London loft conversion into a glamorous master suite

Step into luxury as interior designer Karen Cook, along with husband Stuart and their trio of youngsters, transforms a London loft into a glamorous master suite. KBB journo Lisa Moses shares the journey of this project…

When the house came on to the market in 2018, Karen and Stuart knew it had the potential to become their forever home. And, as an interior designer, Karen could see its amazing potential and immediately got to work planning the renovation. However, the limitations of a restricted budget meant that the couple needed to focus on renovating the main part of the original house first – the master suite project was put on hold until they had the funds to turn it into a beautiful room.

Karen pictured sitting on the bed of the glamorous master suite
Behind Karen, the walls have been dressed in Cole & Son’s Hollywood Palm wallpaper, from £193 per roll.

Planning the London loft conversion

What prompted the London loft conversion to a glamorous master suite?

Around 30 years ago, the previous owners had created a small attic bedroom with Velux windows, but there wasn’t enough head height for it to be a useful space. The room was accessed by a steep, dangerous staircase and the original roof had been replaced with concrete tiles that were too heavy for the ceiling. Plus, we were losing a lot of heat through the top of the house. The space was massive and felt ripe for a complete overhaul. 

Gallery wall in eves area of the loft conversion
All the space under the eves was cleverly utilised by commissioning bespoke built-in storage from Compact Project.

What was your starting point for the design? 

Our home is an 1870s Victorian, detached property and is listed. The space had lots of potential, but it was important that any changes we made were in keeping with the house. We did some research and came across Simon Merrony Architects, who knew the area and were really creative.

Together, we came up with a plan to make full use of the loft space, creating a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. We chose pitched dormers for the front and back, so it would look in-keeping from the road. Additionally, we added a hip-to-gable extension which straightened the slanting internal wall, and gave us additional head height.

Loft conversion with maximalist style and gold accents
The Samsung Frame TV looks like a picture and blends in when not in use.

Designing the glamorous master suite

How did you decide on the design the layout?

The position of the bedroom area was obvious. However, we had a large floor area to play with and I spent a lot of time at the planning stage. And, I rejigged the design during the build. It can be hard to gauge the pitch of a ceiling on paper plans. But once the dormer was in and I could see the usable floor area, I decided the dressing room could be bigger and we stole some footage from the bathroom. Initially, we considered incorporating a bath into the design but ended up opting for a generous-sized shower instead. 

En-suite leading to the glam master suite
Karen has zoned the bathroom area with the help of Bardiglio white marble hexagon deco tiles from Tiles of Wisdom.

Did you incorporate any elements specific to the glam master suite?

I chose neutral shower tiles and went for waterproof MDF tongue and groove panelling on the ensuite walls as a future-proof alternative to tiling because it will always be easy to change the colour scheme. I also sourced some oversized bedside drawers to add handy storage.

Glass cabinet in bathroom
Karen upcycled the cabinet with Cole & Son wallpaper and the MDF panelling is finished with Johnstone’s 
Calke Green paint.

The inspiration for the London loft conversion

How did you choose the colour scheme for the master suite?

I wanted to inject a light, bright, feminine feel up here because the rest of our home is quite dark and moody. For me, green and pink is a classic colour combo that feeds into my love of the Art Deco aesthetic. Also, I wanted to celebrate the architectural elements in the room. So, I used colourful botanical wallpaper on a couple of feature walls to inject some pattern. I decided to complement the look with gold accessories, which add a touch of luxury and warm up the space. 

Glam master suite ensuite
The brushed brass colour finish heated towel rail, from Bathrooms at Source, adds to the Art Deco look.


Did you encounter any problems when renovating the master suite?

With any old house, there are always surprises waiting to be uncovered. We discovered that the front wall of the original conversion was leaning, meaning it had to be rebuilt to make it structurally sound, which added to the budget. Also, some of the structural beams were rotten and had to be re-enforced. 

Any element you are particularly pleased with?

Deciding to add air conditioning was a game changer because loft rooms are hot, and the space is much more enjoyable in summer. The system uses heat pump technology, which only costs around 20 pence per day. I had the air-con grills painted pink to match the walls and visually they almost disappear.

Bathroom with green and pink
The bespoke his-and-hers vanity unit was painted in Sulking Room Pink by Farrow & Ball. It is topped with two straight-sided round countertop basins from Click Basin.

As originally told to: Lisa Moses | Photography: Caroline Mardon

Enjoyed this post? Click here to discover an Art Deco bathroom with a bold and contemporary twist

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