On 1st January 2016, Ryan and I were sat in the Barbican Kitchen, with tea and cake of course, mulling over how we could transform our 2 bedroom apartment in North London on a very small budget. We picked up Elle Decoration‘s January issue for inspiration and there it was – the CONCRETE floor that dreams are made of *queue all the heart eyes in the world EVER* but we knew that to achieve this floor we would have to win the lottery – dream over.
Out of intrigue and pure impatience, we immediately began tearing up the beige carpet that we both felt allergic to and discovered there was already a concrete floor underneath. AMAZING! It needed a little bit of work but it was smooth and flat, what more could we want? (How wrong we were! More on that later…)
One BIG question remained – 1 bedroom or 2?
The way the apartment is laid out meant we could take down a wall to increase our kitchen/living room area. Since it’s just the two of us, we thought we would make the space work for us instead of the other way around. So we ditched bedroom 2 in favour of living space – best decision ever!
However, when the wall was taken away we were obviously left with a large void in the beautiful smooth concrete floor. We decided to try out a latex self-leveling compound into these spaces, however when that failed (it didn’t level into the already existing floor, who knew?!), we were advised that to ensure a smooth surface everywhere we would have to do the ENTIRE APARTMENT in the stuff!
This was probably the most expensive part of the whole renovation and it’s a tricky substance to work with. We attempted this twice but the “self-levelling compound” never self-levelled (again – who knew?!) so we now walk up and down mini-mountains every day.
Saying that, I believe this stuff could be a great choice if you desire this type of floor but hire the best should you dare proceed – you have been warned! We are currently debating the route of herringbone tile or wood throughout the place but we are still undecided.
The kitchen renovation was another last minute decision that made ALL the difference to our now extra large living space. We saved money on removing the kitchen ourselves, taking it all to our local tip for recycling – all in the back of our Audi A3 (it can be done!)
We decided to go for Farrow and Ball’s Ammonite behind in the kitchen area and in the hallway as they are really long naturally decorative walls, and Dulux Pure Brilliant White for the rest of the place as it’s just that bit cheaper. We really loved the idea of open shelving and the Ikea shelves were a really great option for us. The cooker hood was a bargain from eBay.
So, there’s a snapshot of our journey so far and here’s the current after shot;
There is still SO much to do (mainly the floor).
We would LOVE to incorporate a faux living wall in the living/sofa area and LED strip lighting around the top of the kitchen.
We are currently designing a mini library and photo gallery for the hallway – lots of exciting things to come!
I’d be really interested for any feedback, especially about the floor – would you go for wood or tiles in this type of space?
If you would like any further details on any part of the renovation process, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.
Lots more posts to come on details of the apartment!