All posts filed under: Loft Conversion

My week with Factorylux

In a weird twist of fate, it’s a been a full on week of Factorylux lighting goodness. If you remember, we’re working with Urban Cottage Industries on the lighting for our loft bedroom. Urban Cottage Industries design and produce their Factorylux lighting range, and we’ve been working with their modular range which comes with fun stuff like conduit and pattress boxes. Think of it as Pick n Mix but for lighting. Design your own lights basically. Well, as we’d finished sealing the brick wall, the electricians were now ready to rock and roll and start piecing the puzzle together. I asked if they minded me taking some pics whilst they were fiddling. They didn’t. I managed to take a couple and then, ya know it felt a bit weird and I was kind of getting in the way. So I only got a couple. All the Factorylux conduit is pre-cut and threaded so it was just like a big metal jigsaw. They only needed to chop off the end pieces that ran down into the floor and up …

Black Wednesday – Week 11

If you’re in or close to Leeds, you may have heard me on Wednesday last week. You might have mistaken the noise for a small pig being squeezed in a vice, but no, it was me. Screaming. I don’t remember the last time I felt so angry (it was probably the week before) but you know you’ve completely lost your shit when your husband comes home from work early. Without you having to even ask. Don’t jump! We’ve been waiting patiently for our staircase for 11 weeks now. Keep getting told, they’ll be started on it soon and it’ll be another week. Each and every time a new trade comes in to crack on with their job, I get; “When’s the staircase coming?” “Where’s the staircase? “Haven’t you got your staircase yet?” Erm, yes, don’t you like it. It’s there. We’ve had an aluminium staircase made to look just like a bloody ladder. **eye roll** The last we were told (Monday 14th November) is the staircase was being “made right now”. Factor in two weeks to make …

The elusive black tap

As you may have twigged by now, we’re currently in the middle of our loft conversion. The design of the two new spaces are a mix of Scandinavian and industrial design. Simple, raw materials, paired back with mainly a monochrome scheme. It was easy to add black to the bedroom. Sliding timber doors, furniture, window frames, bedsides… but it was more difficult to add it to the bathroom. Bathrooms by their very nature have a lot white in, what with 99% of ceramic sinks, loos, shower trays and baths being white (why is that?). Pair that with the chrome finish of nearly all taps, bottle traps, wastes, showers etc. and you’ve got a pretty restrictive palette to work around. I knew I wanted a black bathroom tap, but man, they’re not an easy find. And the more difficult it was for me to find one, it just made me want one more. I WILL FIND A BLACK TAP (and waste, and bottle trap). Around the same time as I was on Tap Hunt, one of my …

The Loft Extension – Wk 8/9

As you can see, i’ve been keeping really upbeat since my last loft post. Full of the joy of life I am. Honestly, i’m a pleasure to be around right now. View this post on Instagram Week 8 in the loft conversion house. Losing the will to live. Just like Bernard the orange plant. Will it ever end? Will it? Will it? A post shared by Karen Knox – Making Spaces (@makingspacesnet) on Nov 13, 2016 at 5:18am PST We’ve just finished week nine and if i’m honest, I thought we’d be done by now. Not 100% done, but I thought the actual build would have been winding down. Alas, that is not the case. Things here are continuing to move slowly, but we’re certainly moving now. And there is a teeny tiny sliver of light shining at the end of a long, dark (and snowy) tunnel. That’s me sounding positive btw. The plastering has finally commenced (hooray!) and our plasterer has been busy working his way around the bedroom and all the way down our …

The devil’s in the detail

There are some things when you’re redecorating a room or redesigning a space that get forgotten about. They’re not normally on our list of considerations. Your builder, electrician, plumber will just fix in the most obvious, industry standard items. These items are in every room. They’re functional. They do the job and they’re fine. Just fine. But what if you don’t want fine? If you just stopped to consider these small, often unnoticed details, it can have a massive impact on a space. The devil is indeed in the detail. And there’s nothing like a build to highlight just how many small seemingly “none-decisions” can make a big difference to the design. We’re now at the point where the build is kind of complete. The rooms are getting plastered next week, first fix plumbing going in and door casings being built by the joiner. Which focuses my mind on: Skirting boards & architraves Door handles Lights, switches and sockets Skirting board and architrave We’ve (and when I say we’ve, I mean I’ve) uhmmed and ahhed over …

