Head in the clouds

Us­ing their empty loft to make a light-filled mas­ter suite has trans­formed Jenny We­ston and Doug Thrower’s home

Real Homes - - CONTENTS -

Jenny We­ston and Doug Thrower turned their empty loft into a bright mas­ter suite, and shop up­hol­stered beds

‘Ex­tend­ing up into the roof has given us the space we needed for our grow­ing fam­ily,’ says Jenny of the new-build house she shares with her hus­band and two young chil­dren. ‘With my job as a tex­tile de­signer, I need to use one of the be­d­rooms as a stu­dio for my work, and with two chil­dren each hav­ing their own rooms, friends and fam­ily had to sleep on the floor in the lounge when they came to stay,’ she con­tin­ues. ‘We re­alised we needed to cre­ate an­other bed­room, but rather than ex­tend out, we de­cided to go up into the loft to make a new mas­ter bed­room com­plete with dress­ing room and en suite.’

Find­ing in­spi­ra­tion

A neigh­bour of Jenny and Doug’s had re­cently con­verted their loft and rec­om­mended the com­pany she used, A7 Con­ver­sions. Af­ter see­ing the re­sults for her­self, Jenny was sold on the idea, but wisely de­cided to get quotes from var­i­ous other com­pa­nies in or­der to make an in­formed de­ci­sion. How­ever, Doug and Jenny were so im­pressed with Aaron of A7 Con­ver­sions they still chose to use his com­pany. ‘He re­ally lis­tened to what we wanted,’ Jenny re­calls. ‘We also liked the idea of him project-man­ag­ing the build for us.’

Tak­ing shape

With the ma­jor­ity of the work to the loft com­pleted from the out­side, there was min­i­mal dis­rup­tion for the fam­ily dur­ing the three-month build. ‘It was plain sail­ing, re­ally,’ says Jenny. ‘Aaron was very or­gan­ised and tidy, seal­ing off doors to keep the loft room con­tained. The worst part was only due to the plas­ter­ing right at the end as the dust got ev­ery­where.’

To gain ac­cess to the loft, the lay­out of the first floor was re­designed with space taken from the orig­i­nal mas­ter bed­room to make room for the new stair­case. Dur­ing the work, the builder kept Jenny and Doug in­formed of how the project was pro­gress­ing and also made sug­ges­tions for lay­out op­tions. ‘Things weren’t set in stone, which I liked,’ says Jenny. ‘We’d dis­cuss ➤

‘Ex­tend­ing up into the roof has given us the space we needed for our grow­ing fam­ily’

‘for the En suite, i wanted to cre­ate a Ja­panese spa look, so we feel pam­pered Ev­ery time we go in there’

the pos­si­ble choices and Aaron would hold up large boards to help us visualise how the loft could be di­vided up into sep­a­rate zones, then we made ad­just­ments as and when we wanted.’

De­cid­ing the dé­cor

When it came to choos­ing the in­te­rior scheme, Jenny drew on her artis­tic ex­pe­ri­ence and put to­gether de­tailed mood boards, tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from cur­rent trends to piece the look to­gether. ‘I love Scandi style and knew I wanted greys and whites to evoke a re­lax­ing at­mos­phere for the bed­room,’ she says. ‘For the en suite, I wanted a Ja­panese spa look, so we feel pam­pered ev­ery time we go in there.’ Lo­cal bath­room com­pany Pochin took de­tailed mea­sure­ments and cre­ated a 3D plan of the space, which en­abled Jenny and Doug to get a clear idea of how their cho­sen fix­tures and fit­tings would work in the new space. ‘It was great to be able to source all of our bath­room fit­tings from the same sup­plier,’ says Jenny.

Plan­ning the bud­get

Al­though the work was com­pleted largely on bud­get, the cou­ple de­cided to in­vest ex­tra funds when it came to choos­ing the win­dows. ‘We’d orig­i­nally planned to have just one large win­dow on ei­ther side of the bed­room,’ ex­plains Jenny, ‘but we de­cided to dou­ble this, which cost us an ex­tra £1,000. It was worth the ex­tra ex­pense, how­ever, as it’s re­ally max­imised the nat­u­ral light.’ To rein in the spend­ing else­where, the cou­ple tiled half of the bath­room and just painted the rest of the walls grey.

‘We hon­estly feel like we’re stay­ing in a bou­tique ho­tel when we come up to the new mas­ter bed­room,’ says Jenny. ‘I love the calm qual­ity of the space and of­ten have an hour to my­self up here. The girls love it too, and at the end of a long day we all come up and lay on the bed and watch TV to­gether. It’s a great ad­di­tion to our fam­ily home.’

Mas­ter Bed­room Left, be­low left and above Jenny loves her new War­ren Evans bed, bathed in nat­u­ral light from the Velux win­dows. The walls are painted in Calamine by Far­row & Ball. Karn­dean whitepainted oak floor­ing, Wreake Val­ley Floor­ing. The...

The own­ers Jenny We­ston, a mixed-me­dia tex­tile de­signer, and her hus­band, Doug Thrower, who works in IT, live here with daugh­ters Libby, seven, Nancy, two, and Jasper the cat The prop­erty A five-bed­room, new-build de­tached house in Roth­ley,...

Right A light-filled, shared dress­ing room keeps all of Jenny and Doug’s clothes hid­den when the door is closed. This room, which wasn’t in the orig­i­nal plan, was de­cided upon once work was un­der­way. Hair-pin leg dress­ing table, Oraio Store on Ebay....

empty loft Right When look­ing for a way to ex­pand to get more space, Jenny and Doug de­cided to go up rather than out, mak­ing use of the at­tic and turn­ing it into a mas­ter suite that has be­come a rest­ful re­treat be­fore

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