shelving above and in corner and low ceiling. Calm light blue and green tones, underscored by the plant on the shelf, contribute to this cosy nest’s restful and relaxing feel.
Alcoves around chimney
Warm harmonies with blood red, orange and mustard These are clearly the novel hues for this year. Harmonies of warm and invigorating colours – burgundy, wine red, blood red, burnt orange, mustard and golden brown – create décor that’s sunny, energetic and perfect for re-enchanting our interiors.
Make the most of those awkward spots beneath your sloped ceiling with these brilliant solutions
Inserting another level can transform a living space. Follow this expert advice on how to build one in your home Wednesday
Create a cosy retreat You don’t necessarily need a large dormer to tuck in a workstation – a small loft can become a cosy escape. In this roof space, a desk on one side and cupboards on the other have been tucked under the eaves, while bespoke shelving on the triangular gable creates a surprising amount of storage. If the rafters are exposed, as here, run with the theme and bring in wooden furniture for a rustic look, but make sure you include lots of illumination – here, there’s a run of bright spotlights along the roof ridge as well as a desk lamp.
Clever space planning, made-to-measure cabinetry, and a neutral scheme with accents of vibrant colour allowed interior designer Caroline Wood-Robertson to deliver on all counts.
When you’re thinking of ways to use the area below the stairs, it’s worth considering the option of reinventing the space as a neat downstairs cloakroom. Don’t think you can squeeze one in? Just take a look at these spaces. Plus, there are some handy tips on the key things you will need to consider before you take the plunge.
The designers made the cabinetry in the seating area, too, giving the space a cohesive feel.
The cupboard next to the ovens can be opened out neatly thanks to its slim bifold doors, and it has a solid walnut interior that’s rich in colour. “It’s a breakfast pantry you can close up to hide the mess,” David says. The owners also store glassware and china in here, and lights that come on as the door opens – and switch off when it closes – create a sparkling effect.
The cabinet handles have a warm, antique brass effect.
The kitchen’s oversized drawers were one of the features that drew the homeowners to select it. Solid wood interiors make them appealing and tactile.
Divide with a shower wall You don’t have to create two distinct spaces if you’re putting a bathroom in a bedroom – open-plan can work, as long as you have the right ventilation. And you can save on the bathroom area’s footprint by doing away with a full-depth wall and substituting it with a thin partition, lined with a shower. All-through flooring and repetition of materials serves to make the space feel bigger, while exposing roof beams exaggerates ceiling height.
Up the vintage vibe The downside of dark kitchens, particularly those with a wall of units, is that they can look a little forbidding. So why not up the warm, welcoming appeal of your space by contrasting the dramatically cool tones of the cabinetry with the warm, grainy textures of wood? The more honey-toned the wood, the better – if it’s too light or too dark, the inviting effect will be lost
Kitchens | Kitchen Planning Should I Go for Floor-to-ceiling Cabinets in My Kitchen? Confining most of your storage to one wall has numerous advantages, as these stylish designs illustrate Wednesday
Access all angles In a room with a sloped ceiling, it pays to build with the angles, rather than against them. Here, the cupboard has been extended along the entire width of the wall in the form of shelves that tuck under the eaves. The wide frame that surrounds the two sides continues at an angle to draw the shape of the slope for a designed look. A piece of joinery like this uses every centimetre of space, and creates an attractive feature in the room.
Run along a wall In a very narrow room, you might wonder if it’s possible to fit in storage at all. But in this slimline space, the architects have been inspired by the clever design of yacht bathrooms. The entire space is waterproof, so the shower could be fitted directly opposite the long, lean vanity unit, which contains numerous cupboards. The basin has been moulded into the Corian worktop and its plumbing is hidden neatly within the cupboard below.
