Freshome Reader Help: Wants to Make Flat a Wonderful Space
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Freshome Reader Help: Wants to Make Flat a Wonderful Space

JAKUB: Me and my fiancée have just bought a small flat in Warsaw, Poland.

There is nothing in there as it is a new building. We both have no previous experience in designing and decorating. We will appreciate any help, ideas and suggestions.Please help us design our first flat so we can be happy living in there

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EDITOR: Freshome Reader’s help Jakub and his fiancee plan their first flat together! Leave your comments below.

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25 comments

  • teresa joyce August 2, 2010 at 18:03 PM Login to Reply →

    Hi ..I see your bedroom is 17,6 If you need to be careful with space but do not want to sacrifice comfort or function … try http://www.FunctionAll-Linens.com
    the reason I mention them to you is because they have sheets w built in caddies so you do not need 2 night stands but can still have the majority of benefits like storage ..organization… without using the space a night stand would ..
    Good Luck in your new home …you are both embarking on an exciting journey together ;)

  • LukeSF August 2, 2010 at 18:25 PM Login to Reply →

    I guess decorating will definitely come after planning all things first.
    By the way is the balcony open one or has windows installed? Depending on that there can be different approach towards space itilization.
    Another point is whether you plan considerable changes in planning, like moving walls, changing spaces, etc
    What initially comes to mind as an inevitable option for me is to have a storage system installed along the entire right wall in the bedroom… I guess it’s better to have all things stored there than in a living room..

    Here are the first thoughts to set the ball rolling…

  • Suzanne August 2, 2010 at 20:26 PM Login to Reply →

    The first thing that I notice is that there aren’t any closets. I’m not sure whether that is just because this is not a detailed plan or if there actually are none. You may want to consider some sort of storage/ built-in shelving system along the north wall of the living room. The kitchen looks like it would be suited to a U-shape of cabinets or perhaps an L-shape with a raised bar area for eating between the kitchen and the living room.

  • sket August 2, 2010 at 21:00 PM Login to Reply →

    I would ask for the same info as LukeSF“..whether you plan considerable changes in planning, like moving walls, changing spaces, etc..”. It would also be nice if you could tell us more about what do you need this space to have, for example an office area, lots of storage (for what?), do you want a fireplace, do you need a big dining table or you need a place to keep your bicycles more… : ) And one more thing, how tall are the walls?

  • JDx August 2, 2010 at 21:45 PM Login to Reply →

    Put a couch in the left top corner, place the tv at the wall between the living and the bedroom, place the bed in the bedroom with your head at the bathroom end your feet towards the balcony, thats a nice start!

  • Ted Mosby August 2, 2010 at 22:43 PM Login to Reply →

    hi… i agree with luke concerning the storage system in the bedroom. it’s better to store all things there. but wouldn’t install it along the right side because it means you have to put the bed at the upper wall and one of you has to sleep near the door. i wouldn’t like that. so switch the bed to the right wall and the storage system to the upper wall. that way you both have the same way towards the door.
    i think it is clear where the kitchen units go… but instead of a normal dining table i would prefer a bar/counter (coming from the left wall) which seperates the kitchen area from the living room.
    the tv should definetly go on the left wall, on the right wall you can install a small cupboard (200x40x60) if you need to. parallel to the tv should stand the couch as the center of the living room. on the upper wall i would install a wall cupboard matched to the tv stand. you can find ideas in here: http://freshome.com/2010/03/30/20-ideas-on-how-to-integrate-a-tv-in-the-living-room/
    i hope i could help a bit…
    if you want tips how to decorate or which color to paint, give us some information of your style and wiches.

  • Lauren August 3, 2010 at 07:33 AM Login to Reply →

    Congratuations on your new home!

    Your main concern is natural light and avoiding a ‘cluttered’ feel.
    You might want to consider creating a bifold opening in the wall dividing the living room and bedroom. This should be at a height that will maintain an element of privacy whilst allowing natural light to travel from the balcony window into the living are and giving the space an open feel.

    Also, through using light coloured and reflective surface materials this will reflect daylight into the space making it feel bigger and brighter.
    Consider using furniture that has duel uses such as a table that doubles as a kitchen work bench. Also, use the space in the bedroom for storage cupboards and possibly study nook to make the most of this larger space.

