This Loft Apartment renovation centered on a built-in library was designed by architect Alex Bykov, situated in the heart of Kiev, Ukraine’s historical district. The apartment only has two doors separating rooms, as each space flows into the next in a looping arrangement. ”The concept of movement appears through the spatial design areas such as the bedroom, the lounge, the library and the bathroom surrounding the kitchen – the historical symbol of the family’s heart,” states the architect.
From the architect: Usually they say that the successful interior is a beneficial combination of environmentally friendly contemporary decorative materials, design furniture, sanitary equipment and home appliances. Nevertheless, the interior of an apartment located in the heart of Kiev’s historical district has a much more valuable treasure – an idea.
A young creative couple had been looking for an architect, when their designer friend recommended them Alex Bykov. The couple was preparing for a wedding and decided to spend their honeymoon in the renewed apartment.
After a fruitful discussion of suggestions and proposals the concept of “constant motion” was born. Furthermore the concept became the main vector of planning design and stylistic solutions of the interior.
The concept of movement appears through spacial design areas such as the bedroom, the lounge, the library and the bathroom surrounding the kitchen, the historical symbol of the “family’s heart”. So you can move from one room to another in an uninterrupted circle, since the spaces flow smoothly into each other.
The windows face to the south-east side ,which is why the living room and the bedroom are filled with an early morning’s golden shine. The interior has a cosy warm colouring due to the pastel brick walls, the natural texture of wood and soft furniture.
During the process of dismantling it was discovered that the doorways had previously been blocked. Alex decided to shift the doorways by using the original bricks with an authentic early 20th century mark. The brick was bought from junkmen and carefully laid into the living room wall.
The built-in library – a primary wish of the couple, was designed to house the family library. The library has a podium, which was designed to provide more space for storage. It was decided to make two types of shelves for the library; thus this flexible solution gives an opportunity to change the geometric pattern of shelves in the future.
Alex also designed all the furniture and prepared individual work drawings. The woodwork was made from low cost materials. Artificial lighting is dim, warm and comfortable.
Decorative lamps are by Ukrainian designers Anna Popovych and Vasyliy Butenko; the ceiling lamps, which were presented to the newly-weds by close friends as a wedding gift, are by ‘Artemide’.
Bespoke wrought-iron products also immediately grab attention: the legs for the coffee and dining tables, a mirror in the bedroom, a sleeve for the kitchen hood and a window.
Photos: Courtesy of Alex Bykov
Designer Ebba Thott of Sigmar transforms a Notting Hill Flat for a client who wanted to achieve the feel of 1930′s Vienna, in the fashionable neighborhood of Notting Hill, London, England. This was achieved through a muted grey scale, with dramatic dark woodwork to contrast and plenty of vintage touches. The designer used a blend of Scandinavian modernism and English eclecticism in the interiors—an apt reflection of the far-flung travels of both designer and client (who is an American in London).
In the photograph above, the bookshelf was designed by Sigmar, along with the ladder. It needed to house the owner’s large collection of books, as well as accommodate the existing radiators. The backdrop for the interior is various grey shades, while the green and red provide bright accents. The walls and bookshelf are painted in London Cloud from the Damo collection, available at Sigmar. The woodwork is Cocoa, also from Damo.
The designer brings an Old World feel to the entrance hall (reminiscent of those in prewar New York apartment buildings) with the main feature being a vintage Thonet bench upholstered in a checkered black-and-white fabric.
The floor has stone slabs in the middle, which is hard and durable, great for an entrance. The stone is edged with the same oak planks that flow through the rest of the house. The walls are painted in Sure Grey from the Damo collection, available at Sigmar.
A view from the entrance towards the living room. Reclaimed oak floors throughout the flat introduce a relaxed warmth.
A painting from the owner’s contemporary art collection hangs in the hallway.
A detail from the living room in which the accent colors of the room are picked up on. “The green on the lampshade and cushion is a lovely pea green,” Thott says. “I was inspired by the green in some of the paintings in the client’s beautiful and quirky art collection and used it to tie the room together.
The dining room generously opens up to the living room allowing a flow between the rooms. The colours in the two rooms correlate to create a link through the flat. The walls are painted in Sure Grey from the Damo collection, available at Sigmar.
In the bedrooms you can afford to break off from the dark woodwork in the rest of the flat and go for a more traditional white. The walls are painted in London Cloud from the Damo collection, available at Sigmar.
