Finding a solution to an unexpected problem can often be the catalyst for a successful design, as Melissa and Andrew Fullerton discovered when they decided to convert the loft in their London home. ‘We originally planned to have two bedrooms and a bathroom in this space, but were advised by our builder, Plus Rooms, that this was unrealistic,’ explains Melissa. ‘It forced us to rethink the potential layout.’
Following several discussions with the design team, the couple decided to shelve their plan for two bedrooms and opted for a luxurious master suite instead. Having already transformed the rest of their house during substantial renovation when they first moved in three years previously, Melissa and Andrew were keen to replicate the modern look of their kitchen extension, which features lots of contemporary glazing. ‘There’s an amazing view over London from the loft, so it made sense to make the most of it,’ says Melissa. ‘We both love the idea of having a picture window in the bathroom – basically, we wanted an en suite with a view.’
Designed under permitted development rights, the couple didn’t need to apply for planning permission. They have created an L-shape space with a master bedroom, dressing room and a seating area by a floor-to-ceiling window, with steps leading down to a large en suite with a walk-in shower and freestanding bath. ‘The structural design and glazing has really enhanced the wow factor, which is the view of the city,’ says James Bernard of Plus Rooms. ‘The open-plan layout means there’s a great balance of light from the front and back.’
The Fullertons continued living in the property throughout the build, meaning they were on hand for key stages of the project. Melissa was pleased to be on site on the day the large, freestanding stone bath was hoisted into the loft by crane through an upper window, which was the only way to get it up there. ‘We all watched nervously as the bath was lifted off the ground,’ she recalls. ‘It was a nail-biting moment, but very exciting, too. And then they had to do the same thing later in the afternoon with a huge pane of glass.’
With the conversion completed in around three months, the couple then hired a bathroom company to fit out the en suite, and a wardrobe specialist was brought in to design the dressing room, using every centimetre of space to maximise storage potential. ‘Even though our creation is completely different to what we originally set out to achieve, it’s worked out perfectly for us,’ says Melissa. ‘We now have this luxurious suite tucked away at the top of our house. I even eat my breakfast up here with my daughter, Maya, as we love to sit at the table and enjoy the amazing sights of London.