Lofty Life or Basement Boho


It’s a good time of the year to be thinking about home improvements and interior design.

As the summer gives over to autumn, our thoughts naturally turn to how we can make the inside of our homes more decorative, comfortable, and perhaps more spatial. A loft or basement conversion is a good route and investment to acquire more space. It’s a great way to reach more capacity, enabling you to welcome more quests or housing for those extra hobbies or pastimes. Gym, craft room or even an office, which would you consider, and what are the implications and processes?


Candid psychology. People who enjoy basement living tend to lean towards the unconventional, not opposed to hunkering down, whether focusing on work or chilling with friends. Basement folk don’t mind losing time and are bold individuals. Basements are perfect to house a hobby, a getaway or even a gym. Loft Life is for creatives, writers, innovators, dreamers, or people who want to sleep! Whatever your activity, positioning yourself at the top of the house feels commanding and of the moment. In contrast, when sleeping, feel INTERIOR & DESIGN WORDS TRACEY ANDREWS Tracey Andrews Interiors I Lofty Life or Basement Boho Image attribute: Huy Nguyen 17 extra relaxed and away from the hustle and bustle of the daily rhythm of the house. A Loft room is excellent for bedrooms or the getaway office. The nitty gritty: The ‘highs’ and ‘lows of the best new room investment.


THE HIGHS. Great views with lots of light and essential for your body clock, mood balancing and well-being. Whether adding a dormer, light well, Velux or even roof terrace, there is enormous potential for bringing in light. Planning permission is only sometimes needed in construction, and a party wall agreement is required. Often lofts take up to three months from start to finish and are relatively affordable, from 15k - 30k plus, depending on size and layout. Always check with your architect or local planning department before embarking. On a future-proofing aspect, a loft room can add 25% to the value of your home. Loft spaces are a perfect environment to inspire, motivate, or relax..'

THE LOWS. There aren’t many lows, but be prepared to understand that ordinary furniture will generally not fit, so some costs may incur with adding bespoke furniture and some creativity to overcome this. It may be worth evaluating whether the initial expense is worth the effort, mainly if the attic is small and with the potential outcome for limited standing height..

INTERIOR DESIGN. Forget the conundrum of how to decorate the fifth wall (the ceiling) in interior design; we only mostly have three in a loft conversion, and two of these are roof slopes. Keep the palette simple with neutral colours unless your conversion covers a large area with dividing walls. You can create cosiness with natural textures and earthy tones. Balance the light with blackout blinds if needed, and frame a window with curtains to bring personality and warmth. If wall space is limited in loft rooms, create backdrops with furnishings such as decorative headboards of small pieces of art to bring in colour and highlight with a statement wall bold hue. Often, bedrooms yearn to have an ensuite; use this opportunity to be brave, introduce colour in tiles, and bring ultimate luxury if you have the space, a freestanding bathtub as a feature and statement. Finally, utilise the eave space with bespoke storage.


THE HIGHS. Traditional residences command layering and decoration. Modern settings require electrical blinds and practical coverings.

THE LOWS. It costs more to plan, more to build with planning permission required and many more constructional issues to consider. Neighbourly and local conflicts can add to the stress before you begin the process. There is dampness and waterproofing, and the construction time can take much longer. Lack of light can be an issue unless you are lucky enough to create open access at the back of the property. Whether it exists or needs to be excavated, there are additional weigh-ups to consider.

INTERIOR DESIGN. Basement rooms need the same interior design techniques as those created above the subterranean level, but you must provide additional light sources. Sometimes ceilings are low, so clever lighting is paramount. Use floor and table lamps to create light pools and highlight architectural features. Divide the space sensibly, and good space planning is essential.


Having the choice isn’t always the choice. Of course, there are always implications for costs. Generally, the basement-overloft conversion will be more costly as planning permission is 100% required, and many more structural considerations must be considered. You can use available space in your loft rather than owning a basement! Digging down to excavate an existing or no existing basement is an endeavour that will make or break the basement idea and journey.

CONSTRUCTION. Loft over a basement. Loft comes up likely with up to 3 months build, realistically and up to 6 months or more for a basement.

DECORATIVELY SPEAKING. It’s a blank canvas. On the initial upside of decoration with either loft or basement living, there is less to consider with a loft conversion, making life easier and giving the perfect foundation for showcasing your style. Happy choosing, see you next quarter!