Hackney: Renovating a 3 Bedroom Apartment in North-East London

Glendown Lounge Hackney 1.jpg


The Goals


Unloved and and unsuccessfully upgraded by previous owners, I acquired this property in 2015 with a view to improving its functionality and overall standard. The apartment dated back to the 1930s - an era before electrics and central heating - meaning significant modernisation was required. A previous addition of a third bedroom by knocking through into a neighbouring storeroom resulted in an apartment with a compact kitchen, compact bathroom, and compact third bedroom.

Located in a rapidly changing pocket of London's vibrant borough of Hackney, a space efficient renovation was required to improve liveability and bring the property up to the standards expected in the 21st century.



The Approach


As the above thumbnails show, past attempts at modernisation had been undertaken unintelligently, attempting to squeeze standard bathroom and kitchen elements into un-standard spaces. The overall approach to maintenance and upgrades had also been poor. 

I integrated design elements intended for compact spaces and added built in storage in alcoves, corners, and up to ceilings. The overall finish of the apartment was upgraded, focusing on light, uncluttered and modern elements. Historical touches remained, however, with internal doors restored and small design references like heritage style brick tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. 

The overall design aimed to be respectful of the buildings past while also meeting the standards expected - and in some cases legally required - by today's city dwellers. 



The Outcome


Rotating the bathroom floorplan to place a compact bath and shower along the room's short wall opened up space for a larger sink, built in storage, and usable surrounding space. White floor to ceiling tiles on all walls and modern taps and shower improved the feeling of lightness and cleanliness. 

Restructuring the kitchen from a C shape (units on three walls) to an L shape (units on two walls) stripped out pesky corner cupboards and created a space that two people could use. Taking wall units up to the ceiling meant no reduction in storage. Previous owners had neglected to install a fridge, which this design rectified. A dishwasher - compact, of course - was also integrated.

Elsewhere in the flat, the interior decoration of all bedrooms was altered to make better use of space, while shelving and storage units were built in to alcoves in the master bedroom, lounge and hallway to reduce clutter, improving storage and feeling of space.

I sold this property on completion of the renovation in 2018.