There’s something incredibly satisfying about before and after images, whether we’re talking light makeovers or full-blown renovations. Witnessing these transformations awakens us to a potential we might otherwise overlook, encouraging us to change the things in our own lives we’re feeling unsatisfied with. Renovation inspiration in particular can help us rescue spaces that might have seemed hopeless at first glance, stirring our imaginations and challenging us to take a second look.
When a space feels cramped, drab, and dated, it can be hard to know where to begin. Commissioned to update a dreary Primrose Hill apartment, London-based firm Amos Goldreich Architecture arrived to find 1970s interiors divided into four small, dark rooms: a living and dining area, two bedrooms, and a kitchen that was hardly bigger than the bathroom. This kitchen was also located smack dab in between the two bedrooms, separated from the living room by the bathroom and a hallway. This made the social areas of the flat feel disconnected, and introduced unnecessary noise and disruption into the private areas.
Knowing that an open plan layout would help bring in daylight from the beautiful bay window in the living room, the firm moved the kitchen to the location of the former bathroom and created an opening in a structural wall to connect the two spaces. They also merged the former kitchen in the back of the apartment with one of the existing bedrooms, creating a master bedroom with an improved layout and two external windows.
Not only does this new arrangement enhance the flow of traffic throughout the apartment, but it also allowed the architects to add a second bathroom to the smaller guest bedroom, with a slot window bringing in even more daylight from the other room. And while the kitchen is still quite small, it’s far more functional, enabling social interaction and the addition of new cabinets and other storage space.
The team explains: “Energy-efficient lighting was installed, as well as new plumbing and underfloor heating throughout, to add aesthetic uniformity and reduce clutter. All windows were replaced with double-glazed, timber sash windows. [We] also designed storage solutions and joinery items, including a floating sideboard in the living room, walk-in wardrobes, storage for utilities, and doors with overhead windows to let light into the rooms.”
“The selection of materials was kept to a minimum so that the flat would feel ‘streamlined’ and not too busy,” they add. “This restriction was echoed in the choice of color palette to enhance the space in terms of size and fluidity. White-washed oak flooring was laid throughout, except in the bathroom and WC. The bathroom was tiled in white marble, while the guest WC is fully tiled in white hexagonal mosaic. All the walls and joinery are painted white. Layers of color were added through the choice of loose furniture.”
The before and after images of this London apartment are also a testament to the power of paint. It’s amazing how much fresher and brighter the spaces feel after a new coat, with lighter flooring, marble surfaces in the bathrooms, and a few mirrors enhancing that revitalized mood and helping the entire home feel much larger than it did before.