A detail of the bedside table from the guest bedroom. The switches are built into the bed and are completely flush.
A steel four-poster bed adds a modern note to the wallpapered bedroom in Marthe Armitage’s oak leaf in a custom blue. The ladder is custom, as designed by Sigmar.
A detail from the master bedroom. A small shelf hold a selection of books next to an armchair. The master bedroom is wallpapered in Marthe Armitage’s oak leaf in a custom blue.
Toilets are a place for being expressive. In this small space the beautiful blue tiles break off an otherwise all white bathroom. The Blueware tiles are patterned with photographic-negative images of pressed weeds from London streets.
Photos: Petr Krejci
Apartment Bulevardi 1 was once home to a bank and then an insurance company, transformed by Saukkonen + Partners in Helsinki, Finland. One of the first and biggest challenges associated with the conversion was to remove the thick steel door in the former bank vault, so the apartment could be a contemporary home for a couple in their late 30s with busy careers. “We had to cut it up into small pieces so we could get it out. It was hard work. So big that we were considering letting it sit and use it actively in the interior design. But it would have a great look down the hall to the couple’s library, which is located in the former bank vault,” explains the architect responsible for the renovation.
Scandinavian tradition was a term that fell into place well with the image the owners had of their future home. Both worked long hours and they wanted a home where the basic functions are excellent, but not out of range. Therefore, the 2,368 square foot (220 square meters) apartment was designed with just a single bedroom and toilet/bath (with sauna, of course – we are well in Finland), while on the other hand, the space was used to make accommodations that reflect the owners’ interests in the form of library, a functional kitchen, a large living room and, not least, a smoking room for the man. Here he can enjoy a cigar and be sure that the strong ventilation shall ensure that there is no smoke in the rest of the apartment.
The decor is a mixture of classics, especially from Finland and Denmark, for example, Eero Saarinen Tulip Chair, Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen, Eero Aarnios Ball Chair and custom made furniture.
The apartment was very violated after being an office for many years, so we have worked to recreate the style of the original building in 1894, states the architect.
This involved brand new stucco ceilings, as one of Finland’s most skilled plasterers have done, which in turn, opened a possibility to hide all installations, wiring and cables for television, computers and the like.
The only thing we now see on the walls and ceilings, in addition to sockets, lamps and artwork, are the statutory fire alarms. It gives a purity that fits to the bright and light furniture, giving light free access through the large windows, which also opens up a nice view of one of Helsinki’s central parks.
Photos: Courtesy of Saukkonen + Partners
Micro Apartment is a 340 square foot studio apartment that has been designed by Allen+Killcoyne Architects, located in Manhattan, New York. The client is a Dallas-based retiree who wanted something close to his daughter and grandchildren, this studio is located in their building. He wanted a home that looked “clean, simple, elegant and timeless,” states the architect. Instead of creating one open room to make the space feel bigger, the architect established separate interconnected zones for living, eating, working and sleeping. The space also has large storage requirements with cabinetry that wraps throughout the space. All of this is accomplished in a tiny space without the need for multi-functional pieces. “The place feels bigger,” the architect says, “because you get three major rooms out of it. You don’t feel like you’re trapped in one box.”
“I really wanted to create rooms that flowed together, but at the same time, you had separate areas that defined different living spaces,” says the architect. It’s not the space that proves limiting, Killcoyne concludes. It’s the stuff you’re trying to cram into it. “If you can control the amount of things you own,” he says, “you can live in small spaces very nicely.” This is speaking from experience, as the architect has raised two children in a 650 square foot apartment.
To maximize storage in the kitchen, Killcoyne set the counters at 41 inches (instead of the normal 36), allowing him to tuck an additional row of drawers under the top. A row of open shelves makes access to everyday items easy and keeps the cabinet faces from looking too closed off.
A discreet shadow line divides the cabinets from the ceiling, in lieu of space-hogging moldings.
The bed is tucked behind a custom louvered partition, which shields the sleeping area from view unless you’re seated at the desk. The storage wall includes ample space for hiding clutter and holding electronics, while still offering room for displaying art and collectibles — the personal touches that keep the apartment’s precision from feeling too antiseptic.
The sleeping area accommodates a queen-size bed, several storage closets and 10 linear feet of hanging space.When the owner said he wanted to include a large flat-panel TV here, too, Killcoyne realized the only place to put it was in the ceiling. If you look up, you’ll notice the outline of a trap door that flips down to reveal the screen.
