Thinking outside the box: Off-the-wall loft extensions

People have rather fixed ideas about the uses a loft conversion can be put to – usually an extra bedroom or a home office – but the truth is the only limit is your imagination.  Sure, you need somewhere to sleep, work and eat, but you also need a place to play, entertain and pursue your hobbies, and a loft conversion offers a perfect opportunity to indulge yourself.  You might think someone who builds a model railway layout in their loft a little eccentric, but be honest, wouldn’t you like to convert your loft into one of the following:

Billiard Room

No, they’re not just for country houses where the gentlemen retire to enjoy an after dinner brandy and rack up a frame or two.  A loft space can make an ideal games room, and you don’t have to limit yourself to billiards.  Think pool, poker, table tennis or table football.  Or why not go 50s retro and install a pinball machine and jukebox?  A well-stocked bar would also make a civilising touch.

Library

‘Books do furnish a room’ as the saying goes, and if you’re a bit of a bibliophile who can’t bear to part with a volume – and yet can’t lay your hands on it when you want it! – a catalogued library in your loft space would be literary heaven.  Add a couple of button-back leather armchairs and a coffee table and you’ve got the perfect retreat.  You could also, with the addition of a desk and filing cabinet, use it as a home office.

Wine Loft

If you have to use a loft for storage, then make it a repository for something a bit more exciting than dusty sticks of furniture: a choice selection of vintage wines!  Converting a loft is easier than digging a cellar.  Temperature is critical however, so good insulation is essential, and you might also choose to invest in temperature controlled cabinets to avoid the extremes of heat or cold that can spoil a wine.

Dressing Room

If your bedroom wardrobe is bursting at the seams and you keep your clothes so long they’re coming back into fashion for the second or third time around, a separate dressing room is a must – and the ultimate luxury for the fashionista.  Fit sliding wall-to-wall mirror wardrobes (some systems are specifically designed for sloping roof spaces), an en suite shower and a dressing table and you’ll feel like a film star!

Observatory

Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs continue to make important contributions, if only because nobody can be watching every quarter of the night sky all the time, and you might be the first (or only one) to witness a key astronomical event.  In a loft conversion you can pursue your hobby with relative comfort – from an armchair if you have a digital camera / camcorder attached to your telescope and wired to your PC.  Any good camera shop will be able to advise and supply you with the equipment you need.

A pitched roof with a good number of Velux windows – say three each side – will give you generous, if not panoramic viewing opportunities and a good, steep angle of view.  Late night viewing (when street lighting is switched off) is the best time to survey the sky without visual pollution.  For upcoming astronomical events, follow this link: http://www.seasky.org/astronomy/astronomy-calendar-2016.html

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