H&D recently renovated a whole apartment, and it really was creative therapy. So, I’m going to take you through the before and after… and everything in between, one room at a time starting with the kitchen in this post (and moving onto cover the lounge + dining room, bathroom, main bedroom, balcony and a basement area transformation).
Across Sydney, regardless of the suburb, the landscape is dotted with many big, boxy red-brick apartments that were built around the 1980’s – an era that clearly paid a lot of attention to getting the build right, but not so much on the style front. However, I find that they are the perfect canvas for a modern refresh, as they are a lot more solid and sturdy than many new builds. They are well insulated, ventilated, they have double brick on the outer walls and solid brick internal walls.
I was tasked with converting one such apartment from drab and dull, to an updated, fresh and modern interior that would appeal to an array of buyers – from a single young professional (current owner) to a couple or a family with kids. It’s a big ask considering the apartment had to be gutted and then styled for resale, but I was in creative overdrive and eagerly up for the challenge.
For me, the most challenging part of of this project was to make it appeal to a wide range of potential buyers. The core of me wanted to inject personality into every corner of the space as I would in any other styling project, however it was a real exercise in restraint to keep the colours and decor neutral so that the potential new owner could envisage the space being their own – with their things and reflecting their personality.
As you can probably see from the photo above, the kitchen was old and drab with outdated appliances, hardly any counter space and a miniscule amount of storage. However, there was plenty of space and I decided to capitalize on the long galley shape.
It was important to have a great looking kitchen as it was visible from the living areas, however it also had to be finished impeccably and designed so that the different ‘zones’ would function well and autonomously and also as a part of a cohesive kitchen design. The new kitchen brings together all of these elements to provide that perfect balance between form and function:
- An ‘L’ shape for the cabinetry instead of the ‘U’ that existed.
- White, high-gloss cabinetry top and bottom to brighten up the space
- A white CaesarStone bench top containing composite specs of grey to link together the white cabinetry with the grey floor and splash back tiles
- Continuously flowing splashback above all the areas with base cabinets
- Top cupboards extended to the ceiling to make the space look bigger and for extra storage
- Stone floor tiles matched to the stone splash back in similar tones for continuity
- Streamlined and integrated appliances like the pull-out range hood and low profile electric cooktop.
- A no-handle design for the top cupboards to keep them low profile
- Stainless steel appliances, fixtures and finishes
- An under-bench microwave area behind cupboard doors so that the bench space could be maximised
- Styling simply with minimalist decor that would appeal to a wide range of potential buyers
- A wine rack instead of trying to fit in odd-sized smaller cupboards at the ends
Take a look at the after photos – the kitchen got the most interest during the inspections and the current owner reports that he loves cooking up a storm in there. He also finds that it is more than big enough to entertain in when there is overflow from the living spaces.
Next week i’ll be taking you through the basement storeroom which becomes an entertainment/rumpus/bar area/man cave … so stay tuned.
Drop me a note with your details if you need any design, renovation or styling help with your space.