Room Tour: A Poky Ground Floor Becomes a Flexible Living Space
A dash of coastal colour, playful touches and an updated layout revive a tired 1950s home
The detached house in Colwyn Bay sits in a pretty spot and has sea views and idyllic woodland walks close by. Step inside and you’re now greeted by a bright, light-filled, modern living space, but it wasn’t always that way…
Who lives here? Lorraine and Liam Maloney
Location Colwyn Bay, North Wales
Property A 1950s detached house
Size Three bedrooms and two bathrooms
Designer Clare Bolger of No Space Like Home
The original layout consisted of a front living area to the right of a traditional hallway, which led onto a dining room, and then to a compact kitchen at the rear. This was accessed through a narrow opening covered by the sliding glass door seen here. The whole ground floor living space felt slightly disjointed.
Removing the sliding door immediately helped to modernise the space and freed up enough room for a larger, retro-inspired fridge-freezer.
Painting the archway between the kitchen and dining room bright yellow is a defining statement and one Clare knew would work. “We needed a clean divide between rooms without encroaching on the space in any way, and this adds a playful touch, too,” she says.
Archway painted in Mister David, Little Greene.
“We swapped the gas hob for a sleek induction model, as it’s not only cleaner to use, it can double as a handy work area when not on,” Clare says. “The chimney-style extractor was also changed for a neater, more contemporary version.”
Wall cabinets painted in French Grey; base cabinets painted in Hicks’ Blue, both Little Greene.
A mint green mixer tap is another playful touch reminiscent of the 1950s, and its ice-cream hue is perfect for the seaside location.
One layout challenge Clare faced in the kitchen was how to fit in a dishwasher; after all, this was to be the family’s relaxing, holiday getaway. The clever solution was to relocate the washing machine to the understairs area in the hallway, then slide a dishwasher into the vacated spot. The pipework was already in place, but the question was how to conceal it.
“I asked a local carpenter to make a door to match the existing kitchen units, which we then attached with brackets. You can hardly see the difference,” Clare says.
Astrid Grey wall tiles, Mandarin Stone. Neo Mint Tinkisso tap, Dowsing & Reynolds.
“With open shelves for display on one side and space for a couple of barstools on the other, it’s perfect,” Clare says. The island also helps to zone off access to the back door.
Stools, Cult Furniture. Ukai Fisherman’s pendant light, Iconic Lights.
Prints, King & McGaw. Truro Stripe Linen Sandstone blinds, Blinds2Go. Rattan platters, La Redoute.
Signature 8mm Herringbone laminate flooring in Light Oak, Discount Flooring Depot.
“This was actually very practical, too,” Clare says. “As I was managing the project remotely, I could tell the electrician to install the light fitting with plenty of slack, so we could finalise the light position once the furniture was in place.”
Vintage dining chairs, Ercol.
Print, iamfy. Alvina solid pine dining table, La Redoute.
A rich teal was chosen for the lower half of the walls, while a slightly grey-toned white was used above and on the ceiling. “As well as a nod to the coastal location, the two colours really help to visually raise the low ceiling, creating the feel of extra headroom and, generally, a larger room,” Clare says.
Lower walls painted in Maritime Teal; upper walls painted in Swedish White, both Dulux.
Rattan platters displayed on the wall add natural texture and help to visually ‘soften’ the room. They also disguise a TV point, which was installed in case the family wish to add one at a later date.
Luxore buffet sideboard in Prussian Blue, La Redoute. Prints, King & McGaw.
Hexagonal wall shelves and a floor lamp add touches of black to the room. “Black really helps to ground a space,” Clare says. “It gives the eye something to compare other colours to, and it particularly works alongside pastel shades.”
Bangor bamboo coffee table, La Redoute. Starkey brass floor lamp, Made. Hex wall shelves, Melody Maison. Pink armchair, Homebase.
What do you like about this bright coastal space? Share your thoughts in the Comments and save the photos you like.