This was a room remodelling job I completed back in England – Dawn’s Diner.
I have added it here because it nicely illustrates some major considerations you should make whenever thinking about remodelling.
When Dawn initially came to me, she told me she had a rather uninspiring room adjoining her kitchen. Consequently, It never really quite felt like an integral part of the house. No matter what ideas she came up with, the room never really lived up to her expectations. So it was time to consider some serious remodelling. But she was at a complete loss as to where to start with it all.
I started by asking her what her main objectives for the room were.
And more importantly, how she hoped to use it in the future too. She wanted a more functional breakfast room for a busy morning household routine. Along with the added convenience of plenty of storage. She also wanted a room with a feeling of space and light whilst still remaining functional and inviting.
At the start of the project the room was dull and boring.
The laminate flooring was cold, tired and curling up at the edges. And the whole room looked thirty years out of date. Totally uninspired and very much less than inviting.
The table was pushed up against a wall. It was obviously unused in an area of the room which was at best an awkward extension to the existing. This extension was set up with a low and arched ceiling. It felt imposing to anyone below it, with a decor you would expect to find more within a gypsy caravan.
This was to be where most of my work would be undertaken.
So together, we toyed with a few ideas.
And from a sad and uninspiring starting point, the room quickly evolved into the breakfast room of Dawn’s dreams.
One of the more radical ideas we adopted was to incorporate her fridge into the room. This helped in adding to the room’s overall functionality of a proposed breakfast room. Also it helped in freeing up some much needed extra space in the kitchen for a large double freezer.
With our plans now verbally agreed…
My first task was to rip out the existing arched ceiling to the extension (a remnant of the previous house owner). And this left me with a rather cumbersome looking beam spanning the ceiling of the two divided areas. So I decided that it would be much better and brighter to lower the new ceiling to the bottom level of this load bearing beam.
By doing this, it would also be possible to include some down-lights. Independently wired to give the area some additional mood.
Any room remodelling project, when tackled properly should fully address all of the following:
- Electrics – Are all the sockets and light switches adequate and positioned correctly for your needs.
- Lighting – Use lighting to create mood and ambience, add feature lighting for extra effect and remember to consider your main lighting for work areas too.
- Heating – Consider your choice of heating. You can move or change unsightly radiators, opt for under-floor heating or even include a feature fireplace for extra wow.
- Also consider the rooms adjoining the room you are working on. More times than not, this would be the best time to incorporate any neighbouring changes to be made.
All of the above should be your first priority in any major room change.
This really is your best opportunity to get these things right. Do it now, and before you even start to consider any home straights in your own projects. As these are the major project disruptors. And any retrospective tackling can easily become twice as costly. Consequently causing major upheavals to your walls, ceiling and floor surfaces as you go.
So, having fully re-routed all necessary cable and piping changes (including new supplies to radiators in the adjoining kitchen and hallway), it was now time to make good all the room surfaces. I started with the suspended ceiling to the extension area. And continued by re-plastering all the wall surfaces that were not up to scratch.
With all our surfaces prepared now for decoration…
It was decided to opt for a striped wallpaper with all its inherent disadvantages (see How to Successfully Apply Wall Paper). Purely because it lends to the room the illusion of additional height. And green because it is a relaxing colour. Hence a more calming choice for the early morning hustle and bustle.
Above all else though, it also makes for a lot more inviting room.
And although the room is practically square in it’s shape and size…
As you walk into the room from the hallway, you can see right into the kitchen and through a window into the garden beyond.
This makes the room feel to be longer than it is broad. So I deliberately laid the new flooring (real wood not laminate, for extra warmth) across the room’s width.
Again, this is a trick of optics. Giving the illusion of more length along the timber’s grain. Thus making the room feel more square again. Especially with having this trick dimensioning added.
Having laid the flooring, it was now time for the final fix.
This was to include a double bank of suspended wall units incorporating a breakfast bar top for use with bar stools. This was primarily done to address Dawn’s need for extra storage. With the units deliberately hung off the floor to further give the illusion of extra space.
I also fitted a white designer radiator for a more crisp and modern feel, and some shiny chrome light switches and fittings for additional bling. The Cupboards chosen were a gloss white to enhance the light and airy feel of the room. And a grey granite worktop chosen to match and compliment the existing stainless steel fridge.
It was the full use of design trickery including colour, optical illusion, lighting and textures all working in harmony together that helped bring this room to life.
The room now has the additional functionality it desperately needed. All while retaining a more generous feel of space. Even though the room now has more going on in it, than it ever did before.
Here’s a small selection of other room remodelling projects I’m happy to have successfully completed…
If you have an upcoming room remodelling project, I’d love to be a part of it.
I can supply swatches and ideas input, draw up plans and work schedules for you too. I can also provide full costings and timing estimates for you. And once we’ve nailed the basics, I can even come back and fully complete your new dream room settings for you.
From concept right through to completion, I can offer a one stop complete room remodelling service to make your dream rooms a reality.
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Maybe the spare room needs re-decorating. The bathroom tiles needed re-grouting. The TV needs wall-mounting. Or the kitchen needs more cupboards. And the glazing probably needs re-screening. Not to mention the myriad other repairs you'd simply prefer to just forget.
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