    Good Luck!

  • sket August 3, 2010 at 09:56 AM Login to Reply →

    @lavinka | Great job! : )

  • JAKUB August 3, 2010 at 10:53 AM Login to Reply →

    Hi, BIG thanks to all of you for trying to help us.

    @LukeSF
    - Balcony is open
    - I wasn’t planing moving walls, but if you will
    have some great ideas way not? :)
    - We are thinking about storage along right wall in bedroom
    as behind this wall is kitchen of our neigbours.
    Storage should isolate sounds from behind the wall.

    @Suzanne
    Yes, no closets at the moment :) Just the walls.

    @Sket – great questions.
    - We don’t really need office area. Let’s leave work at work.
    - Walls are 260cm tall
    - Storage for two of us, clothes etc. nothing special.
    - Bicycles will go to the extra shared cell.
    - Dining table for four people is a minimum as our friends will visit us often :)
    - fireplace not required :)
    - Living room should be a place to relax, chill out and host friends.

    @Lavinka
    - very interesting approach with the kitchen.
    On the start I was thinking about having this table area on the left side..
    - Will the lighting in the bathroom be enough?

    @JDx nice idea as well :)

    @Ted Mosby
    - Painting and Decorating – hard to say we like so many things.
    If I can say it this way, more modern than granny.
    Not to many things, clear space.
    Not to cold, good for relaxing and living :)
    I will try to come up with some more usefull information on this topic :)

    @Lauren
    - I fully agree with the natural light problem.
    - Idea with bifold opening sound cool, but I am not 100% sure what do you mean by that :)
    Do you mean empty space between wall and ceiling?

    My idea for the bathroom: Bathroom

    I would choose the bathtub that would not colidate with the doors ;)

    I want to use this shower: Shower
    And this kind of bathtub: Bathtub

    What do you think about it?

    Thank’s again to everyone

  • L August 3, 2010 at 11:59 AM Login to Reply →

    If this flat is totally empty, it shouldn’t be that difficult to decorate it. Just sit down, take a cup of coffe, loads of decorating/interior magazines and look for inspiration. You should know the best what likes you.

    When bedroom is not huge, I suggest to get a bed with storage room under it (you can lift the mattress and put away thins you don’t need every day). You can probably fit a dresser and sideboards there as well.

    Balony and kitchen are connected with a door, then it would be nice idea to get some floorpillows or chairs and a table so you can enjoy your morning coffee or afternoon tea there (in case it’s not too open to the street).

    For open livingroom I’d get a sofa with higher back so if someone is in the kitchen, it wouldn’t disturb the one who is loungeing/watching TV. Probably you need some storage space there too – sofa with storage room under, tv table with drawers, coffeetable with drawers/shelves, maybe some bookshelves.

    When you don’t have much natural light, it would be reasonable to paint the walls lighter color so rooms would appear larger and brighter (one trick is to pick a patterned wallpaper and do just one wall with it so all the attention goes there). You must keep in mind the lamp/light issue too – where, how much and how bright lamps do you need.

    For kitchen it would be good idea to use integrated appliances so it looks nicer when fridge, dishwasher etc are hidden from the eye.

    So, in conclusion, my advice is to not to rush with decorating and thing through what you like, what do you want and what can you afford. Decorating a whole apartment is not cheap to change it every day. You are the ones who will be living there. Make your home comfortable and nice place to be.

  • lavinka August 3, 2010 at 15:43 PM Login to Reply →

    @Jakub:
    I have only one source of light in the bathroom,diffuse – it’s ecologically :)
    Two is the bourgeoisie ;P

    Of course, you can install LED – light lines (po polsku: węże świetlne) for the decoration, but it’s work for the designer and I do not work for free :D

  • Kunal August 3, 2010 at 15:52 PM Login to Reply →

    I would suggest to use More of the large mirrors in the flat which will help to reflect the light and open up the space and make the space look bigger.

  • LukeSF August 3, 2010 at 18:33 PM Login to Reply →

    Hmm…I really wonder how you are going to load the washing machine in that bathroom project you refered too… If you still want it there (though I guess a built-in in the kitchen can work too) then it must be at least a vertical load one…
    By the way, is a stand alone shower cabin a must?

