Monday, August 12, 2013

Renovation diaries: WonderWalls

Since we have a small flat, we're trying to capitalize on all the space we have to maximize design potential. So what we don't have in floor area, we're compensating for in wall area using tiles and color. One of the things we had chosen quite early on the the renovation process were accent tiles for a small panel of the kitchen wall.


It does look a little busy right now but the fridge will go in front of it so you'll only see the edges and top eventually. My mom thinks it's silly that we paid for an accent wall just to have it mostly covered but I think it'll be an interesting touch to the otherwise rather industrial feel of the kitchen.

Another tiling project was for the dining nook where we chose one wall to be tiled with lovely white subway tiles. I've seen one too many subway-tiled kitchens on Pinterest to let this opportunity slip by and thankfully, it turned out beautifully.

Subway tiles wall completed.

We chose to have it grouted in a medium gray so you can still see the definition between the tiles but not dark enough that it ends up looking like actual dirty tiles in the New York subway ;) We're also building a cabinet at the bottom and open shelving at the top for added work area and storage/display space. The eventual result will hopefully look a little something like this.

As for the rest of the kitchen walls untouched by cabinets, we're having them covered with cement screed, both in the interest of time and cost, but also because we kind of like the effect of cement walls for the kitchen. They'll be treated with a protective coating so we won't have to worry about the naturally porous cement absorbing cooking grease and smoke.

Apart from tiling, we've also been agonizing over paint colour. This has been particularly vexing because we were torn between using what's available in the contractor's catalog and having him mix existing colors to achieve what we want, which will not only cost more but also be potentially problematic whenever we want to do touch-ups. In the end, we went with what was available and I guess the colours are slowly growing on me. The living room is quite small and we have a fairly striking green couch so we're keeping the walls there white. We have a little hallway leading from the living room to the kitchen/ dining area and one wall there will be painted a medium gray to contrast with our pale wood vinyl flooring.

[we're not actually getting our paint from Benjamin Moore but the sample colour comes close to what we chose]

The rooms have dark wood vinyl so we've chosen more muted colors. And only one wall in each bedroom will be painted so the colours won't be so overwhelming. In our bedroom, it's going to be a pale shade of smoke that's close to this:

And for Sophie's room, this shade of pink:

We had asked her what colour she wants for her room and being the fairy/ princess obsessed 4-year-old she is now, it was either pink or purple. But she didn't really say which shade of pink or purple so I went with something that would induce as minimal a headache as possible (but would still be considered pink because I *know* Sophie would totally fight me on this). The pink we're trying to achieve is hopefully more ballet-slipper (which I can live with) than Strawberry Shortcake (which I can't...). I know, the line is so fine before the former tips irrevocably into the latter... And lighting is going to play such a big part too: cool-white vs. warm-white vs. daylight, etc. And so, as with so many things in this whole renovation process, we're crossing our fingers...

Speaking of lighting, that post will be up next...

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