Staircase Understairs. Tuesday , October 23rd , 2018 - 03:20:37 AM
'Ninety per cent of new staircases are constructed to create access to a loft conversion,' says Mark Dyson. 'The pitch of the roof can make constructing a flight difficult and, if this is the case, alternate-tread stairs can be the answer. These have one tread for the left foot and another for the right, and mean the angle of the stairs can be tighter, increased from 42 to 65 degrees.' Consider who will need to use them, as they are trickier to negotiate than standard stairs. It can also be hard to move furniture up and down them.
However you decide to use the space, aim to unify it with the surrounding decor by painting it in the same colors or papering it in similar wallpaper. Continue the existing floor covering, if possible, or keep closely to its tone and style, even if you are using the space for storage. That way the newly converted area looks a planned part of your home, rather than an afterthought.
'Built-in bathroom cabinets don't need to be any more than 4in deep,' says architect Mark Dyson. 'It's possible to dismantle a stud wall and replace it with structural MDF carcases to create storage without devouring precious floor space.' 'Lift units off the floor,' says Guy Morgan Harris. 'A room looks bigger if you can see the whole floor up to the walls.' 'Mirrors can be used to great effect, but too much can look kitsch,' says Mark Dyson. 'An L-shaped mirror [that goes round a corner] can quadruple the feeling of volume.' Boxed-in cisterns provide the opportunity to create extra storage, and why not reclaim the area under a built-in bath with bespoke drawers for towels or bath toys? 'We installed a raised walk-in shower where the floor lifts up to reveal a bath,' says architect Paul McAneary. 'It also turns into a steam cabin, so it's multifunctional and compact.'
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