Here’s one renovation story made really enjoyable by lovely clients and a wonderful builder – this is what it looks like when all the key elements come together in the right way!
You will see from the process menu above that the initial consultation between the client and amo espaco is getting to know them, thinking carefully about priorities, lifestyle and dreams and arriving at some tangible goals for the project.
Then the fun starts – moodboarding and gathering inspiration. This renovation threw up several challenges around textures and materials. We spent time looking at how to resolve key spaces on the ground floor. Pinterest really came into its own for us, helping us collaborate and discuss remotely, saving time and keeping the creative momentum going.
Sketching – it’s amazing! How else are you going to know what your new space will look like? Often when clients come to me they are really struggling to visualise their current space working differently, so at this very early stage of idea generation, I can show them, to scale, with their furniture or new fittings, how their new space will look. This is what makes this creative idea-generation stage of the process so exciting. When the work is complete it is actually possible to hold up the initial sketch of the new space and see how it has come to life.
Now, the bit you really want to see – the “before” and “after”! Here’s how we enter the new space, the old hallway transformed by new double doors streaming light into the main house from the enhanced glazing.
The rear of this property looks over the garden from a position of height – there are steps down to the lawn and the view of trees and greenery is lovely – the clients felt drawn to this window so we decided to make it a real feature. We enclosed the window and view in a deep frame in which you can sit, and this frame then allowed us to build in much needed storage – for toys, books, photos, music tech and all the trappings of domestic family life. The focal point – the beautiful view – delivered not only an enhanced experience of the space, but a functional one too!
What is now the kitchen, dining and family space was in fact two good sized rooms. We have flipped their functions with the kitchen now in the old dining room and the dining and family space where the kitchen used to be, with a large opening between them. We’ve also, along with the new feature window seat, added Crittal doors to the kitchen and dining spaces, making the most of the beautiful garden and the interesting higher position these spaces hold, creating a lofty feel.
The generous ground floor space allowed us to create a boot/utility room, where all the muddy rugby boots and running gear can be sorted out, keeping the kitchen for more pleasant tasks.
You have seen some of the key spaces, now let’s talk materials and finishes. It’s a real treat as a designer to work with clients who are brave and adventurous, allowing us to include some really nice materials in this renovation. We pulled out all the stops scouring markets and the internet for the right look.
In the end, we married faux London brick on one wall with concrete worktops, crackle glazed metro tiles around the hob with antique mirror splashbacks and stunning hand distressed metal tiles as the panelling on the island.
Antique oak flooring marries beautifully with the island pendants in wood and white ceramic, while the subtle coloured pendants over the dining room table twinkle a little glamour. It sounds like a lot of different textures and materials but when they are chosen to compliment each other the result unites in a single look – “boho industrial” we like to call it! The colour palette is muted, and acts as a backdrop to daily life, not an imposition, so the space is comfortable. The large grey blackboard painted wall delivers the thing every household needs – somewhere to scribble notes to family members passing each other like ships and reminders to everyone.
The renovation has truly transformed this home and the experience of being in it, and all without the expense of extending, by really examining the use of the existing space and how to make it so much better!