A Shabby Attic Becomes a Chic, Cathedral-Style Living Space

A Shabby Attic Becomes a Chic, Cathedral-Style Living Space

By Lucy Wang
Inspired by Parisian lofts, local architects create a dramatic living space for a young couple in London.

After Mandy and Ivan acquired the attic above their top-floor flat in London, the duo made the unusual choice of pursuing a loft conversion rather than turning the extra space into a traditional two-story apartment. Enlisting the services of local architecture firm JaK Studio, the young couple have dramatically transformed their home with the addition of a riveting, cathedral-style living space. 

The interior boasts an industrial aesthetic achieved by the exposed brick wall, concrete surfaces, and copper finishes.

"Clients normally approach us to extend their roof space to squeeze in extra kids' bedrooms, but Mandy and Ivan are not your average clients," explains William Deleporte, a project architect at JaK Studio.

"Being myself from Paris, we drew reference to the classic artist lofts of the city. Using this as inspiration, we created some ideas for them and they were drawn to a dramatic vertical space straight away," he adds. "It’s not something you tend to see in London, as most people go for the increased floor space over height."

Sola Kitchens designed Mandy and Ivan’s luxurious kitchen, which features a brass-fronted island, a vintage oak worktop, and stained oak cabinetry.

The architects installed Luxal aluminum glazing, which allows the interior space to be flooded with natural light. In addition, the floor-to-ceiling windows are perfectly positioned to frame the breathtaking views over North London and Alexandra Palace.

Since Mandy and Ivan live in a large detached Victorian property, the process of gaining approval from the planning department for such a radical renovation proved to be quite a challenge. 

Yet, close collaboration with the planning officer, along with a sensitive design approach, has mitigated concerns regarding the project’s impact on the period building’s external appearance. 

Exposed brick is used in the interior as a continuation of the building’s brickwork.

Sculptural timber-paddle stairs lead up to the mezzanine bedroom.

A Buster and Punch pendant light hangs in the bedroom.

Domus tiles line the bathroom floor.

Operable Luxal glazing opens up to a small terrace.

The concrete fireplace draws attention to the sloped ceiling, as well as to the unique lighting feature above.

Stainless steel shelving and appliances tie the kitchen into the home's chic, minimalist style.

In total, the 1,530-square-foot loft conversion cost approximately £300,000 ($398,000.)

Here is the lower-level floor plan.

Here is the floor plan for the upper mezzanine.

A look at an elevation of the renovated building.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: JaK Studio / Jacob Low

Builder/General Contractor: Joakim O'Connor

Structural Engineer: CAR Ltd / Tyrone Bowen

Kitchen Subcontractor: Sola Kitchens

Decorative Artist: John Harragan

Stay Here in London


Get the Renovations Newsletter

From warehouse conversions to rehabbed midcentury gems, to expert advice and budget breakdowns, the renovation newsletter serves up the inspiration you need to tackle your next project.