How making minor renovations can increase the investment value of your home
This article was originally published on the Property 24 website in June 2016. Alex Albertyn of Simply by Design was asked about a renovation project that he worked on where the investment value of the home increased as a result.
About the Renovation Project
This renovation project was done for a classic first-floor apartment, located in the heart of old Rosebank – a challenging opportunity, putting all interior space design principles to the test. It is set in an old three-storey deco-style apartment building, surrounded by a variety of new and ultra-modern buildings, all boasting contemporary apartments that sell at premium square metre rates.
The lofty, yet compact one-bedroom apartment is approximately 80m2 with original parquet flooring, except for the bathroom and kitchen. I could immediately see that it had great potential. With a bit of creative thinking and practical insight, it could be transformed into something truly amazing.
Once the wall separating the kitchen and the dining room had been removed, the tricky triangular-shaped space started to unfold and make more sense.
To compensate for the limited floor space in the kitchen, I designed a free-standing mobile island with lockable castors that can be moved around when more space is required in the dining or kitchen area. For the installation of the other cabinetry and shop fitted appliances, I utilised the two back walls in an L-shaped layout.
In an old building such as this, the structural beams, pillars and lintels posed some design problems; and after careful planning and consideration, I decided to add a layer of drywall panelling to the main bulkhead over the kitchen island and applied a stucco paint finish to these areas, forming integral features within the space as focus points. This resulted in a beautiful marbled surface to mount the suspended extractor fan and additional recessed lighting from.
I selected white subway tiles for the splash-back areas, black mottled floor tiles, countertops in a colour called Vanilla Noir from the Caesar Stone classic collection and a combination of earthy blues as the trendy, yet timeless colour palette for the kitchen, keeping it neutral, uncluttered and cool. By adding stainless steel appliances, brushed steel handles and steel overhead light fittings, the kitchen was now complete – slick and modern – making for a feel-easy living space with great style.
To make room for the non-existing shower in the bathroom, I utilised space previously occupied by built-in cupboards, moved the bathroom door just enough to make room for a comfortable shower cavity and freeing up functional space to incorporate a heated towel rail behind the door.
To maximise on floor space, I opted for a wall-hung toilet with recessed cistern and a narrow wall-hung vanity finished in a raw oak to add warmth to the bathroom. Due to compliance issues and plumbing complexities, the floor surfaces for both shower and free-standing tub had to be sufficiently raised to compensate for the slope of the wastewater outlets.
I sourced some amazing black and white retro floor tiles and used these in combination with the same white subway tiles for the shower walls for continuity. The Italian sanitary ware I selected has a very square design to contrast the geometric hexagonal shapes of the floor tiles.
To light up and compensate for the rather ‘dusky’ natural ambience in the apartment, I selected beautiful antique brass pendants for the lighting throughout, to flood the soft earth grey coloured interior walls.
I had the parquet flooring restored to its former glory with all skirting, doors and ceilings painted in white throughout the apartment for visual flow.