From family life and daily living to home working and hobbies, our homes have never been used in so many different ways!
Whether you’re considering organising a creative space in your home for profit or pleasure (or even a bit of both), appointing an area of your home as a creative space maximises the time you can spend on your activity; after all, there’s no travelling to it, no having to set things up and put away again – one of the more frustrating aspects of trying to get the creative juices flowing at the kitchen table! Work-in-progress can finally be left up or out for consideration and privacy can be gained without being disturbed or disturbing others. It’s no wonder that loft conversions are becoming creative, but what do you need to consider and how might you use that space?
Creative considerations – light and space
Achieving the right lighting and a good space to work in are the primary considerations when organising a loft conversion for creative use. It helps to think carefully about:
- Types of windows: windows are the one feature of a loft room which can maximise both light and space requirements, particularly important for arts-based hobbies. If headroom is low, then a dormer window may be best, whilst if there’s a gable end wall, both light and extra space can be maximised with a full-length window and balcony.
- The position of windows: at the design stage, it’s worth spending extra time considering the position of the windows in the context of how a room will be used, for example, access to views for photography, nature watching or inspirational thinking to get creative juices flowing can depend on where the windows are positioned.
- The height of the windows: it’s not just where windows are positioned in the roof or gable walls that’s important, it’s also important to consider the proposed use of the room when deciding how high or low the windows should be positioned. For instance, low windows may offer limited views which would be no good to a photographer, but would be ideal for practising yoga as views and natural light can be appreciated even during mat-based exercises.
- Opening / aperture of windows: how a window may open can also influence getting the best use of the space. Gable end windows with a balcony can make hobbies more productive with access to outside space to enjoy views, whilst balcony windows or top hanging roof lights can open adding headroom and access to fresh air as needed.
But beyond windows working the space means considering all aspects of how the room will be used, so think too about:
- Weight: the design stage is the right time to weigh in with ideas about how the space will be used and consider this. If the room is to be used as a gym, or for a hobby which can lead to collections, such as the purchase of musical instruments, or a storage point for a collection-based hobby, then the floor (and ceiling of the room below) will need to be particularly robust.
- Utilities and amenities: all aspects which make the conversion fit for creative purposes, such as access to a sink or suitable lighting for a painting or art studio need to be considered so that utilities can be incorporated into the conversion design.
Considering the context of creative conversions
The idea of a creative space is certainly inspiring, but check out our checklists to see what else you may need to consider in the context of some very specific creative space loft conversions…
- Art studio
- Headroom to save stooping.
- Access to running water as required.
- Room for storage of equipment and materials.
- Careful thought to windows and light.
- Space for a couch for sittings or other equipment, such as lighting equipment for photography.
- Yoga studio
- The position of windows and types of opening.
- Heating and / or air conditioning so that temperature can be controlled.
- Ample headroom for standing postures.
- Well finished floor in an appropriate material to accommodate floor-based exercises and to ensure no slipping of exercise mats.
- Ability to create an ambience – yoga can be used to energise and invigorate or relax and de-stress so being able to create variations of ambience can be important.
- Creating a home gym can mean similar considerations as a yoga studio, with perhaps additional thought to load-bearing and floor as some home-gym equipment can be weighty. For example, a cross-trainer can weigh around 76kg, even before the rigour of a person using it. Windows are additionally important as floor to ceiling windows can add a view to encourage a sense of exercising outside, complete with breeze and views as required, adding to the feel-good Endorphins rush commonly experienced with training runs.
- Games and music room
- Insulation, including sound-proofing insulation as required particularly to floor and party walls so as not to disturb others, particularly if there will be excessive footfall or noise.
- Ample headroom for moving around – particularly if a pool table is involved!
- Plenty of power points and any other utilities, such as a sink.
- Hobby or craft room
- Plenty of electrics.
- Adequate storage – consider custom storage solutions such as tiny drawers for crafting, haberdashery drawers and shelving.
- Ample headroom for dressmaker’s dummy and free movement without accidents.
- Spot lighting to specific areas.
- Library and writing room
- Good lighting, including spot lighting.
- Window position to allow plenty of natural light (to keep electricity bills low), including small windows in eaves spaces.
- Built in shelving including use eaves for built-in storage for filing and books.
- Home office
- Plenty of electrics.
- Access to utilities such as sink / water and broadband, to facilitate convenience and independence from the rest of the house, as required.
- Spot lighting to specific areas.
Finally, think creatively outside the space itself to ensure the stairway also fits the proposed use of the room by considering at the design stage what you will need to have up in your creative space. For example, shelving for a home office, library or writing room could be built-in at construction stage so that these will not impact on the stairway. Do, take expert advice where needed, particularly about the stairway so that whatever objects are going up and down, from large canvases for art or heavy instruments for music, and whoever is using it, whether it’s clients visiting your home office or your children enjoying being involved in your hobby, the stairway is also safe and practical, so that your creative space can fulfil its potential.