Your apartment interiors should be designed to support you and your living needs, helping you to decompress and unwind at the end of a long day. If this is your first apartment, creating a space that is functional, organized and cozy can be a major challenge. If you have a look at a helpful website such as Apartment Therapy in New York, there are all sorts of ideas on how to dramatically change the way your apartment looks and feels, all with some easy to follow steps. No matter what your budget, it is possible to implement any type of style inside of these different apartment interiors, whether it be contemporary, modern, traditional, transitional, eclectic, beach style, industrial, you name it.
Living Room Add Ons
There are some great additions you can make to your living room to make it feel more unique. Unfortunately most apartments are not very spacious, but if you like to entertain guests, this may not allow you enough room to have ample seating for everyone. That is why you should consider floor pillows for extra seating. These oversized pillows can be placed next to a coffee table or sofa and are great for instant seating or for lying on the floor while watching the TV. Taller side tables are a great addition as well. Most people go for tables that are smaller or on the level with their seating. However, taller tables provide more room underneath for added storage, plus it can increase the dramatic appearance in the living room. Adding in a tall cabinet works the same way. Tall cabinets use a lift, which can increase the amount of storage room available in the apartment.
Add Accents to a Room
There are some excellent ways to add some pizzaz to any plain room in the apartment. A statement area rug is a really great way to tie the room together. Maybe the rug has a bold color pattern or it is just unique in some way. Regardless, having this kind of a rug is a great addition. Adding some type of foilage to your apartment can make excellent accent pieces, not to mention it helps improve the air quality in the room by absorbing pollutants. A fiddle leaf fig tree or even some citrus trees are great indoors, can add color and also help improve the smell as well.
For someone on an extreme budget, adding an accent wall is a nice way to start. This accent wall is designed to stand out from the rest, such as a red wall, with the surrounding walls in a neutral color. This makes a great addition to any apartment and can truly help take the apartment to the next level. You can also try adding decals or a chalkboard wall. If your apartment is a rental and you are not allowed to paint, you can used chalkboards decals, which are removable and do wonders at livening up large expanses of boring white walls. If you are really wanting to use chalkboard paint, you don’t necessarily have to use a wall. Just about anything can be transformed into a chalkboard surface, such as an old mirror with a unique frame (pick it up at a salvage yard or yard sale). If you are not allowed to hang anything on your walls, you can prop it on a table that is pressed against a wall, a great focal point!
Transform an Extra Closet
It is possible to transform an extra closet so it not only holds more, but looks great doing it. Try painting the inside of the closet, leaving the trim white (or a different color) just makes it feel more like a house. Plus, setting up a desk with shelving can help separate the different items that are to be found inside of the closet, and even wall boards make it possible to hang small odds and ends, without getting cluttered, so it is far easier for anyone to find what it is they need from inside the closet. If you have an upper shelf, try storing small items in baskets to keep organized. An extra closet can also be transformed into a small office space which can be closed off when you are not working.
This stunning small studio apartment was created with beautiful and functional interiors completed in 2013 by INT2 architecture, located in Moscow, Russia. Visually spacious at just 484 square feet (45 square meters), the studio which was designed for a young woman, was functionally divided into a living room, a sleeping area and a kitchen. The entire interior palette was solved in light soft hues with bright accents on individual parts. One of the main problems small apartments have is lack of storage, which was solved in this small space with interior partitions “thickened” and turned into built-in wardrobe closets in the hallway and a small wardrobe from the bedroom area. Additionally, the bed in the bedroom is raised on a platform, on the one hand, visually separating living and sleeping areas, and on the other, to get extra space for storage of bulky items (such as blankets, pillows, bedding, etc.). On the balcony, seats are comprised of repainted army boxes, which can also be used for additional storage.
Photos: Courtesy of INT2 architecture
Trama Apartment was recently designed for a young couple in a natural and neutral color scheme by Semerene Interior Architecture, located in Brasilia, Brazil. The apartment is comprised of 753 square feet of living space with contemporary interiors and a unique design plan that meets the needs of its owners.
Description from the architect:
The apartment of 70 square meters (753 square feet), located in a newly built building in a new district of Brasilia, was designed for a young couple. Originally, the property was distributed into well-defined environments, including living room, kitchen, laundry area, two bedrooms and a toilet in the social area.
The new design should address the residents’ needs for fluid multipurpose spaces and at the same time, should translate into the lifestyle and emotional references of the couple. Thus, priority was given to free areas, integrated and multi-functional, adaptable to different scenarios of everyday life.
