After buying the flat upstairs, Durbanite Nicola Ashe set about transforming the tiny, old-fashioned kitchen into a stylish open-plan space.
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The kitchen in Nicola’s new flat was tiny and dated. Finished in orange and brown with an exposed geyser, there was also no plumbing for a dishwasher or washing machine. “Even though the flat was old-fashioned, after living downstairs I didn’t hesitate to buy it when it came on the market,” says Nicola. “My rented flat had exactly the same layout and I could imagine the changes I’d make when I owned it,” she says.
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HOW THIS SPACE WENT FROM DATED TO MOD
“I wanted an open-plan kitchen and living area with clean lines in an all-white palette.” The first thing Nicola did was knock out the kitchen walls, opening up the area to the living room, and transfer the electrical outlets to the other side of the room. As the building is more than 60 years old, these changes required approval from the municipality and the local heritage authority, Amafa. The approval process took eight months and the renovation by Ashcon three months, so Nicola had plenty of time to choose the fittings and finishes.
On her list were sleek, white cupboards without visible handles, white stone countertops, subway tiles and a grey vinyl floor. “The floor was a revelation,” she says. “Each tile simply clicks into place with the help of a rubber mallet and has been laid straight over the original red concrete floor.”
Although she wanted an all-white colour scheme, Nicola was worried that it would be too clinical. She decided to make a feature of the porthole windows by painting the wall a deep grey. Using grey grouting around the subway tiles and laying them in straight lines rather than overlapping them emphasised their geometric nature.
“I love that my kitchen is now clean and minimalist, although the shelf above the sink provides a spot for me to display some of my favourite things, adding colour and interest.”
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