You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette.

I haven’t lost my mind and decided to deviate from an Interiors Blog to join everyone inspired by "The Great British Bake Off" to tell you about cooking. “You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette” has become my new over-used phrase of late. I found myself wondering what it was I was passionately discussing when those words came popping out of my mouth.

speaking of eggs, how sweet is this egg tray from Anthropologie

An interior designer brings a fresh pair of eyes to a situation and sometimes that vision can see that being a little more radical in the scope of work will achieve the best design. Sometimes I will make suggestions that take my clients back a few steps from their original thoughts to create an amazing solution. Hence – “breaking a few eggs to make an omelette”.

Taking steps back, especially if they involve building work, can worry a client so I want to share with you a few examples of projects I have done which required some “egg breaking” but concluded with even better results.

Last year I had the delight of re-designing a client’s kitchen. I shall call her “Sue” for the purposes of this tale. Sue had inherited the kitchen with the house 15 years earlier and to say it was past its prime was an understatement; doors came off in her hand, surfaces were cluttered with stuff that had no home and appliances were on their last legs. Sue was thinking that a new kitchen in the same footprint as the old with some additional appliances would meet her cooking requirements.

I saw an “egg-cracking-omelette” situation.

Taking over a whole section of the kitchen was a corner chimney breast. The previous occupier had chosen to build the hob and extractor into it and make the best of the situation. This monster lurking in the corner filled up a lot of space and made the kitchen feel cramped. It had to go. To prove that I could get a lot more out of the space by it removing it I worked up design drawing showing how the we could fit the American sized fridge/freezer Sue had always wanted, as well as the oven unit, in the same space.

Before - Old Chimney breast in Kitchen
Before - Old Chimney breast in Kitchen
Smartstyle Design Drawing showing better use of the space
Smartstyle Design Drawing showing better use of the space

Sue just hadn’t considered this monster not being there, but now she could imagine how spacious the room could be without “The Beast”. At first she was worried about the extra building work. Now Sue wouldn’t hesitate for a second to “OK” the extra 2 days of work for the amazing difference the change made. It is one of my favourite spaces to have designed.

After - New Kitchen Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness
After - New Kitchen Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness
After - New Kitchen! Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness
After - New Kitchen! Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

This sort of situation comes up time and time again. Recently I was presented with a separate toilet and bathroom. Both were tiny spaces. Removing the wall between them meant only one door was required and the space felt like it had more than doubled. I have taken just a quick snap so you can see the difference.  It also added value on the property, so ultimately worth the “step back” to get it right.

Before - Separate WC and Bathroom
Before - Separate WC and Bathroom
Refurbished bathroom without wall
Refurbished bathroom without wall

Sometimes it is the small things that are the gremlins which need to be dealt with: exposed pipes; badly placed radiators; door swings opening into a room instead of flat to the wall; media units powered off a snakes nest of extension cables. All things people have learned to live with. However, without them there the rooms look so much better, elevating the interior look they have worked so hard to achieve looks amazing.

So if you want a new look to your room I really recommend looking for those gremlins and taking a little extra effort to rid yourself of them. You will not believe what a better omelette it is.