Through various Halifax connections in the cultural sector and just through mutual friends we had made friends with CJ.  CJ had a basement apartment in her home that she felt needed an updating.  So she asked to have us come in and see what we could do with it.  No problem, basement apartment, how bad could it be?  Well…


View of the main room from the entry door



the gutted “kitchen” area


A panoramic sweet of the main room with kitchen visibile in the middle



and the somewhat useless utility corner


Admittedly, these are mid construction photos. So they look scarier than anyone would like… but alas, it is what we have to work with.

So the idea here is going to do our best to get as much of an “executive suite” feel out of this space as possible.  So needed to focus on :

  • working WITH the size of the space, not against it
  • squeezing EVERY last cubic inch of useful space out of it
  • keep it as warm as possible

So this brought us to the drawing board.


view of the planned room looking into the kitchen

First of all, we needed the right colour.  And milk chocolate was perfect for the job.  It is a small space, and we were not about to deny that, instead embrace it, and let the room feel warm and soft, like a hug.  Hence the nickname for this project!


looking into the main room from the kitchen

Two other major things to help embrace the unavoidable compactness of the apartment were, the rich floors, and the ceiling spot lights.  The floors help continue the idea of warmth, of richness, of softness.  Whereas the lights give the space brightness and contrast without visually encroaching into the space.


The problematic kitchen

In the spirit of making every cubic inch work, we worked to get as much cabinetry in the space, as well as getting as much wall shelving up as possible.  The strong contrast of the crisp white subway tile and white cabinetry lets the kitchen space POP against the deep browns of the rest of the space as well.


Lets cram some laundry into the tiny space, sure, why not?

In the interest of making the space as lux as possible, we wanted to get laundry in the unit as well, as that makes a magnificent difference in terms of the desirability of the unit.


Just to be clear, we are dealing with a SMALL space here.  :)

As the project progressed, it became clear that CJ wanted to handle the decor of the space herself.  Which is fine, but that just means that we cant take credit for the finished finished product.  But we CAN take credit for this:

brown 02

view from main room towards kitchen

the milk chocolate colour on the walls looks even better than we had hoped!

view from entry door towards main room

view from entry door towards main room

and the floors really sing in the space, especially when hit by the ceiling spot lights… RAWR!

brown 03

finished kitchen

For how small a space it is, this kitchen looks FINE!  The cabinetry fits perfectly, and the subway tile just SINGS!

And we had the chance to create recessed shelves in the left wall, which really helped save precious cubic inches.

utility space SAVED!

utility space SAVED!

Not only did we manage to get the laundry in place, but we could get quite a clever custom built closet space in the erstwhile wasted utility nook.

We are simply delighted with the end result.  The space feels totally saved, revived, and perfectly livable.

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