So it’s really happened. I now have an apartment (in Seventh Heaven Barari) and it’s quite the culture shock. Having lived blissfully enshrined in beige for several years, chesterfields and modern classic furnishings, wallpaper and an ever growing collection of ornaments to dust, I am now trying to go a bit more contemporary, and I’m a bit nervous.
The walls are bright white. The windows are huge. It’s almost like its warning me against over decorating, to keep it simple, and I’m struggling. so I have hidden the Dulux paint swatches so I am not tempted and the bright white walls will remain. But how do you make contemporary/minimalist, cosy?
I’ve started with the kitchen. Which is beautiful in its white clean simplicity (but woefully lacking in counter space.) I’m used to my classic rich cream cabinets and complimentary wicker baskets. Mackenzie Childs cottage kettles and old english casserole dishes. So have decided to do the exact opposite to my natural instinct and am going for cool calm green retro shades. A simple white marble dining table with ( wait for it…) sage green perspex dining chairs. No plush button back velvet in sight. Some plants for more greenery, maybe Olive trees on the balcony and the only texture on the windows, a net curtain!! Yes I hear you laughing! Net curtains don’t sound very 2021, but I’m hoping it’ll give it a breezy light look. A simple white gloss sideboard (another word i’ve not used since the seventies.) and very little else.
I am leaving a kitchen three times the size, with a second fully equipped kitchen behind it ( so the main kitchen never gets clogged up with dirty dishes! ( I know, sorry!) and then I have a utility room, the same size again. But hey that was well used with the whole family around, plus our friends, and their friends, girlfriends and visitors. Now I’m planning on more meals out, when I don’t have to cook for 12! So I don’t need the space. And trust me I don’t have it. the island is all of the counter space i have. so I’ll have to shelve/counter the small utility room, if only to house the breadmakers, spiralisers, slow cookers and George Foreman grills.
The very crude mood board I did , looked like it would work, but it will take some getting used to. Having looked online I outlined the kind of furnishings I wanted and screenshotted them, then pasted them on a powerpoint slide. This is great way to see if your vision holds water. I have happily sat in bed online shopping and pasting until I found items that started to have a style and cohesion to them. I very rarely have to take anything back. Famous last words as it turned out.
In reality, things change when they come to fruition. The olive trees on the balcony didn’t materialise as the sun was too strong so I opted for cheese plants instead, in keeping I thought with the retro seventies vibe. The rugs I was so sure of, didn’t work. They were rectangular and the table round and it didn’t work. So instead of a rug to anchor the room I swapped the white breezy net curtains for green/grey geometric ones. yes patterned net curtains! But yes it came together.
I also had room for a high table with two bar stools which are great to sit at with my laptop and watch the world go by out of the big window, and not the anticipated stools at the island. Instead there I had a fabric bench made. Counter tops never seem to be standard so when you buy stools you are either reaching to get your elbows on the counter or sitting side saddle because your knees don’t fit. Having one custom made locally ( by Dreamland Furniture in Dubai) meant it was the perfect height. It’s on castors so easy to move, and it has storage which I desperately needed. Job done! But it works so far. It’s a work in progress. But it’s not as minimalist as I imagined. Just can’t do it. And what’s the name of my apartment? Seventh Heaven. And it is!
Here are some pics of the finished kitchen…
Taken by an arty photographer friend!
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Lots of pieces came from Marina Interiors. check them out on http://www.marinahomeinteriors.com