Upon entering the apartment, the barriers between TV room, dining room, kitchen and service area, dissolve from a permeable central layout. The metal frame unfolds in different roles: bookshelf partition, desk, and dinner table. An element that embraces the kitchen island and becomes the heart of the project.
The kitchen and the service area had their functions reduced to the essentials and brought together in one volume arranged linearly. The service area is easily camouflaged and converted into a background panel to the dining room.
The desk acts as a reversible environment through sliding panels, and can open up to the living room to fuse with other environments, or remain closed for more privacy.
We chose neutral and natural materials such as concrete and wood. The central metallic element brings an industrial character, typical of large cities, which contrasts with the vibrant colors present in objects, furniture and walls of the living room. The result is the freshness of an urban beach, so present in the memory of the residents.
Photos: Joana França
Garçonnière Marais is a contemporary bachelor pad showcasing bright and airy interiors, designed by interior architect Tatiana Nicol, located in Paris, France. Situated in the heart of Paris, this friendly apartment home features 538 square feet (50 square meters) of living space where practicality marries originality and beauty.
Description from the designer: The private rooms are ultra cozy and functional with storage optimized, taking advantage of the high ceilings. As for the living room, volumes have been optimized by painting the wood ceiling beams a clay green. A custom open plan kitchen was beautifully crafted, as well as a library and realizing that it creates a passage to access the room.
An area rug is used in the living room over the hardwood flooring to delineate the space from the rest of the home and to create a welcoming and cozy living room environment.
Photos: Courtesy of Tatiana Nicol
High Loft is a family apartment showcasing a study in the play of urban light and views, designed by Bade Stageberg Cox, located in New York City, New York. The design integrates open and screened views of the city as the living ‘décor’ of the apartment interior.
Description from the architects: Our clients were interested in a space they could re-shape to meet the needs of their family of four. Several aspects of the building were appealing to them – the building’s history, its distinctive cast iron structure, and the volume of space afforded by the apartment’s 13-foot high ceilings. The design prioritizes views of the city, light and connectedness between spaces over private, compartmentalized rooms.
The living room occupies an apse at the corner of the building (highlighted on the building’s exterior with a golden dome) offering oblique views of the city. The living room furnishings reinforce the geometry of the space through a curved-back sofa, a spiraling pendant light fixture, and an octagonal carpet.
Custom metal shelves and perforated screens frame space and filter light, articulating discrete program areas while allowing the spaces to feel spacious and connected. The screens’ vertical elements are powder-coated steel to appear thin and weightless. The horizontal shelves are walnut to relate to the palette of flooring and custom cabinetry, and the perforated screens are a custom pattern that echo decorative motifs on the cast iron columns.
Faceted translucent glass screens operate in a similar way at the children’s bedrooms, allowing changing natural light into the bedroom hallway and producing a sense of a secondary exposure in the bedrooms while preserving their acoustic privacy.
Photos: Andy Ryan
Chinatown Loft is a small apartment renovation re-imagined by architecture firm Buro Koray Duman, located in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City. Comprised of 750 square feet, this lovely apartment showcases a bold, sculptural, open plan design.
Once a three bedroom dark renovation from the 1980’s is now a one bedroom plus one-and-a-half bath. The apartment is on the corner of the 5th floor of a tenement building overlooking Sarah Roosevelt Park.
The interior space is divided by a sculptural wave-like wall that houses the laundry, storage and the powder room. The tile in the powder room is bas-relief honey comb and the master bath is an all plate glass enclosure. Most of the walls are exposed brick that has been white-washed, and the flooring is oak.
The team preserved bits of history in the apartment such as leaving traces of vintage wall paper in the kitchen area. The project won the best of the year award for residential spaces in 2011.
Photos: Peter Murdoch
This loft apartment designed by Cloud Studios offers industrial style open plan living infused with natural light, located in an old factory near Edgware Road, London, England. The loft was completely renovated in 2014 and featured in Elle Decoration’s 25th Anniversary Issue, October 2014.
Description from the designers: The apartment, which is in a converted industrial space, was completely reconfigured by Cloud to create two bedrooms and a large open plan living space.
The architectural details have an industrial feel (concrete ceilings, Critail windows and exposed pipes).
The clean lines and high ceilings were enhanced with a pale Douglas fir wide-planked floor and a contemporary kitchen.
