As a busy family of soon to be 6, we decided to extend our home and build a multi functional external Studio Suite that my Husband could not only use as his home office, but also for a lovely and relaxing private space that we could rent out via Air b n b.
Here are our tips and some inspiration on how to style and set up a small space and what we used to create this multi purpose, income generating studio.
WHERE TO START
I just love having a blank space to work with and as we have just recently built our family home, it only seemed natural to carry on the same black, white and grey, Scandi beach theme out into the studio. We were able to use the left over paint from the main dwelling and replicated the same Resene colour “Foundry” feature wall that we did and love from the main house, and “Alabaster” white for the walls, ceilings and trims.
Flooring that looks classy yet durable
We wanted a lux looking, hard wearing, easy to clean flooring that was light in colour with a textured wood look grain to work in with the scandi beach theme and also aimed to match the light wood look flooring that we did in the main house. Since we were on a budget, we substituted the Carpet Court QuickStep Laminate that we used through out the main dwelling, for their Malmo Scandia Luxury Vinyl tiles in the studio. Not only are we are impressed at the speed and perfection of the flooring lay (video here) but the quality of the product and completed look is exactly what we were aiming for. To this day, a few months on the it still looks like new being mark, scratch and fade free and i just love how it flows with the room and its decor.
STICKING WITH A THEME
Our’s is: Scandi Beach
Since we used such neutral tones for the walls and floor, we kept to this colour pallet and incorporated it through out when it came to styling the decor, furniture and linen. Our scandi beach theme has created a restful crisp and clean space that everyone who has been in it so far, has commented on how “tidy and beautiful it is”. I have also found people really respect the studio room during their stay.
CLEVER USE OF SPACE
My husband wanted plywood features in the studio and since it is also his home office (will office space reveal later in another blog), we cleverly incorporated ply into a few things. The back wall of the separate toilet and one wall in the the room feature a light honey coloured ply. Our local furniture maker MO.TI.DE skilfully used the remaining sheets we had and made the front facing cupboards of our kitchenette. It is seamless how the feature wall runs into the kitchenette space. They cleverly doubled up, cut and layered the wood panels with bevel edge so we didn’t need handles and they created spaces big enough to hide the mini fridge and microwave and small enough to have a few shelves and single draw for all thats required. The bench top is matt black Polaris, a new technology plywood that is smooth and velvety to the touch, with a unique edge detail that is unlike anything on the market. We also used the off cuts for 2 desk tops. I love that it is anti fingerprint plus scratch and abrasion resistant.
THE FINER DETAILS
DIY Splash backs
From an Auckland based company Vinyl Home , I used the Milano Blanco self adhesive tiles for both the kitchenette and toilet splash backs. I am an OCD perfectionist and managed to do this in a day around a busy mum life to 3 toddlers and being 7 months pregnant. Once you cut and positioned the first tile, it was just a matter of follow on from there. Cutting in and around plugs made you think but was not as tricky as I thought. Since completing this I now want to do more DIY projects such as upcycling the kids toy box with Vinyl Homes white leather look vinyl and chalk paint.
All class sink and mixer
Trade Depot is my go to for black stylish mixers and sinks. The sink we used is deep yet perfectly fits our small space. Its hard wearing, easy to clean and is made from a compact-construction material that brings cutting-edge style to a kitchen — and thanks to the high density of granite particles, it offers superior resistance to scratches, chips and heat. Some are calling it the most durable composite sink material on the market. Pair that with the Vogue Kitchen Mixer which is a stunning matte black and rose gold combo and you have a statement making corner in a sleek kitchenette.
Its funny how the most simple yet rustic and edgy factor to our suite is the one that people have positively commented on our Air b n b reviews the most saying how much they love it. I provide waffle robes for privacy and to give a sense of the hotel life vibe. The shower is gas heated and the large vertical copper shower head tips tonnes of water and leaves the guest feeling totally refreshed under what feels like a waterfall whilst watching the rain, stars or bask in the sun. To lock the door shut there is a leather strap attached to the floor that hooks on to a hook in the door – this is because we can’t put holes in the metal as it risks water entering into the wall behind. I admit this was a last minute great idea that I had before guests arrived on a windy day in which the door kept blowing open. Sometimes the best details come under last minute pressure.
A few final style tips and how we work this gorgeous space:
- W H I T E – Don’t be afraid of white!! Everyone is scared and on high alert of stains on white so are a lot more cautious and careful. The only thing I added was a grey cloth and towel for the ladies and who wish to wash off their makeup.
- K I T C H E N E T T E – With plates, cups and utensils, all I have provided is just 2 of everything plus grater, wooden spoon, tea towel, chopping board, measuring cup, toaster, kettle and small glass bowl .
- B E D D I N G – I bought two lots of sheet sets in plain white but good quality Egyptian cotton suitable for all seasons, a dark coloured blanket, white duvet and plush decorative pillows. Having 2 of everything means I have a spare set always clean and ready for back to back quick turn around bookings by washing the other set in-between.
- D E T A I L S – The clearer the details and photos you add to your Air b n b listing, the more the guest is sure on location and what they will be expecting. This helps achieve great reviews which is so important for hosting more guests. As a host I also try to give our guests a review the same day they check out which prompts them to give one back. The feedback is either self-esteem boosting or lets you know if there is anything required to better in the space. Free Wifi , a bottle of milk and few treats is always a win. As hosts we always try to meet our guests and its a bonus if it works out that we get the chance to make them a real coffee from our machine with local Raglan Roast beans.
- F U R N I T U R E – Select items that match in style, colour and work together as a set. I styled the suite with white butlers bedside tables, grey and white lamps, white frame full length mirror, white easy chair, black wall ladder and black heater.
- D E C O R – Stick with the theme as the starting point then mix in just a few statement pieces such as rugs or wall art but don’t over do it as it will feel confined and busy.
- M I N I M A L I S T – Neutral tones make a small space look less cluttered and feel fresh and clean. Simply add a pop of colour through a few easy changeable items. Our space is monochrome but have warmed up the space with the ply accents, cushions and woven mat at this stage.
- S I M P L E – Be careful not to over accessorise and clutter but cleverly use texture in the items you do use. Eg a simple cushion that has busy tassels on a waffle fabric duvet.
Flooring $3,415 , Kitchenette $4900, Sink and tap $450.
= approx $8765
If you would like more specific details feel free to “leave a reply” below and I am more than happy to let you know.