How Thoughtful Design Unlocks the Functionality of a Space

Nestled in the vibrant heart of London’s theatre district, adjacent to the iconic Covent Garden, lies a unique split-level apartment. 

My clients, seeking a dual-purpose space for business entertaining and family gatherings, approached me to breathe new life into this once-tired, ex-rental property.

The Challenge:

The apartment, primarily aimed at hosting business associates and providing a family-friendly space for my clients and their four older children, had several drawbacks. 

It featured a large, gloomy inner hallway, a cramped and dark kitchen, awkward bathrooms, and an unattractive staircase obscuring the hallway window. 

Upstairs, you had to navigate around a cumbersome cistern and duck under a fixed ladder to the roof, which presented further challenges.

The Vision:

We aimed to transform this space into a light-filled, spacious, and inviting area ideal for entertaining.

Here are the changes I made: 

Living and Kitchen Area:

  • I proposed demolishing the wall between the kitchen and lounge, allowing natural light to permeate and create a stunning entertainment space.
  • By blocking the existing doorway and extending the kitchen into the hallway, we enhanced the kitchen’s functionality while maintaining a spacious inner lobby/hall.

Inner Hall and Staircase:

  • We redesigned the staircase to wind anti-clockwise, lowering its intersection with the window and significantly brightening the hallway.
  • By adjusting the bathroom layout, we added a second window to the hallway, enhancing light and creating an illusion of more space in the bathroom.

Surprise Discovery: 

While removing the old staircase, we uncovered a hidden gem: an original staircase beneath the floor, a relic from the building’s pre-flat conversion days. Though it stopped four steps down, we converted it into a cellar hatch, providing practical storage space.

Upstairs Optimisations:

  • Relocation of the cylinder.
  • Moved the angular portion of the bathroom
  • Repurposed the landing area for additional storage, simultaneously brightening and enlarging the bathroom. 
  • Moved the access to the roof closer to the bedroom with a retractable ladder.
  • Built-in units were installed for the cylinder, and low-level storage beneath the window doubled as a bookcase and ottoman.

The transformation was a resounding success. The clients have hosted numerous family and business events in their revamped space. The kitchen, a centrepiece of the renovation, has gained recognition on Houzz for its exemplary U-shaped design.

This project highlights the potential of thoughtful design in unlocking the charm and functionality of a space. By reimagining and restructuring each area, we transformed a once-dreary apartment into a bright, welcoming, and versatile home perfect for business and family life.

If you own a property that needs to be redesigned to optimise space, don’t hesitate to contact us here.

With over 30 years experience working across properties of all ages and sizes, appealing to all demographics of end users, whether for rent, sale, HMO or serviced accommodation. To contact us email for more information.

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