‘I LOVE COLOUR AND PATTERN’
This master bedroom and ensuite in a loft conversion is decorated with bold boho touches
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