Coveted conversion

Unfortunately when we bought our property Timbertops, we neither had a garage nor a properly converted garage space. We had a sunken room without adequate power, poor insulation, surface electrical plastic trunking, exposed piping, a soil stack, no skirtings or even a door. Dismal. Yet we ended up using it as our main living room as it is on the closest floor level to the dining room and kitchen. This room has been the most challenging so far, yet the most rewarding.

First the window had to be raised by 500mm. Then the floor. New chased electrics including our surround sound speakers, 2 amp sockets for our lamps and plenty of power sockets. Walls were insulated and skimmed. Then decorated with my favourite grey white ‘Strong White’ from Farrow & Ball. An engineered oak floor was then installed, rustic oiled oak with a matt UV oil. Then new skirtings. And finally, the most coveted thing on our wish list, the log burner.

Now this is a pleasurable space to spend time in. It warrents spending our time in here watching a good film, or Sundays mornings with the papers on the sofa, friends round for afternoon tea and drinks, as well as lazy evenings in-front of the fire. This room has now become the hub of the home. And I love it.


When converting a space it really does pay to get the job done properly to maximise it’s potential. There is little to gain from a poor or half hearted job. If a partially converted garage is cold due to inadequate insulation and heating, it’ll be miserable to spend time in during the winter. If a loft is partially converted to avoid planning permission, it won’t add the same value to the house. Seek professional advise and speak to some estate agents. It doesn’t mean having to blow the budget, but it may mean some targeted spending.

great find

Hmm. So many good finds have made up this particular room. The UV oiled wide board engineered pale oak is low maintenance, durable, warm and has character (Havwoods) and the log burner is simply beautiful (Morso). But the real find? Probably this cable slot! Not particularly exciting, but when chased cables need to be presented in a built in cupboard, sideboard or for a wall hung TV, this does it very neatly. And good design is all in the detail!

By Louise Putman

I'm Louise, founder of architectural interior and spatial design consultancy, REcreate.

I’m a fully qualified architectural interior designer, with a BA(Hons) degree in Interior Architecture and Furniture.

I combine my architectural knowledge with interior design expertise and project management to design or renovate internal spaces.