Loft conversion case study

It is possible to get a lot of character out of a room incorporated into a loft space, because of the different angles and materials you have to work with. For example, at least one of the sides will be sloping. While it is conventional to obscure this, turning the angle where the roof meets the floor into cupboard space, it can just as easily be left open to create a distinctively-shaped room, unique in comparison with others in the house. Similarly, instead of being covered up by a wall, roof beams can be left exposed and emphasized, to become idiosyncratic features of the room, fulfilling both an aesthetic and structural function.

A new double Juliet balcony
A double Juliet balcony with French doors

At this house along Rathmore Road in Cambridge, we created a customised dormer, with leaning walls at the front and sides, and a double set of French doors fronted by a Juliet balcony.

A full-length door reaching all the way to the floor can look more attractive in a loft room than a regular window, and lets in more light. In the summertime, the doors can be fully opened up to allow maximum circulation of air.

A Juliet balcony is not one that you walk onto and does not protrude from the building. It consists simply of a balustrade affixed to the front outside wall of the dormer. In this case, as can be seen, the balustrade runs uninterrupted across both sets of French doors.

Dormer with Juliet balcony
Dormer with Juliet balcony

We made the front and side walls of this particular dormer slightly sloping, in order to lessen the impression of a box sticking out of the roof. This way, it blends in more effectively with the existing building.

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