A lofty renovation

In a clever loft renovation on Auckland's North Shore, the small roof space above a double garage has been transformed into very liveable guest quarters.

spacious loft

ARTICLE Katie Newton, PHOTOGRAPHY Matthew Williams
Karin Montgomery Spath was discussing the design of the interiors for a soon-to-be renovated villa on Auckland’s North Shore, when the owners mentioned they’d also like to turn the space above their garage into guest quarters.
Interior Designer Karin Montgomery Spath

Interior Designer, Karin Montgomery Spath

Measuring just 32 square metres with a pitched roof it was a tiny space, but she was up for the challenge. “With some careful planning we didn’t have to compromise on much,” she says.
It was the first project of its kind for the designer, but as the owners’ lives grew increasingly busy, she was given free reign. “Apart from the request that there be storage, I was left to do whatever I wished,” she says. “The owners only wanted to see the finished result. Luckily they liked it!” she laughs.
spacious loft

Spacious guest quarters

The project took three months and the amount of features Karin, her builder, and her cabinetmaker have squeezed in, is astonishing. There is a sleeping area, double wardrobe, a full bathroom, kitchenette, dining area and even a small sitting area to have a cup of tea and read a book. 
The space was painted in the same pale quarter-tea shade throughout and pale blonde floorboards were laid, giving the space a bright, contemporary feel. This colour scheme also maximises the natural light provided by the existing skylights. As a contrast, the stairwell leading up to the loft was painted charcoal.

Plenty of storage space 

Storage was a priority for the owners and the loft contains an impressive array of cupboards. They line the walls to meet the low roof, and they don’t have handles, giving a clean, seamless look. The television is hidden away behind a cupboard opposite the seating area, guests’ suitcases can be stowed in large cupboards alongside the dining nook, and there’s even a drawer containing a fold out ironing board. 
spacious loft

Room for a cup of tea?

Plates and cups are stored on floating shelves to avoid adding bulky overhead cupboards above the kitchen bench, which also has a small sink and double hob. Karin says the key to maximising the storage potential was to have it all custom built. “I have a genius cabinetmaker who is a perfectionist at getting these things right,” she says. 
loft with a full-size bathroom

Full-size bathroom

The bathroom is one room that wouldn’t be out of place in a full-sized house – it has a generous tiled shower, a basin, toilet, heated towel rail and again, plenty of cupboard space. The low, futon-style bed was chosen so it fitted neatly under the pitched roof, and slender, Scandinavian-style furniture provides comfort without bulk. “With this kind of limited space the key really is to minimise clutter,” says Karin. “A clean, contemporary design seemed the best way to achieve this.”  

You might be interested in reading: Tips when renovating a loft.

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This article by Katie Newton featured on page 62 in Issue 008 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.

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