From ensuite to dormer loft conversion ideas, we show you how to increase space and light with these nifty design tricks.

Bedroom loft conversion with en suite

Image: Mulroy Architects

Whether it’s used as a master suite, a child’s bedroom, an office or hobby space, a room in the roof makes good sense. As long as there’s adequate headroom, it opens up a world of options – and many projects can be done without planning permission. 

Take heed of these clever loft conversion ideas designed to maximise space and natural light in your home. 

Combat awkward attic spaces with custom storage and a mezzanine

L-shaped loft conversion bedroom with split levels for bed and dressing room area separated by stairs

Image: Rees Architects

Clever design can make the most of sometimes awkward attic spaces. ‘Odd-shaped rooms with low ceilings are a challenge,’ says Charles Bettes, managing director of architects Gpad London. ‘If changing the shape is not an option, make sure any furniture is low level and more compact, and square off rooms with custom storage.’ Design the layout around what’s critical to have at full head height, such as a shower, and put desks and dressing tables in the lower areas.

If you have plenty of height to work with, your loft conversion would benefit from a mezzanine level. The extra floor space will allow you to create a spacious bedroom and dressing room area.    

Build a new flight of stairs over an existing staircase 

Indoor glass staircase leading into loft conversion - your architects - conversions -

Image: Your Architect

A head height of around 2.2m at the highest point, and a roof pitch of more than 30 degrees, will make a loft conversion feasible. The placement of the staircase is another make-or-break factor – if the new flight can go over the existing one, that’s great, but if not you’ll be eating into the floor space below.

Compromising floor space can be avoided by choosing a narrower and steeper staircases, or for even more space-efficiency, opt for a spiral staircase. 

Choose a rooflight loft conversion

Loft conversion bedroom with large roof light

Image: Your Architect

The simplest configuration is to leave the roof as it is and insert rooflights, while a dormer (especially a full-width one) will feel less claustrophobic, give you more floor space and open up views. Other formats
include mansard roofs (with a shallow slope to the rear and a section of flat roof), which feel even more generous internally. If you have a hipped roof (with a sloping side, as well as slopes on the front and back, such as an end of terrace), the hip can be converted to an upright gable, adding even more space.

‘Use the converting of the loft as an opportunity to bring light into the centre of your home,’ adds Bettes. This is a key trend: by installing a large rooflight over the stairs to the floors below, it can transform the way light flows around the house, especially if there is some transparency in the design or the materials, such as glass floors or open treads.

Maximise your roof space with a dormer loft en-suite

En suite loft conversion

Image: Mulroy Architects

Instead of trying to squeeze guests into a limited number of spare rooms, why not convert your roof space into a cosy en-suite? Dormer lofts are perfect for incorporating a bedroom and bathroom, even if they tend to be a little on the small side.   

If you have sloping roof skylights, dormer windows can be fitted to ensure the bathroom gets sufficient light and air.  

Words: Emily Brooks and Gemma Parkes 


Have you converted your loft into a bedroom, bathroom or en suite? Tweet us @granddesignsmag or post a comment on our Facebook page



Loft conversion ideas from real homes

Converting a unique building into a stylish home

10 inspiring conversions of non residential properties

Kevins Column

Grand Designs Live Online: Self Build & Renovation Weekend 31 July – 1 August 2021

Discover free home project advice and product recommendations from the comfort of your own home. Register now to express your interest.

Barn conversions: 9 of the best contemporary rural homes

Barn conversions provide a generously-spaced shell for converting into a rural family home. Explore these 9 projects in more detail.

A converted Portuguese winery with a unique red façade

This sensitive restoration is at once both modern and inextricably linked to the history of the building.

Converting a garage: what you need to know

Choosing to convert your garage could be a great way of extending your current living space. Here are a few things to consider before taking...

Inside a former Victorian school cookery given a new hotel-luxe style

Take a tour of this former cooking and laundry school turned contemporary apartment in Clerkenwell, London.

How to create a home fit for a multigenerational family

Whether for adult children or elderly relatives, multigenerational living is a growing trend that can be improved in practice by good design.

Loft conversions with the wow-factor

Loft conversions can add space, light and balance to a home. Here are some of 2019’s best, all with real wow-factor.