This is the second part of our moodboards series in the lead up to our home renovations! If you haven’t caught up yet, jump to Part 1!
You may have seen that recently our home was featured on the January issue of Home Journal! I’m hugely inspired by tiny houses, forever looking at stories of people living in schoolbuses, boats, treehouses on the internet, wondering how they fit it all in, what opens up where and where all their clutter is hiding (much to Ben’s amusement). When it came to renovating our own tiny apartment within a low-rise with a modest footprint on top of Happy Valley last year, I knew it was time to flex those problem-solving muscles!
After we figured out what we wanted to structurally change about the flat (open up the kitchen, partition a room for the nanny, raise our beds to become loft-beds for extra storage), I knew that I needed to make sure that all my choices were going to look good together. So, I got into working on colour schemes and moodboards- and I mean, I got really into it.
Today, I’m excited to share with you the initial ideas I worked on and how I planned to bring everything to life… Look through to see how I made my choices, and stay tuned for a before-and-after post and house tour!
This kitchen was my baby. I mean, when we started talking about countertop materials, I became a woman obsessed. But let’s rewind.
We opened up the kitchen for a few reasons. We wanted the space to feel more open and bright, for one. We loved to entertain and just hate leaving our guests in the living room while disappearing off to the kitchen forever because we needed more guac (you’ll know the feeling if you love to host but have a separate kitchen). Feasibly, the flat wasn’t really big enough for a decent sized dining table, nor a dining sized cooking space. So, we thought, why not combine the countertop space with the dining space? Essentially, this decision meant that we were going to eat in the kitchen (and cook in the dining space…) This resulted in a very generous kitchen island which could provide two functions.
With those decisions in mind, the look of the kitchen needed to be spic and span. I spent a good portion of my free time looking at marble on pinterest… because it’s a huge trend and it’s unavoidable. But I was really aware that I just didn’t want a grey and white Carrara marble kitchen. They are lovely, but looked like a lot of other pinterest kitchens.
After a torturous amount of time (for Ben), we went up and down the streets with marble vendors, until one day we spotted that lovely-looking piece of brown marble with very distinctive veins and knots, almost like a wood-grain. I knew it was the one.
All the aesthetic decisions sprang off from there, really. We decided to use it as a backsplash to really show it off. When I paired it with brass fixtures and switches, that was when I got really excited. It looked so good! Finally, to add colour, I added blue-grass paint from Eico under the kitchen counter, as well as delicious grey-blue velvet stools to add softness. Was it the most kid-friendly option? Not really, to be honest. But the openness this kitchen brings to the flat has saved our sanity, so I’d say all-in-all it’s worth scotch-guarding your upholstery and live a little.
The bathroom moodboard was an easy one, once I had done the kitchen. Essentially, its style read like a mini-kitchen, with the same brown marble for countertop, brass accents in the mirrors and hardware, and a penny-tile version of the hexagonal kitchen tiles. I thought it was cute that the hexagons echoed the bigger ones in the kitchen. It’s too minuscule a detail for anyone to notice, really, but makes me happy to think about it.
I had long loved subway tiles. It’s a bit of a predictable choice but I love that it’s a classic and it’s super affordable. We didn’t want a super luxe hotel bathroom, so the subway tile made it more casual, less try-hard. We laid them row by row vertically for a clean look.
By this time, I was too far down the brass fixture route to turn back, but now realised that to have all our tapware in brass was going to be a huge expense, and a massive pain to order in. It sounds melodramatic, but the thought of introduce bright shiny chrome fixtures bothered me a lot. It was all I could think about for a good two days. Ben started to tell me that there are more important things in life- so that was a good reality-check. Like a sensible, loving partner, I told myself to stop being so obsessive. So this is where we started to introduce some matt-black accessories for door handles, and brushed chrome for the shower and taps. The brushed textures almost blends instead of accents, so it was a good way to side-step my brass dilemma.