| Everyday London Life

My Home Refurbishment Before Photos

Over a year in lockdown and not being able travel has led me to having a new passion … interiors and home renovations! I don’t think I’m alone in this, ‘interiors Instagram’ has opened up a whole new world to me and I’m obsessed. Actually this interest started long before lockdown…let’s start from the beginning.

I’ve actually been living in this flat since 2005… and 16 years later and I’ve hardly changed a thing. I loved the original design but now things have started to get very dated… the orangey toned wooden floor was on trend when I first decorated, as was the finish on the kitchen, the large wallpapered feature wall and the Louis ghost dining chairs. At the time of decorating I loved the bright pink and lime green colour scheme – now I cringe and wonder what was I thinking!?!

Anyway about two and a half years ago Mr S and I started to think about refurbishing our London flat, we’d come to realise that not only was the design tired but the space wasn’t functioning in the way we wanted it too. For example, the kitchen was too small, the lack of storage elsewhere just led to mess and we weren’t taking full advantage of the space we had.

Anyway about the time we’d decided we were going to renovate was the same time we discovered I was pregnant with Oscar! The exciting news gave us even more motivation to redo our flat and turn it into a family home for the three of us. If you want to follow the process I have set up @SilverFamilyHome on Instagram to document it all!

(Pic from our recent weekend at Coworth Park – I hardly have any pics of the three of us).

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I’ve had problems with interior designers. I don’t want to dwell on that and turn this into a negative post but in brief… our first interior designer (who came highly recommended) botched our bedroom among other things and we ended up firing them. Our second interior designer had so much promise in our first few meetings but a series of issues, including her constantly ignoring my emails and texts, led us to part ways with them too. But now we are super confident with a third interior designer (yes, I know *face palm*) and having completed the design phase with them, the whole process couldn’t have gone smoother. In stark contrast with the first two, it’s been completely seamless and professional and the design is exactly how I wanted it. I’ve had a few questions on the interior design process and I’d be happy to write a blog post on this if it’s of interest.

Because everything was so slow and went so wrong, Mr S and I ended up doing Oscar’s room ourselves. We converted a our dated and tired spare room into a light and brighter safari themed nursery with furniture from Boori and Pottery Barn. You can read about that room here!
And now the rest of the flat. I’ll start with our living space…

We’re very fortunate to have a large semi open plan  living, dining, kitchen space and I can wait to update it to suit our tastes. In terms of building work / architecture we’re not doing a huge amount…see the random space at the back? We’re closing that off and making a coat cupboard and a place to store Oscar’s pram and later things like his bike. We’re pulling up the whole floor (after much debate about if we just keep it and sand and stain it) and replacing it with more neutral toned chevron floor. We’re also going into the ceiling to create a coffer and add more atmospheric lighting as there are too many bright spot lights in there.

In the space where the sideboard is we’ll be putting a breakfast bar and wine fridge as an extension of the kitchen.

This whole media unit is coming down and we’ve had some beautiful new joinery designed that will accommodate the massive tv that Mr S wants (lol), the TV speakers and our air conditioning unit. All the furniture and window dressings are going and we’re repainting everywhere including a gorgeous feature wall.

One thing I can’t wait to get rid of is this pink wall, it’s started to really offend my eyes. Anyway, we’re going in the completely opposite direction with a white kitchen designed by Tom Howley. White units and marble effect worktop (made in quartz for longevity), limestone effect floor and aged bronze handles. I think it will look so elegant and classy, I can’t wait to see it.

Appliances wise we’re saying goodbye to our fridge freezer and finally after sixteen long years we will have a full length fridge! We’re upgrading the oven and integrating a microwave and we’re getting a new hob. We’re also getting a Quooker tap with boiling water so we no longer need a kettle.

We weren’t originally going to do our study but to redo the floor we had to pull out all the study joinery. Paying to remove and replace the joinery is expensive, and there was no point spending all that money to retain old joinery so we decided to replace it. 
With the changes we’re planning we thought we’d give the room a new lease of life and purpose to fit with our family lifestyle. I currently use this room a lot for a study as I work from home on the blog, I also use it for doing my home workouts as it’s pretty spacious for a small room. In that respect I was keen to keep a desk in here for both myself and Mr S. But we wanted to include a sofa that could be pulled out to a bed for a spare room and a TV so it could be used as a family room. I’ll be honest I didn’t want a TV, I think some rooms should just be TV free but Mr S really wanted to use the room for watching football  the family so I agreed to it.

There’s a still going to be plenty of shelving for books and it’ll be a great place for displaying family photos. Sorry for the mess as it’s currently a bit of a junk room! I promise I won’t keep my lovely new flat in such a state lol. 
For our dressing room / walk in wardrobe we’ll be replacing the doors and plinth plus adding a make up area with seat at the back. We’ll also be refreshing the blind and taking away the radiator.
The master bedroom is a bit of a saga as I mentioned our first interior designer botched it and it’s currently sporting crushed velvet and multiple shades of grey. This is very far from how I want it to look to be honest. Anyway it’s been in this state for over two years as we’ve transitioned from interior designers, had a baby and been through a pandemic… needless to say I’m a bit fed up of having wires hanging out the walls and plastic boxes as side tables (lol). Anyway the plan is to recover the bed and build a feature headboard with mirror and hanging pendant lights.
We’ll be updating these wardrobe doors and the dressing table area.

And beautifying this spot plus adding a sofa and coffee table to make it into a reading and relaxation space.

Both the bedroom and the living room have a decent-sized balcony. As you can see it needs cleaning up and we will fully repaint, sand the floor and get new furniture too. 
We have another spare room which we’re leaving for now in anticipation for another baby one day! We’ll also not be touching our bathrooms or utility room as it’s just too expensive to do all at once but I’m looking forward to doing those at a later stage.

So what do you think? Are you currently interiors obsessed too?