Turning Squeeze from a studio into a one bedroomed apartment had an inevitable consequence – what was once the living room / bedroom had to become the living room / kitchen. Some people love these combined cooking and living areas and some people hate them, but in small spaces, needs must. One of my pet hates in rental flats is crappy kitchens with barely any storage or work surface. I do get that there’s a growing trend for young professionals to eat out/order in, but my feeling is that they certainly can’t afford to do that every night and if lanlords provide a lovely area to cook, they’ll be much more inclined to do so. Can’t always do it of course, if the studios are teeny tiny, but where I can, I do. Looking at this one, I probably could have got away with cheaper 720 high rather than 900 high units but when all the appliances are slotted in – oven, microwave, fridge, washing machine (behind the door to left of drawers)and a decent sized sink, tenants need somewhere for their pasta and wine glasses!
This is a very rough outline of ‘before’ with some scrawled photoshop writing to show you the new layout (yeh yeh, I’ll get onto CAD someday soon!). The main entrance and hallway remained the same, originally the apartment’s single bed was where the new kitchen is marked, the new bed is marked over where the bathroom used to be, and the new shower room over what was the kitchen. There were a few limitations in that the only wall with any height (ie over 2m) in the apartment is the one with the kitchen on it, the ceilings slope down to only 1700 high from that bottom long wall below to the top long wall (with the chimney breast on it). Plus there are two windows on the right hand wall, so the kitchen position was pretty much fixed in where it had to go.
Having used the Adel / Lidingo combination at Project Brighton and liked it, I decided to use it again in Squeeze. I wanted a romantic and feminine feel to the decor ( i.e. a clean girl tenant not a mucky boy one) and had already chosen the Laura Ashley lights (cunningly found in the Spring sale) and wallpaper, so this kitchen style suited perfectly. Instead of a walnut top, as at Brighton, I opted for oak laminate from Duropal as it’s far easier to match to in terms of flooring and furniture. Oh, and I’d already found the gorgeous oak bathroom accessories…..yes, I match the bathrooms to the kitchens, even in rentals 🙂 The black accessories are Ikea too, and the stunning clock from Habitat. Below are the stages the ‘bed into to kitchen area’ went through:
Then a little to the left:
Bookshelf, mirror and oak laminate from Ikea, table up-cycled by yours truly, rug from Argos, sofa from Landlords Essentials, wall lights from Laura Ashley, gold wallpaper Brain Yates, cream metro tiles from Topps Tiles. Exposed beam oiled with teak oil, Dulux Vanilla White on the walls and woodwork. Herbs from Sainsbury’s 😉