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