The louvered wall makes the bedroom feel less claustrophobic, Killcoyne explains, while screening it from most angles of the apartment. The painting above the bed is by Thomas Hubben.
To ensure that spaces flowed smoothly, Killcoyne limited the palette to rift-cut oak floors, quartersawn maple cabinets and Benjamin Moore’s aptly named White paint. He lowered the ceiling around the perimeter to accommodate recessed LED fixtures, but left the center full height to help define the living area and maximize the vertical space.
While the kitchen is open to the rest of the space, it’s tucked away in the corner, “so you don’t feel like you’re cooking in your living space,” Killcoyne says. The homeowner doesn’t do a lot of cooking when he’s in residence, so appliances were limited to a microwave oven with a dishwasher drawer below, and a two-burner induction cooktop with a vent concealed in the bottom of the cabinet above.
This space also doubles as the entry hall; the front door is to the left of the oven.
The refrigerator and ice maker are hidden behind the wood doors underneath the counter, which is fashioned from a 1¼-inch slab of commercial white glass called Glassos. “Glass is fabulous, because it doesn’t stain,” says Killcoyne, who also used the material to cover the walls in the bathroom.
Thinner (¾-inch) sheets of Glassos cover the walls of the bathroom, reflecting light and making the space feel bigger. There’s an integrated Corian sink and a fully enclosed shower. (While it’s not a steam shower, it comes close when the transom windows are closed.) The floors are flame-finished granite.
The far-left mirror panel swings open to reveal a medicine cabinet. Even the toilet paper is tucked out of the way to preserve the room’s clean lines.
Photos: Courtesy of Allen+Killcoyne Architects
Discovered on Alvhem, this stunning brand new duplex apartment in Vasastaden, Sweden, presents fresh design inspiration, with plenty of hard to find features. This unique 592 square foot (55 square meters) home is dispersed over two levels, with high ceilings, arched windows and open and social spaces. The duplex boasts a lovely terrace with views over the rooftops, a lavish, open plan kitchen with living room, a stylish bathroom with laundry and bedroom with walk-in closet. Light filters into the home through two large skylights, fully glazed patio doors, as well as the beautiful arched windows on the ground floor.
The apartment exudes luxury and you are greeted by a subtle mix of solid materials. The dark floors form a warm contrast to the white-painted walls and the noble parquet runs like a thread through all the rooms-very clean and very tasteful. The kitchen and living room are open to each other, which is perfect for entertaining. A staircase leads you up, designed in a contemporary style with glass railing, giving the apartment a sense of space. Here you are going directly to the apartment’s bedroom which is furnished with simplicity. Glass doors takes you out to the apartment’s terrace, where you are greeted by a view of Vasastaden’s rooftops.
We just received picture of the project Casa K, the transformation of a museum to a house, completed in 2013 by PEÑA Architecture in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Here is a description of the project from the architects, “The former Kralings Museum at the Hoflaan has been transformed starting in 2010 into a luxury apartment building. The building contains three apartments with a communal entrance and an elevator that offers access to the upper floors. The Casa K project involves the street level apartment which consists of two layers: a ground floor of 195 square meters and a basement of 90 square meters. The apartment has a garden of over 600 square meters.
A new design for the project Casa K has been developed for the two levels using and adapting the existing installation structure in the building. The design challenge was to turn the windowless basement and the ground floor into one unified space while still adhering to the city’s preservation requirements pertaining to the Hoflaan area. In addition, the architect had to design the interior including all the closets in the office, bedroom and storage room. The kitchen is fully customized based upon collaboration between the architect and the client. A lighting plan has been designed, and materials and colors for the whole house have been chosen.
The key element of the design is a walnut cube which begins on the ground floor and protrudes through the first floor living room where the cube forms a raised platform. In the living room, the cube is surrounded by walkable glass. The cube determines by its size and position the division of the space and therefore provides a clear distinction between the front and rear parts of the living room.
The raised platform in the living room is suitable for various applications such as seating or lounging. The stairs to the cube give access to the basement where a small bathroom is built into the cube. The glass around the cube in the living room allows daylight to penetrate the basement. Three small windows in the street facade provide additional natural light.
Walnut is employed for the cube as well as for the cooking island and the office. The combination of walnut with the color black is an integral element in the apartment. Thus, the handrail is made out of black painted steel, like the kitchen door. In the kitchen and the hallway, black fittings are used.
