No strangers to major renovation work, Simon Wake and his partner have plenty of experience in tackling property redevelopments projects, but this was the first time they were going to apply their experience to an apartment.
Simon explains, “We are always on the lookout for great investment opportunities and this particular part of Liverpool had caught our attention as there was some really exciting development plans taking shape for the area.”
The apartment Simon purchased is in the heart of the Peel development area called Peel Waters, walking distance from the Liver building and Albert Dock. The area currently has approved planning permission for a new Luxury Cruise Liner Terminal and a new build hotel, and construction already underway on the new Isle of Man Ferry Terminal in addition to three new high rise apartment blocks with a mix of retail and residential units.
“When I saw this apartment for sale it felt like a great opportunity. It desperately needed modernisation but offered really generous living accommodation, private underground car parking and 24 hour security and concierge services. What really sold it to me was the impressive floor to ceiling windows with the stunning waterfront view. It was a great chance to secure a property already located in such an up and coming area.”
While this was Simon’s first apartment renovation he already had clear design aspirations for the space. “We wanted to create a space that was open, perfect for socialising, with a New York loft style apartment feel. The focal point had to be the large windows and fantastic views out so we wanted to ensure the living room and kitchen area was laid out in such a way so that nothing interfered with the view, wherever you are in the room.”
The inside of the apartment was completely gutted with everything coming out other than the windows. “Being an apartment we were a little bit restricted from being able to alter rooms drastically, however we maximised the space as best as possible and made some minor partition changes to walls in the bathrooms to give more space for fittings.”
With the apartment a blank canvas flooring choice was going to be crucial to provide the common design element that would link all the spaces together and lead you to the stunning views.
“Wood floors were always my vision from the start of the project. We wanted an authentic floor that would deliver that modern day New York or Manhattan loft style apartment feel we were trying to achieve. We visited so many flooring showrooms to look for ideas collecting tons of samples along the way. We had it narrowed down to a modern parquet style, and in particular a herringbone format, we just couldn’t find the right tone.
“After another trip to flooring shops we happened to pick up the V4 Zigzag Foundry Steel sample along with others. We laid our latest selection of samples out in the apartment when we got back and the Foundry Steel tones just felt immediately right. The colour blended perfectly with the other fitting samples we had for the kitchen and bathroom and the textured oak tones really played to the daytime and evening light you get from the large windows.”
“It had taken a lot of sample searching to get there, but we had found our perfect wood floors for the apartment.”
Simon ordered the floors from V4 retailer Oakwoods Flooring and instructed local flooring company Liverpool Flooring to complete the installation. The herringbone oak blocks have been installed throughout the apartment, extending from the hallway into the two bedrooms and into the large open plan kitchen and living space. The fitters prepared the sub-floor with plyboard to ensure an even surface and removed existing skirting before completing the installation over the course of a week, reapplying the skirting at the end for a neat finish.
“I was so impressed when I saw the finished floors. It looked amazing and really high quality. We always intended to keep the apartment quite minimally dressed so the high quality nature of the flooring, kitchen and bathroom designs would really stand-out.”
The whole project took just eight weeks from start to finish and the finished design certainly lives up to that New York loft style vision and intention to make the waterfront view the hero in the space.
“The living room layout is all about keeping the view clear and having a large space for socialising, rather than trying to work around a TV position or lots of furniture. We opted for two Chesterfield design sofas and positioned them facing each other, keeping the main floor clear with easy access to the windows. The kitchen design also joins the living area with an extended breakfast bar and stools. This feature again is perfect for joining the kitchen area to the main room when preparing drinks or food and keeping the whole space connected and social.
“The finished apartment is better than we ever imagined at the onset of the project and a huge part of that is down to the flooring. We are so impressed. The darker oak tones and rustic grains really deliver a wow factor against a more modern backdrop, and the floors really do glow and tell their own story at different times of the day, especially early evening as the light floods in just before sunset.”
“We wanted the apartment to feel a comfortable space, relaxing and social, and with all of our careful planning we feel we really have made that a reality. It’s such a lovely space to be in.”