An Attic Suite

An Attic Suite in an 1893 house

It was decided to develop the attic of this 1893 house into a Bed & Breakfast suite.

The house was designated Heritage, and required sensitive design and no exterior alterations that were visible from the street. Therefore the few windows in the space had to be used to their maximum potential, and creative solutions found to maximize light in the suite itself. Although the house dated from 1893, there were small alterations on the main floor from c1912, and so that date was taken as the style for the new work in the attic, which was based on Arts & Crafts design principles.

The attic space was extremely restricted, so to get the maximum space required designing by millimetres, in order to fit a bedroom, sitting area, table and chairs, as well as a bathroom and a closet. Bookcases and a television were tucked under eaves, and the bed and window seat were designed so that they visually ‘floated’ off the floor. The headboard of the bed was built into the wall, with tiny bed-side tables fitted between the studs of the wall on each side of the bed.

Light was important in the suite. To obtain more light into the space, and without altering the exterior of the house when viewed from either the street or the back garden, a section of flat roof at the rear of the house was lifted by two feet, allowing additional head room in the stairway where a beam had been previously at a too-low level, as well as the installation of a series of stained glass and clear windows, which flooded the stairway with light. This natural light in the stairway was borrowed to illuminate both the suite and bathroom through more stained glass and clear windows. Another stained glass window was installed above the headboard of the bed, borrowing yet more light from the bathroom.

This project was featured in Old House Interiors magazine as well as Select Homes magazine.