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Updated May 7, 2013, 4:18 pm Home Beautiful, Yahoo!7
Converting two separate rooms into an open-plan living-dining area has given nathaniel’s city apartment a new lease of life.
Despite its bland and dark beginnings, the living space in this beachside Sydney apartment had plenty of potential – it just needed a little love and a few clever design tricks to achieve it. Owner Nathaniel wanted to make the space visually interesting and most importantly, more liveable. “The living room was quite plain and needed something to make it more exciting,” he recalls. “However, my real issue was with the adjoining sunroom.”
Originally the two areas functioned as two separate spaces, with a small doorway between. This prevented light entering the living area, leaving it dark and dingy, and made the sunroom – used for dining – appear small and narrow. “The dining area also had ugly blinds and a tiled floor which made it feel cold,” explains Nathaniel. “I found that I didn’t really use the space at all!”
Nathaniel enlisted interior designer Victoria Waters to solve his dilemma. By removing the door and windows between the rooms and widening the archway, the space has been opened up. Issues with different flooring and levels were resolved by carpeting the dining area, then matching the original wooden boards in the lounge area to new timber for the small section beneath the archway, and re-polishing the whole lot.
and the ‘Tårnby’ rug from Ikea introduce sandy tones. Painting the woodwork and window shutters in the same colour ensures the palette remains cohesive throughout.3-4 DECORATING TRICKS
By adding a few finishing touches, such as the graphic ‘Tana’ cushions from Country Road, on-trend industrial lamps from Vixen & Velvet, and a quirky artwork by NSW Central Coast artist Tez, Nathaniel has created a space that is liveable, smart and budget friendly to boot.
The use of colour has played a big part in this renovation, clearly differentiating the spaces and defining them as two zones. The striking dark blue adds a real punch of colour to the dining room and is one of Nathaniel’s favourite features. “I think the contrast between the dark blue and the white is really sophisticated,” he says.6 LIGHT EFFECT
Knocking out the old windows and door that linked the two rooms and creating the archway not only allows more light through, but also visually extends the living room. The plantation-style blinds from Global Shutters create privacy, blocking an unsightly view of a stairwell, but they also allow in light and are a smart addition to the room. “It just shows that if you have a space that you are not utilising, there is always something that can be done, no matter how small an area is,” says Nathaniel.7 STYLE FACTOR
A few simple design ideas can revitalise a room without blowing the budget. Sticking to just two or three colours can make a striking statement, while the use of symmetry within both rooms creates strong visual impact. The circular wall mirror, positioned on the end wall of the sunroom, helps bounce light into the room, while replica Hans Henrik ‘Banana Leaf’ pendant lights from Matt Blatt add a chic feature element, as do the ‘Venus’ dining chairs from Freedom. “It’s been a great transformation as I spend loads of time here now,” says Nathaniel. “It’s gone from being my least favourite area of the flat to my favourite!”BUDGET BREAKDOWN
Rug: 180cm x 250cm ‘Tårnby’ rug, Ikea $189
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