The closets in the house are of different colors. In the kitchen, the cabinets are finished in an aluminium color. The bookshelves in the reading area are in dark grey stained wood.
Photos: Cornelie de Jong
TLV Get Away is a stunning one off design apartment situated just behind Rabin Square in a quiet tree lined street in central Tel Aviv, Israel. This is a fabulous location for a cultured and convenienced lifestyle offering 24 hour restaurants, bars and supermarkets nearby. The apartment is situated on the second floor and enjoys a quiet outlook over the rear courtyard. Constructed in 2013, the 968 square foot (90 square meters) home features two bedrooms and one bathroom, lounge and balcony.
This sensational urban apartment is listed for sale at $1.95 million, from here.
Photos: Itay Sikolski
This stunning apartment is owned by a couple who discovered their home on the outskirts of Santander, Cantabria, on the north coast of Spain. It’s a bottom level home with a garden and, although it is has had some recent construction, the owners decided to reform it with the help of the company Consultants of Projects and Design (Consultores de Proyectos y Diseño), to achieve a more creative environment. The owners, two young cosmopolitans, love to travel and have a weakness for good food, that is why they wanted a space that would reflect their passions and where they could enjoy comfortable entertaining. Distributed on one floor, the cozy apartment features an open plan area to enjoy daily activities and a more private area with a bedroom, dressing room and bathroom.
The living room and the kitchen are open to each other, although they are separated by an island located in the center of the room, which serves as a dining table while providing an extra work surface. Discrete touches of modern industrial style, inspired by New York lofts, fit into a coherent atmosphere, full of nuances. The elongated, original windows of the house, were perfect to create charming spaces connected with the garden.
The decoration is predominately neutral. The decorative accessories, acquired by the owners in their extensive travels, define the lines of a cosmopolitan style, a very experienced but welcoming style. A space without complications, a comfortable distribution with tailor-made solutions.
The bedroom en-suite, is decorated in hues of gray and white. There are two elements: the gas fireplace recessed in the wall — a double-sided model that has been installed between the living room and the bedroom — and the mini desk in the corner.
Through the dressing room, with two areas that are open and organized, gives access to the bathroom, a space that flirts with the rustic tendencies. In short, this apartment boasts of an exquisite look, built through small delicious details.
Photos: Mi Casa
Casa F/H is a stunning apartment designed by Studiomobile, situated on the upper floor of a construction built in the 60s in San Donà di Piave, near Venice, Italy. The penthouse flat faces a huge south oriented terrace which offers a beautiful view of the river Piave beyond the tree-tops. The refurbishment completely upgraded the technological systems in terms of energy efficiency and thermal comfort, as well as completely redesigned the spaces.
The living was designed as an open space facing directly the outside terrace, which in summer becomes an extension of the sitting room. Here the different environments are marked by the furniture dividing functional areas without creating any boundaries. The huge wardrobe encloses the living room and it is both a closet, a technical piece of furniture, a fireplace and a bookshelf, also embracing the large sliding door.
The uniformity of the element, in hardwood lacquered white, is interrupted by the free form doors, by the colored niches and by the natural iron inserts creating graphic details. The huge wardrobe, as well as the couch and the kitchen, were custom designed and produced by local handcrafts. This allows the furniture to merge with architecture and to become one. The coach is enclosed by two columns of raw concrete producing two different ways of living the space. The kitchen furniture acts as a screen concealing the cooking area through two glass houses, filtering out the light and the gaze with flowers and aromatic plants.
The penthouse flat was entirely cobbled with oak wood boards which acts as a trait d’union, linking the living with the sleeping area. The same cladding was used in the main bathroom where wood boards face the tub, and in the master bedroom where it becomes the structure of the bad, of the night table and of the walk-in closet.
Photos: Giulio Boem
This beautiful modern apartment is situated in the coastal town of San Sebastián in northern Spain, owned and designed by Mikel Irastorza Interiors. The area is extremely close to the French border, so many of the houses in this part of the country have a profound French, turn-of-the-century influence. When the designer spotted the space he wanted, he gutted it. The most important thing for the renovation was to stay true to the early 20th century structure of the surrounding area, while still incorporating his signature style and furnishings. There are only two people living in the small apartment, so the designer decided to indulge in high-end modern goods, while still creating a livable and functional space. The pieces he selected are warm and welcoming, “I don’t think I have a particular style, to be honest,” says Irastorza. “I always try to adapt my work to the places, houses, and clients I work with. This house was my own, so it’s a bit of everything. I just knew that I wanted it to be clean and open, but also very warm.” The finished result is a home that feels harmonious and balanced — a fusion of a structure inspired by the past, and design that lives in the present.
