We closed off our balcony last summer by having double glazed windows installed with aluminium frames. We were left with a kind of “jardin d’hiver” or veranda – a room that you could enter via what was the outside balcony door, but that had no floor or wall insulation and was enclosed mostly by glass. As a result, we didn’t use the space very much.
Last month, we finally had enough means to finish the job. We removed the old interior ex-exterior windows, insulated the floor and outside walls, and had the old main window framework decorated and finished with plasterboard. We also decided, thanks to a friend who did a 3D mockup of the whole idea, to remove the bar that separated the kitchen and the lounge. I have a Flickr set with more photos so you can see more detail.
A local builder quoted a reasonable price and did the work with an associate in about 6 days, during which the flat was full of dust, building materials, tools, protective sheeting and general mess. We had to live in a small demilitarised zone near the television with a path through to the hob and the kettle.
I managed to find parquet flooring (clip style) the same as that which was already in our lounge, so I took up the kitchen flooring and installed more parquet. Now the whole upstairs – our flat is a duplex with bedrooms downstairs – has the same flooring. Almost inevitably (given Yasmina’s passion for interior decoration) this work gave rise to new furniture questions what with all the new space. So after a couple of trips to IKEA we are now proud owners of a new kitchen table, chairs, a free-standing kitchen drawer unit, a metal cabinet for the ex-balcony, and a built-in microwave.
As a result the flat has a more modern feel. The bar we had previously just took up space but wasn’t particularly functional or aesthetic – friends have also admitted they didn’t like it much since it is now gone – and its disappearance has made the visual perception of space much more vast. I might, at risk of sounding pretentious, say that it has transformed the flat into a pseudo-loft style. The kitchen really is part of the same room as the lounge, and that makes it a challenge to decorate successfully. A bit more work on lighting and furniture arrangement – plus some finishing touches on the kitchen units & worktops perhaps – are needed before it’ll all be really top notch. But it already looks pretty nice now, don’t you think?