A small apartment in size, but large in style

A small apartment in size, but large in style

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"Awarded!" This word and a hammer blow made Ben and Susanne the new owners of a 36m2 studio located in a building built in 1860 in the London neighborhood of Islington. Their property was only disputed with another couple since the state of the house was quite bad and, being in a protected building, there were many impediments that the town hall put to reform it. But this did not discourage Ben, architect of the study Architecture for London, who saw in this mini-studio many possibilities.

To make it more functional, they moved the bedroom and kitchen and opened it to the rest of the house. They wanted to return the splendor of the past, so they removed the layers that previous owners had been adding for decades. They ripped the linoleum floor to expose the original wood they sanded. The original moldings had so much paint on top that their design was hardly noticeable, so they removed it. The authorities forced them to replicate the nineteenth-century style and began an arduous investigation work entering the homes of their neighbors to locate original elements and replicate them. Among these elements was the fireplace, which they put back into operation and for which they designed a front in Carrara marble. this same material was used on the kitchen countertop, to give continuity to the space, and combined with another more modest, MDF, for the cabinets. All with a budget of just over € 30,000.

This continent of classical make-up contrasts with the decorative pieces, mostly contemporary Nordic-style designs and mid-century. Disregarding the rules for decorating small spaces, they painted the walls and ceiling of the bedroom a dark gray because "it makes it more cozy and, at night, you cannot perceive where the room ends," they explain.

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Despite the poor state in which he was, Ben and Susanne, the owners of this 36m2 apartment in London, managed to see the possibilities it had.

Protect your past

The apartment is in a protected building built in 1860 and the town hall put many conditions at the time of reforming it.

Tight budget

In the kitchen they combined a Carrara marble countertop, found at a very good price in a quarry, with MDF for the cabinets.


A modern version of the traditional chandelier hangs from the ceiling of your living room.


The distribution was changed to make it more functional: the bedroom was placed in the previous kitchen and vice versa, opening this to the living room.

In the heat of the fire

The front of the fireplace had to be designed in custom marble to replicate the original style.

Original moldings

The moldings had been painted so many times that its design was not noticeable. They removed the layers and painted them in white.


The original wooden floor was covered by linoleum. It was torn off and sanded to restore the splendor of the past.

Opposites attract

The classic floor style has been combined with current design pieces.

Tight budget

The total cost of the reform was just over 30,000 euros.

Do not follow the rules

It is usually advisable to paint a room in light colors to make it bigger. The owner of this apartment did the opposite, choosing a dark gray color to cover walls and ceilings and to ensure that the boundaries of the bedroom do not really know.


They opted for very simple furniture for the bedroom.

brush strokes

The blanket and armchair are the only color notes inside the bedroom.


To avoid putting on a radiator and gaining space, they placed mirrors that heat up and prevent fogging.


To visually make the bathroom bigger, they continued tiling the floor through the walls.

Relaxing bath

As space allowed, they chose to place a bathtub instead of a shower. A small luxury

Classic bathtub

They bought a cast iron bathtub, but the legs had too many ornaments for their taste, so they replaced them with wooden ones that painted in yellow.

Family portrait

Ben and Susanne, the owners, in the living room of their 36 square meter apartment.