Here’s the floor plan of my 700 sq ft apartment (technically smaller than that) and I figured I might as well features two different options. (Why not? Since this is also provided as part of the E-Design service for my clients). One focus on working with the original layout and the second one has a daring all-out reconfiguration! You can probably tell that the second option cost a lot more because we’ll be changing a ton of stuff. I came up with two mood boards for both options, let’s get to it.
Starting with one that works with the original floor plan –
Cost-saving – There are no hacking of wall, no changing of doors and fixtures, I might even suggest using the existing floor but give the homeowner options to lay rugs (also part of our E-Design service) for a cohesive look throughout the home. Stay tuned for another Ask Kate post on how to use rugs the right way. I’ll retain the existing pedestal sink for bathroom 2 but provide ideas on how to enhance the space.
Galley Kitchen – Kitchen takes a chunk of your reno budget; cabinetry, materials for countertop/backsplash, appliances…everything adds up to quite a bit. For option 1, we’ll be working with the existing layout for a galley kitchen.
Space-saving and storage – For homeowners who prioritize storage, a built-in bed/storage/desk design can solve the space constraint problem in a small home. For the same reason, use sliding doors for the wardrobes. If possible, I would always encourage built-in storage to stretch all the way through the length of the wall to give an illusion of a continuous space (avoiding the choppy look).
Furniture – Simple dining table and chairs that seat 4 (at least). I’d use the rectangular space entirely for the living area which allows us to have at least one accent chair (in this plan, I placed it in front of the window), this gives an illusion of bigger space. Once again, I’d encourage the use of poufs (great with children AND adults) to provide more seating when needed.
So let’s say this is your forever home or you’re ready for something different…take a look at option 2, the all-out reconfiguration –
Open-concept – For homeowners who want open-concept for their home, I daringly turned the original kitchen into the dining area with built-in bench. A mirror behind the bench can be used to bring in more natural light to the dining area. I would encourage switching the kitchen and dining especially if your yard windows provide a good view. A wall of sliding glass doors separates the dining and laundry area for maximum natural light and illusion of space.
Single-wall kitchen with island – We create a single-wall kitchen and carving out a new fridge area, this allows us to use a non counter-depth fridge. A small island to provide extra counter space and two counter height bar stools. I would like the design of the island to be on legs for an airy look. The kitchen has to have clean lines (minimalist) and uncluttered because it’s connected to the living space. If possible, I would like to go for no uppers (perhaps only floating shelf) and beautiful wall sconces to shine light on the countertop. I also like the idea of a downdraft hood to achieve that minimalist look and avoid the feeling of sitting in a kitchen all the time because it’s open-concept.
Glass doors – Ideally, all bedroom doors should be replaced with sliding glass doors and double glass doors to allow for maximum light and expanding the space visually.
Furniture – A cowhide rug is perfect for option 2 living area. I used a chaise by the wall to create extra seating and to fill up the awkward distance between the sofa and TV. A console table to be placed between the window and the sofa (for option 2, I recommend a lowback sofa). A beautiful daybed can be used in bedroom 2 with sliding glass doors that blends into part of the living space.
For option 2 to work, obviously the crazy part is converting the kitchen into dining and the dining into kitchen. For one, the kitchen sink pipe have to be rerouted. Flooring would have to be changed now that there are no walls separating the areas. If you are convinced with the going all-out open-concept, please consult a contractor on all necessary works to be carried out on the actual site.
So now that you’ve seen option 1 and 2 for my 2 bedroom apartment, I gotta tell you that the floor plan for my home is something in between these two (hint: it’s semi open-concept). With the help of a good design plan, it certainly can help homeowners make a better decision by choosing the one that is most suitable for you, your budget and your lifestyle. Stay tuned on the blog for my “before” photos of my home reno (coming up). Follow the journey of my new home renovation by subscribing to my blog or click here.
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All words by me, images from me, Pinterest and credited link.