In a small bathroom, it can be tricky to find enough space for storage, but nooks and crannies, unused corners and awkward angles can all offer the chance to tuck in a cupboard or shelf. Take a look at these ideas to help you design enough storage to create a clutter-free washspace. Email Save Go up and over If you don’t have room above the basin for a cabinet, you might be able to find some wall space elsewhere. The area above the toilet, for example, can be utilised for storage that goes right up to the ceiling, as here. This space is a cloakroom, but the idea could be just as effective in a bathroom. A cabinet has already been constructed to hide the cistern, so the designers have simply made the most of the protruding ledge to build shelving above it.
basin on wooden worktop - same as kitchen maybe
Is it really possible to create a fabulous loft conversion for a little bit less without compromising your dream? Our experts offer nine tips that might work for your project. Professional advice from: Matthew Ryder of Ash Island Lofts; Deepak Singh Udassi of City Lofts London; Ausra Griciute of LLAC Construction
The interior designers made the glass partitions with an industrial-style frame and alternating clear glass and panes with printed 3D patterns, to play on the contrast between transparency and opacity. These panes open to both sides for ventilation.
The central staircase provides additional casual seating when the owners have guests over.
Don’t be afraid of the dark When faced with a small room, the instinctive response can be to paint it in a pale colour to boost the feeling of space. But in a tiny area, it can actually pay to try the opposite technique and paint it dark, to make a virtue of the small size and create a snug bolthole. This little living room corner, for instance, feels warm and intimate thanks to the rich, enveloping colour of the walls, curtains and furnishings, and shows how being bold can be really effective. It’s sometimes easier to be brave with colour in a small space, too, as it can feel like less of a commitment to experiment with paint on a small wall area than to cover a large room.
The colour scheme in here was inspired by a landscape painting, just seen here in the mirror. “The owners were happy to go with a bold dark grey on the walls and we took the lovely yellows and sea colours from the painting for the accessories,” Lally says.
The husband is a keen cook, so the kitchen has top-notch appliances, including a modular hob with a teppan-yaki plate. The extractor fan is tucked neatly above. “We lowered the ceiling in the kitchen in order to incorporate it,” Lally says. The now-level floor has been covered in engineered oak boards, warmed by underfloor heating, which runs throughout the ground floor. Just seen on the left is a window seat with a wine rack underneath – the perfect place to perch and keep the chef company. “There’s very limited storage in the house, so we tried to use every nook and cranny,” Lally says. Hob, Gaggenau.
The splashback is copper-tinted mirror, which pulls light across from the window opposite and ties in with the diamond-cut brass cupboard handles.
Having had the wall between the kitchen and dining room removed to create one bright space, the designer and owners plumped for a deep blue on the cabinets and dining area walls to link the two spaces. To keep the look bright and open, though, Lally was careful to weave in plenty of white, too, including a crisp white quartz worktop. She also added glass-fronted cabinets at either end of the wall run to add depth and show off white crockery and light-catching glassware.
The doors concertina open to reveal a laundry zone containing a washing machine, small sink, drawers and a practical hanging rail. To ensure the utility area looks attractive when open, the designers have continued the terrazzo floor surface up the wall, forming an on-trend background for the black shelving, which chimes with the steel-framed glazing.
How much is a loft conversion likely to cost? “Costs can vary substantially depending on individual properties and homeowner specifications,” Deepak says. “There are other factors, too, such as local authority constraints and sometimes things homeowners would never expect, such as issues concerning wildlife. In the past, we’ve had to fit certain hollowed-out bricks that allow swifts to nest, which had a big impact on cost. “Similarly, finding bats in your loft space is likely to cause delay and additional expense, and can, in some circumstances, mean a conversion might not be possible,” he says. If you do discover bats in your loft, it’s possible to have a ‘bat survey’ carried out in order to understand your options and how to proceed. “Our loft conversions start at £42,000 including VAT and go up to £72,000,” Matthew says. “The average you can expect to pay is around £50,000. Aneliese agrees. “Anywhere between £30,000 and £50,000,” she says.
Stay slimline The bigger the desk, the more room for clutter, so to prevent yours becoming a magnet for every stray bit of paper in the house, go for a narrow design like this one, which has been custom-made with MDF. If you’re mainly working at a laptop, the actual workspace doesn’t have to be very big at all, and this slimline solution also avoids the desk impinging too much on the rest of the room. No room for a ded
Small bath with shower curtain - concealed pipework for floor / wall taps / ceiling shower.