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I turned a tiny one-bed flat into a fantastic family space

Karen Dammone had to think big to make the most of her compact London apartment

Photos Colin Poole

Karen has combined inexpensive furniture with a few indulgent accessories to create a chic urban look. The table and chairs, from Cult Furniture, link the kitchen and living area, with a sofa from Dwell. The TS Eliot wall poem was designed by Karen Dammone Interiors, who also sourced the radiator. The floor lamp is from Rockett St George

Karen Dammone faced one of her toughest design challenges ever when she and her husband Luciano bought an apartment on the first floor of a converted warehouse. Although Karen is used to transforming big commercial spaces and large residential homes, the tiny onebedroom city-pad is just 75 metres square – and had to work for a family of four.

‘It was pretty unremarkable,’ recalls Karen. ‘It had been rented out to students and was very dirty with basic fittings and white painted walls. It wasn’t very inspiring.’ Its saving grace was the architecture, including large feature windows and high ceilings, which exaggerated the natural light. The layout of the flat, however, was ill considered, divided into small rooms linked by a narrow corridor. ‘There was a lot of wasted space,’ says Karen. ‘The corridor was unnecessary and there was a tiny galley kitchen so small there was no room for the washing machine. With a few simple changes I knew it could be turned into a light, open, modern living space.’

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About Your Home Magazine

At last, summer feels like it’s finally arrived, which for many of us means the chance to spend more time outside enjoying the sunshine. 
If you’re lucky enough to have your own outdoor space, whether it’s a garden, patio, roof terrace or balcony, we’ve got loads of great bargain buys to help you make it look and feel as gorgeous as your interior. Whether you love funky brights, global glamour, country cottage style or laid back coastal chic, you’re sure to find plenty of ideas to brighten up your space on page 36. Meanwhile, if you’re planning to enjoy some days out away from home, make sure you pack a picnic. In this issue we’ve got some scrummy ideas for posh picnic nosh that will knock soggy sandwiches into a cocked hat (p.100)! And don’t forget to check out this month’s buyer’s guide (p.44) for our pick of the best camping equipment to create a home from home under canvas. Summer is also a great time to get some home improvements done, so on page 106 you’ll find the low-down on choosing the perfect patio doors to make the transition from indoors to out a breeze. Whether you want French windows, bi-folds or sliding doors, we’ll help you pick the perfect style for your home. And, as always, we’ve got plenty of decorating inspiration for you too, from our affordable kitchen makeovers on page 24, to our ideas for creating a bang-on- trend mid-century modern scheme on page 20, you’re sure to find a look you love. Happy decorating!