  • Jakub August 3, 2010 at 20:42 PM Login to Reply →

    @lavinka
    :) Yeah, I found your website after your first post, and saw that you are Polish. Thank you for advices. Dziekuje. :)

    I can only say that, if we could afford designer I wouldn’t be posting this case in the internet ;)

  • Jakub August 4, 2010 at 06:48 AM Login to Reply →

    @LukeSF
    Bathroom is 280x205cm

    Washing machine loaded vertically is 40cm wide/depth so it should go in.

    I see it this way: 40cm washing machine + 80cm doors + 70-80 cm wide bathtub… gives us about 205 cm in width.

    I would love to have both, but I know it wan’t be easy.
    Secondly we don’t like the idea with the bathtub with the protecting screen as a shower.

    Of course I understand that there will not much space left.

  • LukeSF August 4, 2010 at 15:56 PM Login to Reply →

    Thought of the bath… To my mind, this version can work better and give you more space…
    http://i969.photobucket.com/albums/ae174/LukeSF/bathroom.jpg

    As for the calculation you provided, don’t forget that the washing machine can not be placed just to the wall, there still will be centimeters of the pipes, plug, etc which will mean it will extrude to the doorway…

  • Ted Mosby August 4, 2010 at 16:55 PM Login to Reply →

    luke is right… his version of the bathroom is probably the best… even though i think it will be too many things and wont look that great. but i guess the bathtube is a must for your future wife.
    i had the same problem with my bathroom (230cm x 200cm)… so i decided to install a big rain shower. also i laminated the floor with dark wood, marmor looking tiles and an old stool… looks fantastic ;)

  • Jakub August 6, 2010 at 07:38 AM Login to Reply →

    Ok, we quited the idea with the shower :)

    Choosing tiles for the bathroom is so tough! :(

    We like those Tiles but we are thinking to use only few coloured ones behind the toilet, white ones on the rest of the walls and something darker on the floor.

    What do you think?

  • sket August 6, 2010 at 17:30 PM Login to Reply →

    Since there has been most talk about the bathroom, i thought i start there. I uploaded the photos to rapidshare and you can download the file here. I prefer showers over bathtubs (especialy when a shower is big and can fit two people), but you can take the shower out and put a tub in it’s place. If you like the later version better, i sugest a tub like this, or maybe like this.

    Since you said you would like a darker floor in the bathroom, i used a polished dark gray concrete for the floor and white tiles for the walls.. something like your suggestion.

  • sket August 6, 2010 at 21:43 PM Login to Reply →

    For the livingroom i came up with this design.

    Maybe it would be good to put some funky shelves above the TV. On the left wall i would put fremed pictures, alot of them. Umong that collage of pictures i would put some framed mirrors. I think it would be interesting and it would throw that much needed light around the space.

  • Ted Mosby August 7, 2010 at 21:49 PM Login to Reply →

    the tiles are very nice and grey polished concrete definetly will look really good. the first tube is much better because it is filigree. that’s my opinion and i guess the bathroom is done with skets room layout.

  • Jakub August 10, 2010 at 06:52 AM Login to Reply →

    Sorry for my short absence, but there is a lot of things
    going on with the flat :)

    I think we can mark bathroom as done because there are a lot of great ideas that we can use :) Thank you

    @sket
    About the living room.
    The space for the door in the living room is now 100cm wide. So I would have to reduce the width to 60cm… and I simply think it’s not enough to make this wall with furniture.

    I have also a kitchen design made by a carpenter Kitchen What do you think? :)

  • Jakub August 10, 2010 at 07:05 AM Login to Reply →

    I forgot to add that the fridge will be build in ;)

    We have chosen also the colour for the fronts in metallic graphite and beige. I will have updated project with colours soon.

    Do you have some other ideas for our kitchen?

    We are still not sure how to solve the table/island issue.

    Table is more comfortable to have dinner with friends.
    Island in the other hand will somehow divide kitchen area from living room, but it will not be so functional.

  • sket August 10, 2010 at 12:57 PM Login to Reply →

    @Jakub | I moved the wall between the livingroom and bedroom, that is why the storage cabinets and desk can fit ;)

    Btw, here is my design for the kitchen, for some reason they didn’t post it a few days ago.