Looking to add to your home’s footprint and gain much-needed extra space? Say hello to loft conversions with pretty dormer windows.
Kim Loddo is the director at design-led architecture practice based in London Inglis Badrashi Loddo. Her clients, a pair of doctors living in a London townhouse, wanted to add more space while maintaining the existing character of the original house, as well as keeping their garden intact. Here, she explains how a loft conversion with double-dormer created a dedicated children’s floor…
Why this type of loft?
We tried to retain as much of the character of the house as possible. The intention was to sensitively and carefully reconfigure the house in a sympathetic, respectful and sustainable manner. And, keeping the rear gable facade was a key part of that.
Loft conversion with dormer overview
The project involved almost doubling the space inside this typical London townhouse, with the addition of a pair of secret new floors at the top and bottom of the property. The loft extension created two new children’s bedrooms, a bathroom, and a large play space at roof level.
The new double-dormer loft extension was hidden behind the retained brick gable end of the existing roof. This created a new children’s floor, with a shared space for the kids leading onto a pair of bedrooms with completely glazed end walls concealed behind the retained gable.
The central, light-filled space, lined in painted timber-boarding and decorated in muted greys and pinks, provides a generous play area. And, it is a spectacular culmination to the main staircase of the house.
New underfloor heating, a sprinkler system, and maximum levels of insulation were incorporated into the design and the brick chimney was restored, giving added texture and warmth. The stairs from the ground-floor entrance to the first-floor landing were extended upwards, with a gently curved stringer echoing the existing first-floor archway. The new painted timber handrail opens up towards the top, allowing views and light down into the house.
What were the challenges?
In my opinion, a well-designed project has a mix of spaces with different scales, both generous and intimate. It’s very easy to get seduced by the idea of creating an open-plan layout. But there is a danger that you end up with so little differentiation between spaces that you lose some of the qualities that make your home work well.
In this project, the bathroom and children’s bedrooms were kept compact to contrast with the open play area. Storage is built into the full width of the front eaves. A window seat over the stair provides a place to read under a view of the sky. For me, a good design needs to be robust enough to accommodate the messiness of everyday life, as well as look stunning and function well.
Kim’s top tip
Loft conversion projects should never be thought of in isolation. Even though the actual building work may only be taking place on the top floor, it’s critical to realise that a good project can have an impact that extends across the whole house. The balance, enjoyment, and character of the existing spaces on lower floors can be positively improved by a considered design for the top floor.
As originally told to: Charlotte Luxford | Photography: Brotherton Lock