Whether it’s a child’s bedroom or an adult’s suite, a loft conversion bedroom offers that ‘attic’ romance of being a real sanctuary away from the rest of the house. With its unique room shape and window scenes of the scudding clouds or views of the local scenery by day, and the chance to see the starry sky after dark, the way the room is decorated and styled can have a real impact on making the most of both the aesthetics and the functionality, that the new bedroom offers. So where do you start?
Unless the loft conversion has seen the removal of chimney breasts or the boxing in of all eaves as hidden storage, the chances are your loft bedroom includes some of those features typically found in attic spaces – chimney breasts, alcoves, restricted dormer space and knee walls (those short walls which are typically less than a metre high and usually support the rafters).
Thinking about these typical features and how to incorporate them into the final look of the room or even make them a focal point – such as by decorating a chimney breast in a feature colour or bringing nooks to life with mood lighting – can be extremely useful in inspiring your style decisions.
Hidden and ‘unusable’ spaces should also be considered as these can often be styled into use through built-in units, shelving and low furnishings. Bedside units and coffee tables don’t have to be used just for their given purposes, but can also be used in low spaces to create stylish storage – always useful whoever your loft bedroom is for.
Researching what’s on trend is a great way to gain inspiration for an individual look for your loft bedroom. Popular visual sharing sites such as Pinterest and Instagram offer great ways to see how others have incorporated the latest interior design trends into their loft conversions – but without you having to pay for an interior designer’s inspiration!
Home styling or ‘staging’ for home selling is also a popular trend in itself (think show-home style) and a quick search online offers plenty of styling options to help inform your ideas and choices. These often have plenty of Before and After photos, to help you identify exactly the steps needed to achieve a certain style.
A trip to the local DIY shop is also a good place to see the latest ideas for interior design (even if you have no intention of doing the decorating and styling for yourself). The wallpaper section for example, will be carrying the popularly trending designs, so this season you’re more likely to see a good range of florals or textured papers, rather than stripes. Similarly, if monochrome florals are prevalent over pastels, you’ll also have a better idea of the colours which are on-trend.
However, taking trends as inspiration needs to be tempered with remembering the context of the loft bedroom. If space is short and trends are for darker colours or huge, dominating wallpaper prints, consider a more classic than trending look, or make good use of light-reflecting paints or paying careful attention to lighting and the use of mirrors in the bedroom to illuminate any darker or overshadowed corners to off-set any designer darkness!
Looking online for inspiration, as well as taking a coffee-break up in your yet-to-be-styled loft bedroom will help you to gain a general template of ideas for how you want the space to look. If you’re loving the look of exposed rafters, woodwork and brickwork, a rustic template might make a good starting point from which to decide on colours, furnishings and accessories.
Similarly, if those natural wood tones make the space seem too attic-like and dark, taking inspiration from Scandi-styling and painting the room in chalky whites and reflective, muted tones can add light without removing away from the lovely textures offered by exposed wood and bricks.
And whilst you’re there, don’t forget to look up: where ceilings may be high and lines very clean, with little exposed wood or brickwork, then the ceilings could inspire templates of monochrome or contemporary Moda styles.
Textures and textiles
Textures and textiles are incredibly important in loft spaces, as these generally follow the lead of the main appearance of the newly converted loft space. Exposed textures such as wood and brickwork may need to be minimised or made the most of, depending on the style you want, whilst the use of textiles (including the bedding) can make or break a final design.
For a minimalist look, the current trend for texture can still be achieved with a feature wall of textured wallpaper whilst a few well-chosen textiles (such as plain bedding and discreet rugs) can soften the space but still uphold the minimalist clear, rather than cluttered, style.
Where ceilings are high and the space large, textiles may be plentiful to bring a sense of warmth and comfort to the room. 2016’s continuing trend for florals are ideal for achieving this, as florals on throws, cushions, rugs and bedding can be used to both accent and cosy up the room.
The use of the room is important too. For a child’s bedroom, designated comfort, play and sleep zones can be created with textiles such as floor cushions and rugs, bedding and drapes, whilst a sophisticated adult sanctuary can be enhanced with luxury fabric choices such as silk, linen and high-weave cotton for the room’s textiles.
Floors are a major style consideration here, because as well as suiting the style of the room, the flooring also has to suit the purpose of the room. Whether the room is for children or adults, the floor needs to offer comfort and perhaps an element of sound-proofing. Alternatively, if underfloor heating is a feature of a loft bedroom conversion with en-suite, then flooring needs to make the most of this feature.
As such, rugs are an excellent textile choice for floors as they have the advantage of being removable more easily than carpet, if the style or use of the room changes down the years, or when cleaning is required. Rugs and textiles can also add warmth and a feature to walls, so if a huge exposed chimney breast dwarfs the room, the use of textiles such as a decorative rug, tapestry or a fabric wall covering rather than linear pictures in frames, may soften the overall style of the room.
How and when the room is used is a primary consideration for styling too and one where it’s particularly important to consider how the windows will be styled.
If the loft bedroom is for adults who will only be there at night or on lazy lie-ins, consider the role that the windows have – a view of the night sky may be ideal in terms of the room’s style, but bright sunshine at 4 a.m. on a Summer’s lie-in morning might not. So consider the room’s use first, then spend a little time just hanging out in the space, watching how the sun moves around the room before considering which style options are best for dressing the windows, such as blackout blinds, bare windows, or draped linens.
Finally, the other template to consider is how the rest of the house is styled. Before getting started, consider whether you want this room to reflect a similar style or whether your loft conversion bedroom is your blank canvas opportunity for trying something new or even starting your own style trend. If you have definite thoughts about this early on, remember to share your ideas with your loft professional at the design stage, to help achieve your dream loft conversion bedroom. Check out Abbey Lofts to see some examples.