The Loft Extension – Wk 6/7

Firstly, i’d just like to apologise for the radio silence over the last week. I think it’s fair to say, this loft conversion is starting to get to me. Like, properly. It’s not the mess, dirt, cold, the fact I can’t walk down the hall without banging my knee on a boxed toilet or the plastic floor covering that crackles when you trot over it. No, not these things. It’s the fact I can’t actually sit down for more than 10 minutes at a time and concentrate on ANYTHING as our front door is moving continuously with various trades coming in and out. I’ve never made so many cups of tea. I’ve also never got through so many bags of sugar. They’re all “two sugar” guys. Two! The other thing my busy mind is struggling with, is the continual trouble shooting. Overall, i’m a negative, pessimistic person. I focus entirely on worst case scenarios which makes me really good at project management. How does that help? I combat anything that might go wrong before it actually …

The UK Bathroom

Did you know, the average size of a bathroom in the UK is around 2.4m x 1.8, or 4.4m2. How mad is that? Not much bigger than a king sized bed. Now, consider the average bath size is 1.7m x 700mm it is clear why space can be tight. And clear why they’re a bugger to plan for. The bathroom layout (small room top right of the floor plan) has been tweaked and fiddled with several times over the past 4/5 weeks. It’s mental how much difference 5cm can make. Which is why i’ve rinsed the internet for pieces perfect for our UK average sized space. Here it is (will be) with our newly fitted aluminium windows. At approximately 1.9m x 2.1m, every cm counts and i’ve found some key pieces for bijou spaces at soak.com. Let me show you what’s arrived this morning, bright and early at 8am. Sabrosa II Toilet The first item being a small footprint loo. Ideally, I would have liked a hidden cistern, but that meant boxing in, and boxing in meant lost floor …

What i’ve learnt so far. The Loft Extension – Wk 4/5

We’re at that bit in the project where it feels like we’re moving in treacle. We’ve got a big hole in the ceiling. It’s cold. And we’re waiting. Waiting for windows to be fitted (one more week) and the staircase to arrive (two more weeks). In the meantime we’re at a bit of a standstill and it’s starting to wear us down. So i’m going to take a moment. A moment to reflect on what i’ve learnt so far. Lesson One Any work at home, large or small puts an extra layer of tension in a household. Every day when Charlie gets home from nursery, he asks “is our new house ready yet?” which at the beginning of the project was really cute and hilarious. Five weeks later, not so much. “No Charlie, no. Our house is not finished yet. There is a scaffold up outside. A skip in the driveway, a hole in the ceiling and the heating it set to “tropical”.  Then there’s the nightly de-brief of the day’s events between me and the …

A mixed bag. The Loft Extension – Wk 3

So what’s happened since last week? Well as the title suggests, it’s been a melange of loft extension based events. There’s been a lot of banging. MY WORD. So much banging. But banging means progress, and progress is good. Dormer tiled, old loft boards and joists ripped out, new joists fitted and another steel hoisted up for something or other. Something structural. Whatever. When can I get in? At this point i’m feeling pretty redundant, I just want to get up there and start waving my arms around showing everyone where things are going. So, to prevent me asking “is it done yet?” every 90 minutes, i’ve been keeping myself busy by placing orders for some of the key pieces making their way into our soon-to-be new rooms. Bedroom mood-board recap And my very first piece for the bedroom has arrived. Well apart from the brick wall, that’s already there. See the two ceiling lights either side of the bed? They’re going to be the bedside lights. These actually: Maria 180 lights from Urban Cottage Industries …

And we’re in! The Loft Extension – Wk 2

So where were we? (catch up on Wk 1 here) That’s it, the dormer was up and the new roof-line was ready to tile. Blimey, so much has happened since then. Come see. Phone pic Ta-da! A newly tiled roof with gable end. Going to take some getting used to the new house shape. The aluminium windows for the dormer have been measured and priced up. Our first quote of over £4.5k made me cry a little inside. Then punch a cushion. I know aluminium is expensive. I do know this. But £4.5k? That’s a car right there. Which reminds me, the quote for the windows came in the day before my car failed its MOT which cost me £700. **sigh** What do they say? When it rains it pours… something like that. The windows, however were something I wasn’t prepared to compromise on (along with everything else). They needed to be big. The bigger the better. And these are going to be just that. Luckily, we got another couple of quotes that came in as …