Monthly Archives: June 2015

Get on board

Open plan apartment - © Bill Kingston/GAP Interiors

Open plan apartment – © Bill Kingston/GAP Interiors

If you’ve got a modern-built home, then chances are its original (probably pine or particleboard) floorboards will be nothing to write home about, and are best topped with another floorcovering – but if your home is period, then you might discover beautiful boards lurking under the carpets.

You might be lucky enough to uncover boards in good original condition, which means a good clean and maybe a fresh coat of wax might be all that’s needed to restore them to their former glory – and if the distressed look is a good fit with your décor, then even patchy paint and worn areas can add to, rather than detract from, the charm of the space.

But often a little more DIY is called for. First replace any damaged boards – it’s usually easy to track down suitable reclaimed examples at a salvage yard – and fill in any gaps between them to prevent draughts. If these gaps are wide, use a strip of wood covered in wood glue, but if they’re very narrow then papier mache (with wood dye added to match the floor) is a more practical choice. Then, using a drum sander (starting with coarse and ending up with fine sandpaper), you can strip off any surface damage or finish, and reveal the wood grain.

After the surface has been sanded smooth, applying a coat of oil, wax or varnish will revive the beauty of the timber (and remember, imperfection is part of the appeal of such an original floor). Alternatively, painted boards make for a more uniform appearance, which can work with either a classic or contemporary look, plus it’s a good option if you find some modern replacement boards have been used to make repairs in the past.

For more inspirational shots of rooms with exposed floorboards underfoot, simply visit our stunning collection of images.

Lofty ambitions

Whether it’s an original attic room or a more recent loft conversion, creating liveable rooms under the eaves takes just a little more thinking through when it comes to layout and storage, mainly because of the restricted headroom. But that’s not to say that the finished space has to be any kind of compromise – just take a look at these great examples of bedrooms and bathrooms situated up at the top of the house:

Modern bedroom - © Jake Fitzjones/GAP Interiors

Modern bedroom – © Jake Fitzjones/GAP Interiors

Lay low
Not just a way to make sure you don’t bump your head on the sloping ceiling when getting in and out of it, choosing a low bed also has the benefit of keeping the look sleek and minimalist (as will keeping the colour scheme white on white).

Modern bathroom - © Colin Poole/GAP Interiors

Modern bathroom – © Colin Poole/GAP Interiors

Know no bounds
Forget trying to squeeze a shower enclosure in under the eaves, and opt for a minimalist wet room to make the most of a loft en-suite – they can be fitted into the smallest of spaces, and they’re not just practical in this way, but they’re easy to clean too.

Galls balustrades in loft conversion - © Ingrid Rasmussen/GAP Interiors

Galls balustrades in loft conversion – © Ingrid Rasmussen/GAP Interiors

Glass act
When it comes to loft conversions, the access can have a big impact on the aesthetics of a space – here frameless glass balustrades have been used to make sure that regulations and safety requirements are met, without the room being dominated by chunky woodwork.

Modern bedroom in loft - © Ingrid Rasmussen /GAP Interiors

Modern bedroom in loft – © Ingrid Rasmussen /GAP Interiors

Central station
In attic and loft rooms it’s usual for the bed to be positioned so that it’s got the apex of the roof directly above it – which means seeking out low storage furniture for the areas under the eaves, especially if the headroom is particularly restricted.

Modern bathroom on mezzanine - © Bruce Hemming/GAP Interiors

Modern bathroom on mezzanine – © Bruce Hemming/GAP Interiors

Walk tall
It’s best to make sure that you position furniture such that your usual route (or routes) across the room benefit from the least restricted ceiling height. Here an additional benefit of placing the bath close to the eaves is that the bather can enjoy the view from the roof window.

Modern bedroom in converted loft space - © Lizzie Orme/GAP Interiors

Modern bedroom in converted loft space – © Lizzie Orme/GAP Interiors

Fit the bill
There’s no better way to make sure you’re maximising an awkward room’s potential than by having bespoke fitted storage installed – these cupboards, and a chest of drawers built into the eaves, make the best use of space while keeping the look streamlined.

For a plethora of inspirational attic room pictures, simply visit our extensive image collection.

Soft options

An instant and inexpensive update to a room, cushions are an easy way to inject colour and pattern into a scheme – but given the huge range of options available, how do you pick the right ones? Let our 8 top tips help:

  • Contrast is good. Don’t select cushions that blend into the background, choose a colour, texture or pattern that makes them stand out.
  • Pick out a colour from artwork or accessories. Echoing a shade from elsewhere in the room will help tie the decorative scheme together.
  • Mix patterns and plains. You can of course put different patterns together, but make sure the scale of the print differs so the effect isn’t chaotic, and a common thread in colour helps too.
  • Vary the size and shape. Round, oblong and bolster cushions will add visual interest.
  • Don’t go overboard. A few large cushions look better than lots of small ones, and remember too many cushions results in the opposite of comfort…
  • Get the number right. As a general rule of thumb, traditional décor benefits from an even number of cushions, while an odd number is more contemporary-looking.
  • Consider proportion. A tiny cushion will look lost on a big sofa, while a huge example will make a compact seat cramped and uncomfortable.
  • Ring the changes. You might like to pick brighter colours and lighter textures for spring and summer, changing to earthy tones and cosier textures for the autumn and winter months.

For more examples of how cushions can be used to add some va-va-voom to any room, check out our inspirational image collection.