Turning a cluttered one-bedroom suite into a model of efficiency
-- with warmth.
Lots of storage, clean lines, woods and colour.
This 600 sf condo had been the college digs for one of the owners
before they moved out of the province. Since then, they have
continued to use it quite frequently for business trips, vacation
stays, and to accommodate visiting family and friends. Unfortunately,
it still looked like a student's crash pad. The owners wanted
to turn it into an executive suite, with minimal maintenance
and maximum efficiency -- without sacrificing ambiance. Since
all of their collected inspiration photos featured warm wood
tones and contemporary styling, it quickly became apparent what
the design direction would be. The more difficult task was to
determine how to make this compact apartment function optimally
for them. First we would make it work, then we would make it
Our main focus was the kitchen. Planning a new kitchen in a condo
is always a challenge, limited as it is by the fixed locations
of the stove outlet, venting system, and plumbing. The old kitchen
was poorly laid out, with an angled peninsula that jutted into
the main living area. Fortunately, the peninsula wall was easily
removable, allowing us to totally rethink the space. First, we
extended the partition from the hallway to create a 'niche' for
the new layout. Lowering the ceiling here to accommodate recessed
lighting had the added benefit of visually separating the kitchen
from the rest of the main living space, while remaining totally
open to it. We maximized upper cabinetry and added deep drawers
to the lower cabinets for enhanced accessibility. Replacing a
large double sink with a generous single bowl allowed for increased
work surfaces. Since the clients don't live here full time, we
were able to downsize appliances without any concern. A dishwasher
drawer instead of a full-height unit made room for an extra deep
storage drawer below it. Replacing a full-sized refrigerator
with a 24" wide counter-depth model allowed us to add a
shallow pantry, convenient also to the nearby bedroom, laundry
closet, and bath.
To keep furniture and clutter to a minimum, built-in storage
cabinetry and multi-functional pieces were specified. High on
the clients' wishlist was a contemporary electric fireplace,
so cabinetry was designed to fit the model they selected and
installed in the former sunroom space. A complementary A/V unit
sits below the TV. On the opposite wall, near the entry, a pair
of simple built-in cabinets flank what appears to be a console
table with bench beneath. But pull the table out, flip up a drop-leaf
and voila!: you have a dining table that seats four. Rather than
purchasing chairs, a pair of storage stools completes the dining
area seating when required. Flip the tops of the stools to the
tray side, and they perform double duty as a coffee table in
the living room area.
The balance of the renovations were planned to create space or
the illusion of space. In the living area, we removed remnants
of the wall that formerly defined an enclosed sunroom, instantly
making the room seem larger. The hall closet was unnecessarily
deep, constricting the entryway: cutting it back several inches
allowed for a wider hallway without sacrificing storage. In the
bath, the tub was replaced by a glass-enclosed shower, and a
new floating vanity expands the floor area.
To further enhance the feeling of spaciousness, we deliberately
kept the condo's materials and finishes simple. The clients had
a sentimental attachment to their living room sofa and chair,
so their mossy green was the starting point of the colour scheme.
Walls in the main area were painted a similar green -- minimizing
the furniture's bulk while imbuing the space with a soothing
restful atmosphere. Blond maple cabinetry harmonizes beautifully
with the subtle variations in the carbonized bamboo flooring.
For a bit of needed punch, we chose chocolate brown for quartz
countertops, backsplash, and on into the accent stone tiles in
the bathroom. To complete the look, we carried the deep brown
onto the bedroom walls, where the backdrop of luxuriant colour
elevates the clients' existing furniture.
A small space that feels and works like a much larger one.
|We invite you to
continue exploring our site for design inspiration,
then contact us to
find out how we can provide 'just the thing' for you!