Building, Design, Home, Loft Conversion, Project, Property, Room Edit
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The Loft Extension – Wk 1

Operation Loft Extension is now officially GO. Levels of excitement are at an all time high here at Making Spaces HQ. I’m super busy working behind the scenes on this one and i’ll be showing you the whole process from start to finish over the next few months.

Here was the space 10 days ago, just before we flew out to New York. The loft just about emptied and ready to rock. You can see it’s got a good head height. 2.9m to be precise with a floor area of around 5.5 x 8m. Spot the rather sexy exposed brick wall in there? Well obviously that’s staying.

One week later:


Day 1. Scaffold up, kettle on and materials everywhere.


Day 2. The framework for the rear dormer starts to go up.




Day 3. The new roof steel gets lugged up to the top and positioned to give us the new roofline. We’re switching from a hipped roof to gable end, negating the need for two dormers.


Day 4. The roof goes up over the dormer.


You can see the new roofline here really clearly, the new gable end will be finished in brick matching (as near as possible) our existing wall.


And at the end of Day 5, you can see the overall shape of our new rear dormer. The openings you can see are for the aluminium windows. They are going to be huge (if we can afford them).


Loft extensions are by far the best way of gaining space at home without losing outdoor space, especially when your loft has the head height ours does. However, they never really “look” that nice from the outside do they? The dormers always look a bit top heavy and stuck on. It can’t really be helped though and i’ve gotten my head around losing the original 1960’s house shape. We have tried to lose the look of a “big tiled box” by using as much glass as possible across the back of the dormer. Windows will start at seat height (45cm) in the bedroom and bathroom and stretch up full height to the ceilings. So you will be able to lie back in bed and look out over the rooftops and tree tops.

It’s the first time i’ve actually designed and planned rooms from scratch. So every part of a space; windows, skirting boards (or not?), doors, lighting, flooring, heating etc has been considered, researched and near enough decided upon before the build began. I’ve loved it so far, it’s literally been a blank canvas on which to work, with some limitations obviously which help to keep me planning something that’s actually possible (my builder has already given me the you can’t do that face a few times).


I’m going to make a tally chart of how many times I get this face.

*NB. my builder is not Benny Hill.

So… a quick recap of the overall floorplan of our soon to be 2nd floor.

loft rough fp

The Floorplan

  • Straight open riser staircase
  • Second family bathroom off the landing
  • Bedroom with sliding door into wardrobe and further eaves storage
  • Separate walk in storage room and further eaves storage

So what’s it going to look like inside?

I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear i’ve planned every inch already and secured some amazing collaborations with some of my all time favourite brands. Seriously, it’s going to be so good. I think so anyway.

Let me show you my very rudimentary room edits:


The Bathroom Edit (must add plants)

It’s very monochrome. Very. I have worked my butt off trying to find just the right balance of black, white and chrome. The tap was by far the most difficult. I can’t wait to share where all of these pieces are from. For now, you’ve gotta be patient like me.


The Bedroom Edit

The bedroom is going Scandi on your ass, people. Another very paired back monochrome space but with lots of natural surfaces. Blonde wood flooring, exposed brick wall, loads of glass and a good dose of vintage rug for some warmth and texture. I’m getting butterflies just writing it.

We’ve got another week of them working outside on the overall structure and new roof and then they’ll be coming in and starting the messy job of knocking a few walls down. As you do.

Would love to know what you think of our plans so far. We’ve already got our first overnight guests booked for New Year’s eve, I wonder if they’ll like their bedroom and bathroom?


  1. Woah! That went up fast! My kitchen extension took a whopping 6 months to build and I now know that was way longer than it should have done haha I love that you’re keeping the exposed brick. Can’t wait to see it all finished 🙂

  2. That is FAST progress! Your design boards are fab, love your ideas. Exposed brick and natural textures are always a winner 👍. Very excited to see the progress on this!

  3. Wow, it’s moving along quite nicely. I love your concept for the finished space and can’t wait to see it. Which – at this rate – should be some time next week?

  4. Looking gooooood, and I’m not visualising the whole thing going up in triple time with Benny Hill on speed going up and down the scaffolding (and the music of course). LOVE the black sliding doors and black windows, it’s going to be fab, and you are so clever to have designed it all yourself. Hats off.

  5. Ooh this is so exciting! Great progress made already! Your loft space could be ours, it’s so similar, although I’m wondering if you might even have a bit more height to yours. Although our loft roof is covered with plastic sheeting so a bit hard to tell! Love your room design, very pared back – it will be beautiful and simple. Can’t wait to see the next installment! Xx

  6. katy615 says

    This is ridiculously exciting. I think I prefer this stage and beginning to see the space changing than when it is actually finished ;)) Can’t wait to see more x

  7. How exciting! I can’t wait to see how it transforms and the finished result, I love the scandi-meets-industrial look, we’ve just embarked on our house renovation too, it’s quite an exciting stage when you can see your vision coming to life!

  8. Looking good so quickly, really excited for you. Sensible head hope the weather kind for the builders, roof off week. Do they do knees? [private joke]

  9. Lesley says

    Ditto all above, have you seen article on Houzz today, good article on stairs for loft conversion.

    • I have not. But we’ve planned our staircase down to the last mm already. It was the first thing we worked on and often the last thing people consider which is a shame. I will have a peep later!

  10. Caroline Bennett says

    Hi Karen, your loft and the rest of your home look really great! I am currently planning a loft and agree they can look really ugly outside so am debating which tile to go for. Do you have any pictures of the finished outside, also how do you open the windows?

    • Karen Knox says

      Hi Caroline, there’s a pretty rubbish mid-way photo of the outside in this post:
      I wanted to clad the outside of the dormer, but it would have meant going down the planning route… so we kept with red tiles which is what’s used on all the roofs on this estate.
      Only one of the windows opens in the bedroom and it’s on a restricted opener so nobody can fall out. Same for the bathroom. Hope that helps!

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