Mad About … Loft Style

Well here we are again. It’s December already and this year I have decided to make it about the best of the Mad House. This is partly because everyone’s too busy to read blogs at the moment and partly because I was looking up an old post the other day and I thought: there’s a lot of stuff here including new designers and interesting stories and the like, and it all deserves to have another 15 minutes. After all, as much as I know you all adore the Mad House (!), you probably don’t have time to check in every day so many of these posts will be new to you. And if there’re not then it’s a chance to catch up with some old favourites. Such as this:

Musings on a Loft

I have been thinking about my loft recently. I was interviewed about the house last week and asked if there was anything I would change. Then a new friend came for lunch and, as it was her first visit, I showed her around. She asked the same question. The answer both times was that I wish we had converted the loft when we were doing all the work.

dream loft space image by  Philip Karlberg, for Swedish Elle Interiör.
This is my dream loft space – to just replace the pitched roof with glass. Image by Philip Karlberg, for Swedish Elle Interiör.

When we moved in, as has been well documented on the blog, the house was two rental flats which we converted into a single dwelling. Leaving the sticky issue of budgets aside we didn’t really have a plan for the loft.

why not put two velux windows next to each other to increase the light lofty feel? image from
why not put two velux windows next to each other to increase the light lofty feel? image from

There were too many stairs for it to function successfully as a guest room – particularly when our most frequent guests are our parents. Neither of us had any real desire to make the loft into the master suite – we lived under the eaves in our last house and having once banged my head so hard that I literally saw stars ( I kid you not. I didn’t even know that was a real thing, but I can personally vouch for the fact that it doesn’t just happen in cartoons. Mind you I didn’t get the cheeping birds flying round. They definitely made that bit up). Anyway, no eaves for us.

a loft with storage and space from

And, my husband pointed out sagely, he didn’t fancy handing the space over to a future teenager who would go galumphing up the stairs after ten pints of lager and spent half the night jumping up and down on the floorboards above our heads while listening to something unspeakable that will pass for music in 2015.

huge loft space from
I would much rather have these roof lights and then windows than a huge french door which many people seem to do.

So, we abandoned plans for the loft and went skiing instead. Well, not quite, as it turned out the budget was pretty stretched as it was and we couldn’t really find the money for a loft conversion.

mage from
the space would be mostly white. image from

Only then Himself started working from home a bit more. And so he needed a desk in the spareroom. Which had, by now, been slightly taken over by tweens wanting to play x-box. And was needed as a place for them to watch their unspeakable television programmes about cars and swearing comedians. The days when they dutifully left the sitting room at 7pm to go to bed leaving you with a glass of red and Channel 4 news (all right Eastenders) are long gone… you parents of youngsters, you think it’s tough now – you wait until they want to stay up later than you do, pinch half your dinner and think the sitting room belongs to them.

office under the eaves from scan design interiors via pinterest
even an office under the eaves can look great if you plan it right. image from scan design interiors via pinterest

Suddenly, converting the loft was looking like a necessity rather than an indulgence. But, as we still haven’t got the money, it remains largely a fantasy at this point. But it’s my current favourite fantasy and I fully intend to indulge it, as these images show.

industrial style work space from pinterest
industrial style work space from pinterest

In my head, it will be vast (like the tardis, which is bigger on the inside, it will, naturally, be somehow bigger than the footprint of the house). It will be a studio with huge glass windows at the back. There will storage, two desks (his and hers? Let’s be honest probably mine and mine. He rushed off to the spareroom … ya peaked too soon mate, soz). There will be a small bathroom (so that if the house is sold it functions as a bedroom with an en suite for sales purposes). A sofa, for those vital moments when you need to have a regroup and a think. Possibly lying down. A swing – because every home should have an indoor swing.

indoor swing via emmasblogg
indoor swing via emmasblogg

And it will be white, and lofty and slightly industrial – in a glamorous way – of course. In the meantime, I’ll keep pinning the pictures and dreaming that one day my loft will come.

UPDATE: We are doing the loft. Hurray and Yay! Sometime in 2015 this fantasy loft will be mine. All mine. 



Tags : home officeindustriallofts
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Ah, lofts! Yes, I do a bit of head-banging (mostly when I’m still still waking after bath-time .. and bend to reach for a bangle or two (bangle-eave cupboard door horribly near veluxe) .. but ..

    It’s all white. In both senses of ‘the words.’ 3 aspects. Sunny beyond anywhere else in the house. Two floors up from noisy TV (no kids, but lovely not to have to ‘nag’ – NAG? Women don’t nag! – if I retire early and Mr Him needs Ed and his noisy, oily motor programme on very loudly.

    We have a teeny en suite. All MINE. (His man-space lives on the middle floor – with messy soaps/slippers’n’all – yippee!)

    I think I may just go and live up our loft. Wear pink lipstick. Grow a blonde bouffant. Get a fluffy white pooch and dictate romantic prose whilst languishing against my floaty white, French headboard (the one he loathes with a passion.)

    From now on, I shall be mainly known as Barbara. (I know you’ve kept up ..)

  2. I feel your lofty pangs. We live in an old mill and we’re working our way up (quite literally) to doing ours. One day though, and with a swing… genius!

  3. Oh how I loved this post and agree with you totally on the fantasy loft. One day, when the children leave, we will make our 3 bedrooms in the attic into one large luxurious area just as you describe. Of course it will miraculously have doubled in size by then and manage to be a stylish multifunctional room and totally cool too. Don’t stop dreaming…

  4. I too had a chuckle at your comments. We have just had 2 fly the nest and though we miss them it’s great to get the sitting room to ourselves. Just 3 left to go now! Those photos are beautiful and I would have any of those spaces in a moment

  5. Thank you for the laugh regarding teenager bedtimes and their past-times. In our house one of the big time passers is dunking on the mini basketball net in his bedroom (which happens to be right above the kitchen) I see the wisdom in not giving over the loft to the kids.

  6. We’d have to raise the roof to convert our loft but if we ever do, and it’s on my fantasy list too, I’d so love a loft like the first image with those windows as the roof. That would be heaven for me.

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