Özlem(@loftstyle_living) her husband Oliver and their two sons live in a fully renovated apartment in an old building right in the middle of the historic centre of Koblenz. The renovation and kitchen design posed some unique challenges for the family. To find out what exactly those challenges were and what role the colour red plays in Özlem’s kitchen, check out our interview with her:
1. What made you decide to modernise the top floor of an old apartment building?
We found our apartment online. A building company was planning to fully renovate 10 apartments and turn the top floor apartment into a penthouse. But that turned out to be impossible for reasons of historic preservation. So it stayed a traditional top floor apartment, which has actually made us happier in hindsight.
2. Do you think any style can fit in a loft and what are your tips for clever room division in a loft?
I think a loft goes best with a modern style, but you can combine it with other subtle stylistic elements, e.g. Scandi Look, Boho, Oriental, Vintage to create your personal dream design. The floor plan should be open with only few, but high-quality, pieces of furniture. Add colourful elements and mix materials to make the most of your loft.
3. What inspired you to choose the modern interior design with the touches of red? Does the colour red hold any special significance for you?
We thought the idea of ‘old meets modern’ in interior design was nice and wanted to accentuate the whole design with some splashes of colour - add a few eye-catchers, so to speak. Because we consider the kitchen an essential room in our apartment, we didn’t want it to look sterile but instead wanted it to exude cosiness. The colour red represents an attitude: It has a fiery temperament and fills a room with warmth. Aside from all that, red is my favourite colour.
4. At what point did you plan the kitchen during the renovation?
Relatively early in the process, because we had to decide where to put electrical sockets and taps.
5. What are the difficulties of planning a kitchen with a sloped ceiling or in an old building? How did you solve those problems?
Planning a kitchen with a sloped ceiling wasn’t all that simple. We were also concerned that we wouldn’t have enough storage space in our kitchen. But in the end, we were fully satisfied with everything despite the sloped ceiling. We got a great consultation; together with our sales consultant we figured out how to combine optimised storage spaces, modern furniture and cosiness, despite the sloped ceilings. A downdraft extractor fan is the perfect alternative to a cooker hood for sloped ceilings.
6. How did you optimise your use of space and how did you incorporate the wooden beams in your kitchen plan?
We planned every corner of our kitchen so that everything has a function and is used in the most optimal way. In addition, our kitchen was built around the wooden beams that were already there. That meant everything had to be tailored precisely to that situation.
7. What inspired you to choose this kitchen?
I have always dreamt of a glossy white kitchen with parquet flooring. For years, I’ve been collecting ideas online and from magazines. We absolutely had to add red, because it’s my favourite colour.
7. How did your children affect your kitchen plan?
As both of our children are already fairly independent and frequently prepare their own meals, I wanted my kitchen to be easy to clean and have, for instance, a sturdy worktop and easily washable fronts.
9. What advice do you have for taking a sloped ceiling into account when planning your kitchen?
If you’re dealing with a sloped ceiling, it’s important to focus on the bottom area of your kitchen. For instance, we only have one narrow wall unit for the glasses and cups we use every day. Drawers and deep cabinets underneath the worktop provide plenty of storage space.
10. The seating options are an interesting feature of your kitchen. How did you choose them?
A bench with additional drawers for storage is great for a small family and adds a consistent look, as though it were made of a single piece. Planning a seating area like that also adds a lot of cosiness to the room. It makes you want to sit down and relax.
11. Your cabinets are well-lit. Did lighting play a big part in your kitchen plan?
Lighting plays a big role in our whole apartment. We wanted the light to not just exude cosiness and warmth, but also to draw attention to the best features of our furniture.