Although the floor plan of his home is fairly open, Irastorza was able to divide the living space into multiple seating areas that serve different functions. This lengthy living area is divided into a TV viewing space at one end with a couch, and a reading space at the other end with two chaises. The couch was made in Irastorza’s workshop, while the coffee and side tables are from FLEXFORM. Both consoles are mid-century Danish pieces.
A variety of mid-century German pottery sits on top of the Danish console, accented by a vintage lamp. The primary light fixtures are Pipe, by Tom Dixon. The chaise lounges are from FLEXFORM.
“White, white, and white! I really only added pale colors — a very light mint and peach — in the bedrooms to add to the fabrics,” said Irastorza. The white pottery still manages to stand out against the home’s molded white walls, as do the vintage white wall lights from Holland. The hanging pendant is another vintage find of Irastorza’s.
The furniture and accessories Irastorza opted to use in his home are a unique mix of products that he loves, and products that he has bought all over the world. “I look mostly for things with a past —things that tell a story — and also for items from my favorite designers.”
The living room, dining room, and kitchen all remain relatively open to each other — the iron bookcase is really the only thing dividing this common living space. A clean and open space was particularly important to Irastorza, who wanted to incorporate this contemporary update into the structure of this turn-of-the-century apartment.
The combination of the bold artwork and classic furniture made the dining room Irastorza’s favorite room in his home. He found an antique French country table, which melds beautifully with the home’s golden wood floors. Chinese wooden side chairs accent the table, along with six classic Bertoia white chairs.
The amazing artwork on the wall was was a light fixture Irastorza had reworked into a sculpture to hang on the wall. The piece, found in a villa in Berlin, is covered in gold leaf. The hanging fixtures above the table are from FLOS.
A great example of Irastorza’s design style, the kitchen is extremely functional. All of the appliances are very high-end, but the space is nothing extravagant — just what is needed. All of the kitchen tiles are from the Italian tile experts at Bisazza.
Irastorza chose sink fixtures from Grohe for the kitchen, and a durable countertop material from Silestone for his sleek, white counters. The unique photograph is called “1592-4,” and is by the Korean artist Kyungwoo Chun. (How fantastic is the staging in these shots by the way? It looks like the leftovers from a late night binge.)
The open hallway lends to the light, airy, and clean feeling of the entire home. Light from a beautifully made stained-glass window fills the space. A vintage leather German chair from the ’50s and a quirky floor lamp from Spanish company Santa & Cole adds warmth.
Irastorza had a iron bookshelf installed to work as a innovative and multi-functional room divider. The different sized nooks and crannies are perfect for his wide collection of knick-knacks.
The architectural details in the main bedroom are great examples of Irastorza’s attempts to maintain 20th-century elements in the home’s structure. A understated and delicate molding at the ceiling accents the über light peach walls. Although the color is subtle, it significantly warms up what might otherwise feel like a stark room. A luxurious fur throw adds to this feel, and a chic Mies van de Rohe Barcelona chair in the corner pulls the look and color scheme together.
An authentic Moroccan rug contributes to the sense of texture in this neutrally-toned room. The chic side table is a vintage French design from the ’50s, and is highlighted by Basque, German, and Peruvian pottery. The pendant lamps — which are great alternatives to more traditional bedside lamps — are vintage German.
Irastorza chose a pale mint to highlight the walls and molding in the second bedroom of the home. A custom blue headboard complements the Ralph Lauren Home bedspread. Vintage jade-colored pendant lights, which hang daintily over a set of Danish side tables. The mirror on the wall, which is from Maxalto, is a clever way to give the illusion of a larger space.
A vintage Danish brown leather chair sits next to a French side table and old Phillips floor lamp to create a cozy window-side reading corner. The teak desk — another Danish design from the ’60s — sits away from the Moroccan rug, creating a tidy little desk area. The mint walls coincide with the green marble fireplace, adding to the room’s faint yet distinct green hue — a far cry from the stark white walls of the home’s common space.
Photos: Courtesy of Mikel Irastorza