Building, Design, Interiors, Loft Conversion, Project, Property, Property Development, Renovation, Uncategorized
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The Open Plan Work Space – Final Reveal


Here it was pre Loft Extension.  In our box room, which was less than 2 x 3m. It was the perfect spot for me to set up Making Spaces HQ. It really wasn’t big enough to be a bedroom. In fact it wasn’t really big enough to warrant its own door, so we took that off over a year ago anyway.

Top Tip. If you’ve got a door you never ever close, get rid. Give yourself another square meter of space instead. And a better view. And more natural light. Go on.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 16.53.22

Our 1960’s, 3 bed-semi had a very traditional layout, pre-build. Our plan was to incorporate the small, box room into the landing area, so it looked something like this:

Loft 1st floor layoutIf you’ve been following the build, you may remember we were sacrificing our box room in order to accommodate the staircase of our dreams. You can read more about that over here. The plan was to keep our landing open plan, light, spacious and my office would simply sit exactly where it was before.


I do love working from home. But to take advantage of being a home worker, you really do need a designated space. Plonking yourself on the kitchen table will not do. It’s ok for a day or two, but for four months, I do not advise it. At all. But for four months, that’s where i’ve been. On the kitchen table, as my poor little office became, what I can only refer to as the building site “shit-hole”.



Would you like to see what it looks like now?

Aye, come on.

Open Plan Landing and Staircase

The whole wall came down, as did the old landing balustrade. The staircase starts around the same place as the old bulk head was, so floor space wise I have about the same as I did before but it feels twice the size in here now.

Landing work space

And I have light flooding in from three windows now too. In front, behind and above. Lovely.



The view downstairs over what was the box room


Home Office Landing Space

The view as you walk down the new staircase. Such an amazing difference don’t you think? It’s just a pleasure to come to work in the morning.

The old box room

And i’m soooo happy to have my desk back again. Oh how i’ve missed you. If you’re looking for a quick DIY this weekend, you can read all about how I made my OSB desk over here.

Home Office with Magnetic Wall

The magnetic wall on the left is still going strong and has been put to use again. I’ve given it a painted border to help it sit in its new surrounds a little easier. There was a fair amount of mess once the old brick wall and door frame was ripped out. We’ve worked hard to make good the mess that was left. The join of the two spaces almost looks seamless now. Like the landing was always meant to be like this. Almost.




Open Plan Office Landing

So yeah, we’re still technically a three bedroom house as we’ve turned what was a tiny room into part of our landing. And i’m so glad we did. I think it’s made a real feature of our first floor, leading you beautifully to our new second floor.

Box room turned into open plan landing work space

We’ve still got lots to do around here, sort the carpets out, the handrail, more painting… but this little corner of our new open plan landing is done. I really hope you like it as much as we do. Not bad for a 3 bed semi?


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Let me know what you think. Would you have done the same?


  1. Ahh I really like it! What a lovely open spot to work and such a clever use of space! The before, during and afters are incredible!! And I’m sorry I’ve not had the chance to comment earlier but your new loft space is gorgeous!! You guys did a cracking job and it looks beautiful and so serene now. *inserts hand clapping emoji* 😉 xxx

    • Aww thank you thank you. I know these spaces aren’t your style at all, but i’m so glad you are feeling the overall vibe. It just feels right for a 1960’s semi. Now onto the bathroom…. (flipping knackered!) xx

  2. charlotte Chamberlain says

    Hi Karen im just wondering if this is possible to do to our house a three bed semi also from the 1950’s! Can I ask what era your home was built? Beautiful spaces btw x

    • Hi Charlotte, i’ve just added a couple of extra pics that may help you here so you can see our old first floor layout compared to the new layout. Our home is a modest 3 bed 1960’s semi. So i’d say it was completely possible to do this at your house too!x

  3. Greg penn says

    Bloomin’ brilliant.. I’ve been following for a while but first time commenter! Top floor looks ace and your ‘office’ is gorgeous.. I love generously proportioned ‘flow’ spaces (lost sadly with acres of Barret homes et all going up looking for maximum number of bedrooms in minimum spaces) and this is an ingenious way of making your hall/landing spaces feel luxuriously large whilst remaining useful at the same time! Cracking job!

    • So glad you agree with us Greg. More rooms does not necessary mean a better use of space. This has transformed our first floor whilst still giving us the functions we needed. Cheers for stopping by 🙂

  4. Absolutely LOVE it!! Your loft room and office has really inspired me so much! Our scaffolding goes up on Monday for our loft to start (we live in a 3 bed smei too) and I WISH we had done this!!! We chose to put our staircase through our existing bedroom making that room smaller the only other option was cuting our TINY bathroom in half or losing a room (which is currently our office.) I wonder if we coudl have opted for this so our office room was open plan. The only thing is we are doing this to add value and we need 4 bedrooms but I wonder if an open plan office would count….??

    Anyway do you mind me asking where your rug is from please and also the amazing light attached to the wall? I find it SO hard to chose lights and rugs are SO expensive aren’t they!

  5. Sarah McIntosh says

    Wow! What a huge success, you must be absolutely relishing every moment in these new spaces. I love the light that’s been opened up through the open plan layout. It’s beautiful through the staircase and makes your office looks so fresh. Loving the whole thing. Totally jealous ☺

  6. I never quite get why box rooms exist in the first place! Your new office space looks infinitely more spacious. Amazing work! 🙂

    • Cheers. Glad you like what we’ve done with the space. We’re lucky that we didn’t need to keep the extra “room” (for re-sale purposes or a second child). It’s perfect for us!

  7. Bloomin’ gorgeous little space. I love how the light just floods in now. It must be a pleasure to work here. Much better idea to keep it open plan.

    • Thanks Stacey!! It is indeed a pleasure to be in there now, it feels like a real addition to the house despite losing a room.

  8. Do you ever sleep Karen. You’ve got so much done in four months! I’m still struggling to get the bedroom finished and that was just a paint job. Your office area looks fab. It’d be a pleasure to work there. x

  9. Oh I love all the cosy textiles you’ve used! What a great use of the space Karen 🙂

  10. Approximately one million times better! Looks gorgeous, and like it’s just meant to be like that. Bloody great idea. X

  11. This is fantastic, after recently moving into a 1930s terrace house our box room is pretty big but it’s not a bed room but a great office, and we too will be sacrificing space for loft access, i really did want to see how others had done this before, and once i realised the wall was a stud i was moving on to the next phase of planning. This has helped no end and it looks fantastic, well done, hope to see more. Check us out on Instagram and i will follow back if you have one we are no13bythesea…. Keep up the great work

    • Karen Knox says

      Thanks Stuart – this post is a couple of years old, so there have been several updates since this post. But the space is still working really well for us!

  12. Lou says

    I was just wondering where that tall white cabinet next to the desk is from? Thank you

    • Karen Knox says

      Hi there, it was from Ikea – no longer sold now i’m afraid…

  13. Peter says

    Hi looks great! I am in the process of putting something similar in our 1920 house in Glasgow. I was wondering how you got the amazing steps look so beautiful using plywood. Are they dressed with laminate sheets?

    Thank you, Peter

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