Hello all, another look at how the Georgian Apartment is coming on this week, with the focus being on the hallway and guest bedroom today.
But before we start looking at the other spaces, a quick update on the open plan kitchen/dining/ living space:
Here’s a pic from a visit a couple of weeks ago of the Quick Step Old Oak Grey flooring going down. This has now been fitted throughout the whole room leading in from the hallway. Having no thresholds or breaks in floor coverings is a great way of achieving a sense of continuity and flows between spaces.
On my last visit the kitchen was very nearly fitted and the new radiators were in!
I had just over a day to design the entire open plan living space so didn’t really have the luxury of time for kitchen research. The timescales of the project are very tight due to the homeowners’ urgency to get moved in (which I think he is doing this BH weekend). For the kitchen I was given the options of either Howdens or Wren, mainly as they could deliver their cabinets within a day or two of ordering… Howdens it was.
I opted for the Clerkenwell Super Matt in Graphite for the base cabinets to tie in with the ceiling and wall cabinets are the Greenwich Light Grey Oak with push openers. The wood effect was to soften and relate to the surrounding outdoor space (a beautiful garden grounds with lots of trees). I didn’t want visible handles, so it felt less like a kitchen and more like furniture in this open plan living space.
I think I’ve convinced my client to fit another run of half height wall cabinets above these. When your ceilings are nearly 4m high, you need to use that height to your advantage. Apartments are renowned for not having enough storage, so additional cabinets here will be perfect for housing bumper packs of kitchen roll and random stuff like paint pots, tools, light bulbs, Christmas decorations and back copies of Readers Digest.
Due to the aforementioned timescale issue, I didn’t see any of the door or carcass finishes in person before the order was placed. The whole kitchen was spec’d based on website images and a few additional images I’d searched online.
Do not try this at home, people!
I would never recommend ordering a kitchen before running your eyes and hands over it. You should ALWAYS try to get your mitts on samples, bring them home so you can see them in the space and not under the artificial light of kitchen showrooms. The wall cabinets are a little lighter than I would have liked them to be, but my client seems happy, so, I guess that’s all that really counts. I’ll keep my opinions to mysel… oh balls….
Original Kitchen Concept – how I envisioned the wall cabinets
With the wall cabinets being lighter than I originally thought, I’m now eyeing up some black tiles to replace the white ones around the splash back. These kind of things happen a lot – there are always slight changes made to any original design concept, because the space throws in curve balls or certain items don’t appear 100% as expected. They’re not problems, they’re just new opportunities to tweak and enhance the original design.
Updated Concept – Black or white? Or A.N Other? What do you think?
When changes occur in one part of the design, it’s important to make small alterations elsewhere in order to compensate and restore the overall balance. Here’s a post I wrote ages ago about balance in design if you’d like a bit more insight as to what I’m rambling on about.
And onto the hallway:
I spoke about this in a previous post, but will remind you on a few things to help jog your memory. Upon my first visit the hallway was really dark, an odd shape, having an unnecessary wall jutting into the space.
A week later the wall was knocked down and the false ceiling ripped out and raised by a metre. Hoorah!
The hallway was never going to be massive but by gaining an extra square metre of floor space and a much grander ceiling height it meant we could have some fun with lighting and colour. You can go to town in small hallway spaces as you rarely spend any time in them – they’re simply spaces to pass through.
Hallway Concept – Paint and Paper Library’s Muga
Dark spaces in the northern hemisphere (eg. where us Brits live) get a lot of blue light coming in through our windows. Paint a room white and it looks blue-y grey. Otherwise known as “dingy”. So to counteract the low light, I’ve gone for a deep toned yellow which should eliminate any hint of blue tones. It will be a welcoming colour to come home to; feeling rich and sunny in the summer months and warm and cosy in the winter months. The front door painted in Paint and Paper Library’s Perse Grey ties in with the dark grey ceiling in the main living space directly opposite.
Nordlux Manhattan Pendants from Lampsy
There are two new picture lights which will obviously highlight selected pieces of artwork whilst providing background light for general meandering between rooms.
Flooring down and new skirting and architraves fitted – Yay!
Hopefully next time I visit, the painting will have been done and this hallway space will start to really come together. Am looking forward to seeing it.
Onto the guest bedroom:
This is how it looked on my first visit. It’s a long and narrow space with difficult proportions for a bedroom. Originally the bed was along the left hand wall, but as the room is only 2.4m wide and a bed is about 2m long, it meant you had to wiggle past the foot of the bed to get to the other side. So I moved this delightful divan to see how it looked placed underneath the window. We both agreed, although not ideal, it was the best of the possible layouts.
Now because of the condition of this room and the loss of original mouldings, trims and details I decided to use this as a starting point for the bedroom design. Which admittedly is a bit bonkers.
Room stripped, electrics done, walls plastered and primed ready for its new colour
Guest Bedroom Concept
So yeah, like I said, it’s a bit bonkers. The back of the entire room is colour blocked in Little Greene Deep Space Blue, against Paint and Paper Library’s Masque (the wall colour in the living space). There will be full length and width linen curtains hung across the back wall:
- To make the window appear bigger
- To make the room appear wider
- To cover the nasty vents either side of the window.
Furniture wise there will be a simple blue upholstered bed and blue bedside tables (or floating shelves – tbc). To echo the lighting that hangs over the dining table in the living space, I’ve added bespoke plug-in lights with 6m of flex that will hang down from the ceiling, either side of the bed. The cheeky pop of red cable highlights just how tall these ceilings are – because now it’s painted, you can’t see the edges of the room at all.
The ceiling pendant is a simple 50cm diameter Orb to echo the two opal bulbs that will hang as bedside lights. I do love a bit of motif repetition (lingo from my contemporary dance training days).
Most of the old (not original) trim was removed as sections were missing or stopped in weird places… it was rather odd.
Carpet down, new skirting boards, new heating and no weird trim
The opposite side of this room will eventually have fitted wardrobes built around the entrance door, hopefully with a ladder to access additional boxed storage and luggage above.
Guest Bedroom Concept
The missing sections of picture rail are still to be fitted – fear not.
Quote from someone after seeing the blue walls and ceiling for the first time:
“The blue in the bedroom is like being on acid, but I think it’s great”
I was obviously slightly concerned that nobody would ever sleep in here if it was that mental, but I think once the back wall is softened by the blue linen curtains with the bed in front layered with white bedding, it’ll be a less intense, more liveable kind of bonkers. Less like being on Class A’s and more like having one too many shots in your espresso.
I’m not project managing this renovation, I’m acting more as a consultant, offering designs and solutions for the client to implement themselves. Some people don’t feel they need me on board for the whole project – which of course is completely their call, because ya know, we don’t work for free. But it’s hard to explain the value in what we do by being on site, making sure every tiny detail is noted and in place. Each time I’ve visited it’s been an intense two hours of solving problems (some of which could have been avoided) and making the next set of decisions in the most creative way possible, all whilst keeping the original concept in mind. So this one is a bit of a nail biter for me, as I’ve not been given the time or opportunity to test or check anything in the spaces before they’ve been bought and painted, fitted or fixed. No testers, no samples, no hours of deliberation, my initial concept has been the concept. Which really does put my bat-shit crazy ideas to the test. I really hope it all pays off!
Right – I’m off to get an ice lolly as it’s frickin boiling. Happy Bank Holiday!!