Cloud, set up by Nia Morris and Louise Holt, has an established reputation for creating elegant, contemporary interiors for a wide range of residential and commercial projects, from prestigious London and country houses to apartments, offices and hotels. Characterized by creativity balanced by practicality and a highly personal service, we provide innovative design solutions in all the services we offer, from complete refurbishment to interior decoration of individual rooms, space planning, lighting design, bespoke furniture and bathroom and kitchen design.
Photos: Courtesy of Cloud Studios
Y Duplex penthouse apartment received a complete overhaul to its interiors in 2014 by Pitsou Kedem Architects, located in Tel Aviv, Israel. The project was a small yet complex renovation that was an especially challenging project for the architects. The living space was comprised of 1,722 square feet (160 square meters), including 50 square meters of balcony space.
From the architects: How would it be possible to install meaning and architectural values to a roof top apartment in a “standard” uninspired design multi-story building located amongst a row of similar structures in one of Tel Aviv’s bourgeois neighborhoods
The apartment was designed to integrate with the architectural language and characteristics of other projects by the architectural firm and thus, using modern architectural values, it combines modern elements by using materials in their raw form: exposed concrete wall, iron stairs and furniture, a terrazzo floor, poured on-site and unpainted wood.
The space created by the new stairwell, divides the movement and the axis of the existing space in a way that creates a dramatic architectural cross section through the apartment, links the different levels and allows natural light to penetrate the building through glass skylights inserted into the roof of the upper floor. The new cross section creates a double space with transparent glass and a system of moveable wooden slats that makes it possible to create a view between the spaces or to allow privacy and natural light control.
The restraint and scale of the apartment design avoiding the use of gimmicks make it into a “timeless architecture”.
The raw materials and the attempt to create an architecture that was both unfashionable and timeless is complemented by the books and pieces of art hung throughout the apartment including works by the artist Guy Yanai.
Despite the fact that the apartments has a small area, the spaces feel large and spacious. The wide and open views out to the scenery and in between the neighberhood buildings create the feeling of a light and airy space. The border between the interior spaces and the balconies is almost totally blurred by a thin glass panel system. The use of the same flooring, purred terrazzo, both inside and outside also contributes to this feeling of continuity.
Photos: Amit Geron
Monoform Living project is a loft apartment turned into a living piece of art made from steel rods by PRODUCE Workshop, located in Novena, Singapore. The new 807 square foot (75 square meters) home was designed for Woon Tai Ho, art collector and critic, author, current Director for Media and Marketing of the National Gallery Singapore and former MediaCorp News CEO.
From the architect: Having given PRODUCE freedom to design the piece, they came up with a single piece of furniture made from steel rods that encompasses a bookshelf, a wardrobe, a table, a wine rack, and is also a sculpture.
It is the home of a distinguished gentleman and the space must be befitting of him. With that in mind, the design is then based on two conjectures – that a person’s living space should be a reflection of his character and values, and an expression of his sense of life; and that it is possible to grasp the ethos of a person from the art he enjoys.
The design begins with observing the art Woon collects, in particular the works of Jane Lee and Han Sai Por. Lee questions the idea of painting and challenges the congruence of painting. Her work is gestalt where the medium, the canvas, the form and the subject matter are a unified whole, and none of the elements can be removed or exchanged without destroying the artwork. Han’s drawings have free and unordered thin strokes accumulated to form a strong and powerful image. Her sculptures employ strong shapes and forms to address the fragility of nature and its destructions.
The design by PRODUCE embraces the essence of these two artists’ works to articulate a strong presence. Formally to express an existence that is greater than the sum of its part just like Lee’s works, and spatially to embody and celebrate that idea of existence like Han’s.
The result is a singular object (monoform), one piece of furniture that frames and connects all aspects of life in the 75 square meters loft apartment. It describes, fulfills and supports Woon’s form of living. The object is a bookshelf, a wardrobe, a table, a wine rack, and a sculpture.
This austerity embraces the imperfections of life. Like Han’s drawings, where the powerful form and shapes are complete with repetitive scribbles of thin irregular lines, the singular furniture is formed with a random alignment of thin steel rods confronting each space in the apartment.
Woon commented: “I am tired using artworks to show that I love art. I want to live in a space that is itself a piece of art. After my initial meetings with the guys, I know I can trust them. I decided to give them total freedom to come up with a creative space.”
The STRATA apartment (located at Novena, Singapore) is a single space interrupted by a monoform. It presents the necessary and essentials of living plainly and beautifully. It is the outcome when a client’s and a designer’s valuation of art are aligned.
Photos: Edward Hendricks, CI&A Photography
Connect With Us!