In Interior Design

How Cooked Studio’s interior designers transformed a worn-down office space into a stunning renovated apartment for Airbnb in a super tight timeframe

At Cooked Studio, we just love getting our hands dirty and find so much joy in converting the old into the new. Here, we share with you the apartment renovation story in a Burg Street apartment and our process in transforming a really shoddy, worn-down office space into a beautiful apartment for Airbnb.

The Burg Street apartment renovation was a super fun project with a crazy tight deadline. Cooked Studio received the brief at the end of November, with the aim of being finished by mid-January so the client could capitalize on his investment property over the course of the holiday season in Cape Town.

We walked into the space on the 29th of November for a site visit and could tell by our first three steps in the door that there was a lot of work to be done. What’s more is that contractors were closing for business holidays in just two short weeks time!

We went straight to work bringing in our own builders and collaborating with some of the clients existing contractors who were already busy stripping layers and layers of old paint off the walls. We also prioritized getting an electrician in asap to get the electrical connections functional again so we’d be able to plug in lighting and tools to work.

In order to make it feasible. We had to break the project up into phases – Phase 0-1 would be to turn the run-down office space into a livable apartment, with Phase two scheduled for late 2018 where we will be doing a full apartment renovation – breaking down walls to open up the space, and then totally rebuilding the interior to turn it into two smaller apartments.

we could tell by our first three steps in the door that there was a lot of work to be done, and contractors were closing for business holidays in just two short weeks time!

before apartment renovation hall
Entrance hall after apartment renovation

As a result, we had to be mindful of budget so as not to duplicate expenses for Phase two – so we chose to work with simple inexpensive solutions such as screed on the floors, a full re-plaster and paint on the walls and ceilings and retiling the bathroom but buying in bulk to ensure we have enough of the same stock for the additional bathroom and kitchens for Phase 2.

As there was no kitchen, we had to build in a temporary kitchenette using inexpensive materials such as melamine and Formica form the cabinets. We refurbished the existing window frames which had a beautiful art deco authenticity to them already, weatherproofed them and re-varnished them in a warm Imbuia varnish to add some richness to the rooms.

Finishing touches included refurbishing some gorgeous vintage furniture pieces we found in Woodstock and reupholstered them with rich contemporary fabrics that still tied in well with the Art Deco look.

With limited contractors and a hard push, we completed the project in mid-January, with some minor touch-ups to go. We worked super closely alongside our awesome client and the results were great!

Phase 2 will incorporate:

  • Full renovation of the space, breaking out interior walls within what we have allocated as “Apartment 1” and “Apartment 2”
  • Building two permanent kitchens with marble countertops
  • Building an additional bathroom, plumbing to run under a stepped area which will need to be built in
  • Flooring in the living areas and bedrooms to be finished in a rich, warm bamboo/ laminate laid in a herringbone pattern
  • Custom designed bulkheads that act as ceiling roses with recessed warm white LEDs on dimmer switches
  • Custom designed headboards to tie in with the elaborate Art Deco theme
  • Brass and marble custom designed bathroom vanities and much more!

Follow us to see more of our work or get in touch with us for assistance in transforming your space: Instagram: @cookedstudio

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