Documenting our disastrous move from leafy north London to the grungy south...

Monday, 14 April 2014

Trapdoor havoc

After spending a lot of the UK winter in Australia, I got back to our flat (which don't get me wrong... I absolutely LOVE) and freaked out about the size of our kitchen. It's really teenie and half of it is taken up by a set of stairs which lead into our garden. And my mum's kitchen in sunny Oz is HUGE... with no stairs! 

So I racked my brains, downloaded the IKEA kitchen design program and agonised for hours over what to do out here. With a set of stairs smack bang in a tiny kitchen - low windows and a fireplace in the adjoining dining room, it was proving quite hard to re-design.

So what it came down to was our first (and simplest) idea. 

1. Build a trapdoor over the stairs
2. Knock a servery window to open up the space (read: knock a big hole in the wall)

So we enlisted the help of our handyman to build us the trapdoor, frame to support it and to knock out the hole. Then L stained, painted, decorated and finished the room.

What a transformation. Holy moly - it's like we have a brand new kitchen - double the size and all bright and airy. The trapdoor is made in two pieces so it can be easily lifted up (and when the trapdoor is up, it forms a railing) so it's still really easy to access our garden. We are so happy. But really you need to see pics - so take a look.

Here's the first before and after:

Now check out the difference:

Dusty progress
From top: the new kitchen/dining room; the trapdoor closed, and open; looking from the kitchen through the window; flowers and blossoms from the garden and my clocks... moved to a different wall now

The trapdoor will never be a perfect match to the floor being different wood and all - but we're so excited to have that extra room - and not have to play kitchen tetrus that we don't mind. I might get a mat to disguise it, but for now, we're coming into summer and I think the trapdoor might be in use a little more often!

We have yet another room in progress at the moment, so watch this space for more renovation havoc soon.


  1. You must be very satisfied with the results! It takes special skill to plan and build a kitchen transformation like that. You'd have to maximise every space, and your handyman should see your plans go into fruition. That trapdoor was a great idea, as you were able to get even more storage place out of that area. Thanks for sharing!

    Helene Raymond @ Trade Squad

  2. The trapdoor really looks just fine. I think it's nice to have an extra room at home, specifically a secret one. Haha! I can say that you really did a great job there. Thanks for sharing, Jenska! Take care!

    Darryl Smith @ Franklin Window And Door