So whilst we both love styling and photographing food, Michael’s huge passion is renovation and pretty much carving out rooms, kitchens and storage out of the tiniest of spaces. He totally transformed our 1 bedroom flat with shower room, into a 2 bed flat with bathroom – I will share this with you soon, I haven’t before due to the all the problems we have had trying to sell it.
This place is our temporary home until we can eventually find a house but it had been rented out for many years and it was in an incredibly sorry state. The bathroom and kitchen in particular, well lets say you’d probably neither wish to bathe nor cook in either… so whilst I was busy with photographing, pregnancy and Eden, Michael had free reign to transform this place into somewhere we, as a new family of four, could live and work for a bit.
The flat is the lower ground half of a converted double fronted, Victorian house, we have one side from the large light bay window to the back of the house which over looks the huge garden, which unfortunately belongs to another flat. Initially there was the light, bright front room. The kitchen and bathroom shared a kind of box, square shape, both tiny, the kitchen couldn’t even fit in a freezer there was a little counter top freezer but it left pretty much no work surface and nor was there much storage. The bathroom too was very small and it was difficult to navigate getting in and also closing the door! (Kind of necessary when using a bathroom). Along from them was bedroom 2, a small box room, and then the main bedroom which had built in storage, large windows and that garden view.
Here are some before pictures which I apologise are horrid, taken at night with my iphone!
What we both really disliked was the kitchen / bathroom situation. I couldn’t really see a way forward but Michael did, he proposed losing the corridor and empty space that led into the kitchen and pushing the living room wall back (which was a stud wall anyway). That gave us space to then put a kitchen within the front room, along the new wall, without losing any of the actual living room space. He also cleverly (I don’t know how!) managed to squeeze in an integrated dishwasher, a proper fridge / freezer as well as utilitising the high ceilings having a lot more storage (yes you do need a ladder to reach the top shelves but in such a small flat, every little bit of storage is invaluable!).
We are normally quite into our whites and neutrals (our own flat was pretty much white, aside from the bathroom) – so when Michael suggested having a grey kitchen and front room I was a little skeptical, thinking that it would make a small space feel even smaller. However, I trusted him to make it good and he went for this colour scheme which I adore. The kitchen is from Ikea, as is the matching grey unit that fits in the alcove (this will eventually house the TV, books etc. The charcoal chandelier is from BHS (brought over from our flat). Michael made the table, the legs were from Kempton Antiques Market, which he painted and the top is actually an office table top but the grey matches perfectly, that is also from Ikea
There was some original coving, but to add some dimension, Michael cheated a little and used a textured wall paper to create a border of coving around the top of the wall which gives a visual break to the grey and I didn’t even realise it was wall paper when I saw it. I think it gives the room a little more elegance which you want from a period property.
He bought the babies a pink (Tolix) and blue (similar style) chair and we are still waiting for ours and in reality there will be an Ikea high chair heading up the table 🙂
The sofa was left behind, you can see it in the before pictures but after 8 years of wear it’s in a very sorry state, we may upholster but for now we’ve tried to clean it and cover it up with as many throws and cushions as possible!
The brown shutter blinds (complete with 8 years of dust!) were removed and white blinds (again Ikea) put up – this room gets so much light it really is lovely – but the property is on a main road so you do need some privacy.
Aside from the kitchen/bathroom – the flat was carpeted, this was all removed, the original floor boards sanded, broken boards replaced and then just varnished with a clear varnish. This just seemed to give the whole flat a complete look.
This now meant the there was space for the bathroom to run front to back, rather than sideways, essentially you could get in and shut the door!
We love metro tiles and had lots left over from our previous bathroom, so went with a very similar style and look as we had before. The wall hung toilet gives a little more space and behind the door is a heated towel rail. It’s tiny but it has all you need and it’s clean!!
The cupboard above the toilet houses the boiler and just before you enter the bathroom there is a little ‘hallway’ which Michael has managed to crowbar in the washing machine and storage above.
The two bedrooms, bedroom 2 not photographed as it was filled with washing and ‘stuff’ and also is just a square white box, will be Eden’s room.
The main bedroom, will house the office, baby Haven and as much stuff as we can fit into the built in cupboards. This room just had a fresh coat of paint, the floors sanded and our mirror from our flat hung up opposite the windows. Again we opted for blinds, from Ikea, white day time blinds as the garden is not ours, and black out blinds pull down over the top for the night.
yes we need to move the Thomas train set and get the furniture in 😉
So what do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts, views etc. I know it all looks very lovely with no furniture, toys, clothes etc. We will probably do a reality post when there’s 4 of us here, laundry and work! Until then I’ll enjoy the peace and calm of the transformation.