Here at Kia Designs we design a large selection of very different properties especially when we are working in London and one thing that becomes apparent is just how even the smallest of properties needs a really clear guide for how to make the most of the space. This Hampstead cottage is less than 900 ft.² and the remodelling of it was to take it from two bedrooms down to one, even knowing that you don’t need to squeeze in two bedrooms to the top floor we knew it was going to need a special design.
It’s a detached cottage and had a lot of design potential that the clients instantly fell in love with when they first viewed the property. It has a lot of beautiful light that we were able to bring in even more with the design we created, however, the design it still needed a really clear guide as to how we were going to make sure that the property felt spacious while still maintaining a luxury element.
One of the first things we decided to do was to see if we were able to raise the ceiling height, mostly on the first floor, and improved installation meant that we were able to take the ceiling height in the bedroom from a standard flat ceiling into a vaulted ceiling it completely transformed the top floor of the house and meant that instantly the rooms felt a lot larger as you can see in the image above.
Downstairs with much more constrained and even though what we did do was open up the area between the main part of the house and the patio area towards the back again this was to bring in light but also to make the space a lot more usable the kitchen is really the pride and joy of this property. The kitchen is a Shaker style and still has a cottage feel to it but it’s still got a very sleek feeling too – this is due to the proportions that are used on the doors, they’re not your standard. Shaker doors usually are much thicker when it comes to the ‘border’ of the door however these are designed with a much thinner ‘border’ that works to make the kitchen feel a lot larger.
The doors have been beautifully complemented with handles from Buster and Punch which helps give it a modern feeling. The one element that we really wanted to make sure we fit into this kitchen, no matter what was a very large stove. The piece that we decided to go for since we knew it was going to take up so much of the room is in a gorgeous deep cornflower blue. This stove provides a good grounding for the entire room and a real focal point to the area that isn’t square and so, therefore, produces a lot of very odd angles.
We were lucky to be able to work with both planning and the Conservation team in Hampstead to make some changes to the skylight in this room. We worked with them to be able to change the skylight they have previously been above the kitchen and from an angled piece to a flat skylight is this allowed us to use more of the demised patio that is above the kitchen area and it also helped to let a lot more light into the area as we went for a very sleek edge to the skylight so we had minimal framing and more glass.
Having now opened up the space between the patio and the main living area we wanted to make sure that main living area contained a really beautiful dining section. We wanted to keep it clean and simple and but with an artistic flair that reason we went with stunning solid oak table and undecided a mix of both chairs and a bench would work extremely well in this area. The clients work from home quite regularly, for this reason, there are many areas that the clients can work from (keeping mobile and moving around the house is one of the big draws for them with home working) The TV was always going to be a challenge as it isn’t’ a large part of the clients day to day viewing however they did want to make sure they had one in the property – it just wasn’t to be a feature. So we wanted to make sure that any units we put in here for a TV works well for both the dining area and the main living area so the TV is actually built into a unit that means that it can swivel to be viewed from every point of the room.
The entrance area to the property was fully opened up as it had previously been a very small dark corridor that really didn’t help the overall design of the cottage in being able to open it up it allowed the client to have some storage in this area. It now provides them with a really dynamic and different entrance. We used marble tiles in the entrance hall area and we’ve even been able to provide them with a small shower in the entrance. You can just about noticing the images, to the left of the door, that is used as a dog shower for outside as there are two very energetic dogs love a good run in Hamstead Heath however being able to bring them into the property with the only bathroom on the first floor would have meant that there would be a lot of mess coming into the property which the clients wanted to avoid. We were also able to work with conservation and planning to allow us to change the front door and have reinstated what is a stunning mosaic glass-fronted door.
We always knew that space was going to be a big premium when working in such a small cottage for that reason we wanted to make sure the client had areas that were extremely hard-working. We were able to still keep a small WC on the ground floor which means that their property works really nicely to be able to entertain. The large cabinet in this area also nicely stores the dogs’ food away from the pantry and makes feeding the dogs by the front door extremely accessible. We also managed to squeeze in, on the first floor, a utility room. This utility room has a sink that is actually large enough to be able to bath the dogs in it and also hides away within the units a washing machine, dryer and the boiler so all of the parts of a utility room but it often quite ugly and now neatly hidden away in cabinetry. This area also allows the client to be able to hand wash items and hang them above the sink to be able to drip try.
The first floor now contains; a master bedroom, master ensuite and the utility room. Both the master bedroom and the ensuite benefit from the vaulted ceilings and the opening up of the area this has allowed us to be able to expose beams and put in a few decorative ones of our own. Again, storage was always going to be an issue and so building in a double set of wardrobes, as well as a window seat in the master bedroom, meant that the clients have a large amount of storage at their disposal it also means that the window seat can double as another gorgeous area to be able to sit and work or read. We managed perfectly bring into the design the client’s current fourposter bed without it dominating the room. The higher vaulted ceiling definitely helps in that respect. It feels like it has always been there as the design was built around it. Every part of this room works extremely hard to make sure that they have storage as well as something classically beautiful. The large mirror to the left of the chest of drawers is, in fact, a door that goes into the mega flow unit that sits above the staircase. We had to be very clever with every square foot of the property and having taken away the vaulted ceiling we needed a new place to be able to hide a mega flow unit so that we had a good water pressure for the clients exceptionally gorgeous new master ensuite.
The master ensuite is something extremely special. This bathroom isn’t necessarily the largest however it has two showers and a huge bathtub this is all enclosed in a beautiful glass shower screen but it was specifically made to look as clean as possible. This design means in the morning both of the clients can shower easily, making getting ready for work a much more pleasurable experience and it also means its a lot of quicker. For a nice relaxing evening, one of them could be having a bath and the other would still be able to have a shower. It has completely transformed how they are able to get ready in the morning and they couldn’t be more pleased with it and it still has a huge amount of storage and that’s under the vanity unit and in the bath area. It was an absolute joy to design.
LM11.G.2 The Leathermarket
+44 20 8065 5317
Monday – Friday — 9am – 5.30on
Saturday — Closed
Sunday — Closed