All families need space to grow, that is a fact. When it comes to our homes, converting unused loft space is one of the most popular ways to add much-needed living space. In terms of investment, a loft conversion is one of the most profitable home improvements you can make, with the potential to increase the value of your property by up to 20%.
While many parents might hesitate to put small children in an attic bedroom, preferring to keep the little darlings nearby for a closer eye, a bedroom in the loft is surely every teenager’s dream. Adolescents crave privacy and space away from nosy parents and noisy siblings. As their need for independence grows, teenage kids love to have somewhere they can retreat to when life gets stressful, somewhere peaceful for exam revision (you hope!) and somewhere they can hang out with friends
A teenage bedroom at the top of the house ticks all the boxes. Work with the quirky architecture and sloping ceilings and create a sophisticated scheme that makes your teen feel grown up and valued while turning the attic bedroom into a cool place to live.
First things first: the build
Broadly speaking, there are 4 types of loft conversion: Velux loft conversions, dormer extensions, mansard loft extensions and hip-to-gable conversion. The build and size of your roof and loft space will determine the style of conversion that is most suitable for your home. A simple dormer extension is a good option for most property types, as it creates a box shape out of the rear roof slope, maximising headroom and usable floor space.
Velux-only loft conversions require surprisingly little construction work and can be completed in as little as 4 weeks, with planning permission usually not required. You should budget in the region of £20-£30K, depending on the specifics. For more complicated loft conversion projects, allow up to 4 months until completion and expect to pay up to £60K for large roof conversions.
Using all the space available
Image courtesy of My Fitted Bedroom
Space is the main factor in the design of your teen’s bedroom in the loft. With awkward angles and sloping roofs to contend with, cleverly designed storage and built-in furniture, bespoke shelving and eaves storage is definitely the way to go. Having a teenager means a messy bedroom – there’s no getting around that. Make sure the room has ample concealed storage, so that clutter can be kept at bay.
What’s more, piles of clothes carelessly strewn across the floor are a constant bugbear for mums up and down the country. Providing plenty of wardrobe space is key for budding adults who are discovering fashion for the very first time and love to experiment with expressing their own sense of style. Here’s a handy guide to fitted wardrobes for lofts.
Light and dark
It is often surprising to discover how much natural light floods into an attic bedroom, particularly through skylight windows. This makes the space airy and inviting, and can provide a welcome boost against any morning grumpiness that might stop your teen from getting up and on with their day. Just make sure you add blinds to any Velux windows (ideally blackout blinds) to allow for comfortable weekend lie-ins that teenagers are so prone to.
Artificial lighting should start with ceiling light fittings, and here we would recommend recessed spotlights as the most practical solution where headroom is at a premium. Layer your lighting design with plenty of additional fixtures – from targeted desk lighting to fairy lights wrapped around exposed beams and quirky table or floor lamps to bring out your teen’s personality.
And while we’re talking electrics, don’t forget to plan for enough plug sockets (ideally with USB ports) to accommodate all those gadgets, devices and screens!
Vibrant design with a homely feel
If your growing son or daughter wants a room that’s cool and edgy, so be it. Now is the time to indulge them with a bold interiors scheme of their choice. Black coloured walls? Tropical wallpaper? Houseplants and botanicals everywhere? No problem.
Key furniture pieces include the bed, a study desk and chair, some storage pieces and, if the space allows, casual seating. Bean bags or floor cushions will do if there’s no space for a sofa. Add interest with a feature wall to display photos, posters or a picture gallery.
Play with different textures and patterns to create some warmth and a sense of homeliness in the room (but without losing the cool teenage vibe!). Experiment with sheer curtains, shaggy rugs, fluffy throws and cushions to cosify the room. Create distinct zones for sleeping, dressing, studying and socialising.
Whether your adolescent is into mid-century retro, industrial chic or a boho vibe, even a mishmash of all (or none) of the above, let them experiment with their own choice of colour and décor in their own space. Chances are, there will be many changes in taste and style over the next months and years as they evolve and grow into themselves. Just go with it.1