This compact apartment uses smart techniques to amplify its space.
In the face of good design, a small space doesn't present a problem. Even in the smallest of spaces, innovative solutions can be discovered through astute use of materials and arrangement.
This London flat project exemplifies this. After years of neglect, it was in a state of disrepair, but with meticulous renovation, it reclaimed its Parisian attic-space ambiance reminiscent of an artist's studio.
The flat's most striking feature was its large open windows. Given its elongated and slender shape, the design needed to optimise the use of natural light. Pale shades, maintaining an airy feel, were paired with splashes of beige, white, and natural wood hues. Meanwhile, reflective materials like stainless steel amplified the light in the studio.
Despite its compact size, the flat feels incredibly spacious owing to its primary open space, whilst a separate snug bedroom provides privacy. The creative team behind the project spoke to me about how this modern dwelling was so effectively realised.
The Unexpected Materials and Colour Palette.
Decorating a compact space necessitates a strategic approach to optimising natural light. For this reason, a predominantly white and neutral colour palette was chosen for the walls, yet this choice had an added advantage. Achieving a reminiscent aura of an artist's loft, where the walls serve as blank canvases, accentuating a diverse medley of materials juxtaposed against them. The furniture in the living area, adorned in shades of grey and white, offers a delightful burst of vibrancy.
"We endeavoured to infuse this project with a diverse and unexpected range of materials, accentuating the essence of sculptural objects that hold distinct identity and presence, akin to the environment of an artist's studio," articulates the designer.
The flat's original flooring and mouldings underwent a meticulous process of sanding and staining. Concurrently, a slew of modern materials made their debut, harmoniously integrating with the existing ones. What particularly piqued my interest was the pervasive use of wlanut. Elements like the coffee table, console, and kitchen cabinet facades, all crafted from solid walnut wood, present a contemporary counterpoint to the light wood tones of the flooring and the cosy bedroom walls.
"The extensive use of walnut in this project, as well as in our other endeavours, resonates with its identity as a quintessentially 'British' material. It evokes imagery of subway cars, gates, bustling restaurant kitchens, and myriad other urban elements. Our aim was to infuse this industrial flair into an abode that is otherwise suffused with light and purity," says the designer.
In a subsequent project focused on a Chelsea apartment, the original brick fireplace underwent a transformation. It was enveloped in a bespoke stainless steel sheet, meticulously crafted and folded by artisans from a local workshop in London. This contemporary touch not only redefined the room's aesthetics but also capitalised on the reflective prowess of the material, enhancing the ambient light throughout the living spaces.
Optimising the Confined Space.
The compact nature of the flat necessitated that the design team meticulously optimise every square inch available. In a courageous design decision, the partitions separating the main living quarters from the remainder of the apartment were entirely removed. This architectural manoeuvre resulted in a serene space, inviting one to recline and gaze up at the large windows, which bathes the room in an abundance of natural light.
Now, you may be pondering the fate of the bedroom. Astonishingly, despite the elimination of the walls, a stunning bedroom was ingeniously fashioned within a timber enclosure. This innovative bedroom solution is not only incredibly snug but also radiates warmth, thanks to the timber walls of the enclosure. Conceived in partnership with Lesser Miracle and executed to perfection, this bedroom serves as a comforting cocoon, efficiently integrating both a bed and storage facilities.
The prevailing sentiment I derive from observing this project is sheer delight. It eloquently demonstrates the transformative potential of adept design, irrespective of the spatial constraints or a property's prior state of dilapidation.
From a neglected, cramped flat, a luminous, airy, and welcoming haven emerged. This was achieved by demolishing barriers, introducing soft hues interspersed with vibrant accents, and incorporating sleek reflective materials. Yet, amidst all these contemporary touches, a pervasive sense of warmth and intimacy is retained, largely attributed to the masterful construction of the timber-clad bedroom enclosure. It's a veritable treasure trove of inspiration, to say the least!
- Harold King