor­ing from B&Q, which I snapped up in the sale. The warm wood tones and mar­ble tiles com­ple­ment each other, and the Ber­ber-style rugs add a cosy fin­ish­ing touch.

What in­spired your choices in the en­suite?

This is prob­a­bly my favourite part of the space and I knew from the start that I wanted a Moroc­can-in­spired bath­room with gold taps. I couldn’t find pat­terned tiles that were in bud­get for the shower en­clo­sure, but loved the white hexagons and black grout com­bi­na­tion, so went with th­ese in­stead. It was a long search to find af­ford­able gold fit­tings, and to be hon­est th­ese were still very much a lux­ury, as was The Shower Lab en­clo­sure, but I get so much plea­sure out of them ev­ery day that they were worth ev­ery penny.

Did you go over bud­get?

Yes, but watch­ing items un­til they went on sale, shop­ping around and buy­ing from an­tiques mar­kets helped to limit the over­spend­ing. Andy and I are de­lighted with our new room. We’ve cre­ated a grown-up space just for us – it’s some­where we can es­cape to.

WALL DIS­PLAY Chain-hung mir­rors and framed pic­tures in dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes cre­ate a strik­ing dis­play

HID­DEN STOR­AGE A trol­ley on wheels and a light­weight cane chair pro­vide a stylish fin­ish­ing touch and can be moved eas­ilyaside to al­low ac­cess to the un­der-eaves stor­age

LIGHT­INGThis mid-cen­tury de­sign was found on Etsy SPLASH­BACK As th­ese strik­ing Moroc­can-style tiles were ex­pen­sive, Astrid de­cided to use themjust above the sink

When Astrid Granger, 40, and hus­band Andy, 41, moved into their 1930s three-bed­room house in Twick­en­ham with their two young daugh­ters, cre­at­ing more space was a pri­or­ity

SHOWERBlack grout high­lights the shape of the hexagon tiles, and brushed gold fit­tings give a lux­u­ri­ous feel

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