High style, low-budget in this 750 square foot English flat

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Clever budget-friendly ideas infused with stylish design and functional storage makes this compact loft apartment designed by Sigmar an ideal living space for a professional woman in West London, England. This one bedroom, one bathroom top floor Victorian flat of 750 square feet (69 square meters) overlooks the rooftops of the city that surrounds it, taking on a very metropolitan air. The goal of this renovation was to maximize all available space, creating an open and airy feel while still being able to fit everything in. The designer mixed and matched throughout, spending in some areas and saving in others, such as using vintage furnishings with a few key designer pieces.

The kitchen features inexpensive cabinetry, yet is finished with designer handles on the cabinets and granite countertops to give it a nice finish. She also added lots of texture, such as the herringbone wood flooring in the living room (engineered wood, which is more cost effective than solid wood), glossy walls in the bedrooms and a wraparound tile in the bathroom, giving it a refined aesthetic. Quirky ceiling height changes throughout the space are defined by using contrasting colors and surface texture changes. Adding texture is very important in small space design, since everything is visually close to you.

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To create a feeling of spacious in this apartment, the design team removed a portion of the ceiling in the living room, which exposed the ceiling beams. The ceiling was painted white to contrast nicely with the gray walls and to help elevate the space. The key to design success in this room was to design with vintage furnishings that fit the scale of the space. Not only were they in keeping with the budget, but they are things that you can take with you your whole life, so nothing too large or bulky was used and everything is money well spent.

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At the top of the staircase is this spacious built-in storage area, helping this small home be more organized and tidy. The designer played with depth perception in this space, creating the illusion that the cabinets are deeper than what they really are. The advice she gave was that you do not need 24 inch cabinets to create efficient storage, you just need to be clever about the hanging systems that are integrated into the cabinets. These cabinets are designed to be just under 15 inches, fronted with vintage leaded glass frames that are semi-transparent.

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The staircase that leads into the home features a landing area that creates a “wow” factor, enticing you further into the home. The window frame was painted the same color as the guardrail, drawing your eye towards it, creating an elegant aesthetic.

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The kitchen features inexpensive cabinets that were hand-painted, with special finishing touches that makes the space feel more luxe. The granite countertops and backsplash combined with more expensive cabinet pulls makes the space feel more high-end, minus the high-end price tag!

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A vintage display cabinet holds the homeowner’s glassware, while open shelving adjacent to it allows for the display of everyday items that are more easily accessible.

Interesting Fact: There was once a window where the display cabinet is, the designer decided to cover it up to allow more cabinet space since the view through the window was unappealing and did not bring in natural light.

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The front of the entertainment unit is covered with a textural fabric wallcovering by Phillip Jeffries, can be found here. This creates a pleasant aesthetic that is not too sleek or minimal, just very inviting. Behind the doors, everything has its space, an important feature the designer was working on this small home… functional storage!

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Great Tip: The engineered wood was purchased untreated, then stain was added to it after installation. After the course of a few days, the flooring will get darker, which is where you select the tone gradation that you wish. This process ends up creating a subtle variety of color, making it look more visually appealing. After this process, the floor is then sealed with a white diamond oil, which will make the surface hard. Since engineered wood is not as hard as solid wood, adding a sealant helps to create durability… and it sounds better underfoot!

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What We Love: Everything in this small flat was well thought out, cleverly designed and very functional. There is a feeling of spaciousness, where everything has its place, making it very efficient… and we love the way budget design ideas throughout, where vintage furnishings and cheaper materials are mixed with some more pricier details to create the perfect small living space! What do you think of this apartment design, could you live here?

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Originally the apartment had two bedrooms, but a smart design decision was to combine them into a more spacious master bedroom. To give the walls a luxury aesthetic, nine coats of lacquer was applied to the walls, creating a high-gloss look. The walls reflect light and really helps to illuminate the space. If you are wanting the paint color, you can purchase it direct from the designer here.

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A wall was removed to install 18th century vintage French doors, linking the walk-in closet with the master bedroom and to close off the space when not in use. Thinking ahead, this space could be re-purposed down the road, perhaps as a home office, guest room, nursery, etc. Its a flexible space that works with the homeowners current needs while also considering future needs. Clever!

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The walk-in closet hosts the washer and dryer, concealed behind lattice doors that helps the space to vent. A woven carpet in this space adds a hint of luxury and lots of texture. The carpet was sourced from here.

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Despite being small, this bathroom packs a lot of punch! Behind the door is a bathtub/shower, the wall-mounted toilet helps to keep a feeling of spaciousness, as does the wraparound tile on the floors and walls. The small tiles creates a refined aesthetic, while the built-in countertop makes efficient use of space with open storage for towels and mirrors with cabinets behind them for additional storage.

Photos: Petr Krejci

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More home tours in London:

Transformation of Victorian maisonette creates ultimate London sanctuary

Open plan London flat exhibits fresh industrial design elements.


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