The Pied-à-terre – A small apartment renovation project
Located in the heart of Kypseli, very close to the vibrant square of Agios Georgios. The neighborhood is ever-changing but somehow manages to retain its character and its strong sense of community. In essence, this is what we tried to do with this small one-bedroom apartment renovation. Our goal was to completely transform it, while retaining some of its vintage elements.
When we first visited the apartment, we literally fell in love with its ornamented arches, large ceiling cornices and beautifully preserved fishbone floors. Our first intention was to only alter the kitchen and the bathroom. We wanted to preserve all existing elements in order to bring back to life this old neoclassical apartment. Nevertheless, when we first met with the clients-one of them a designer himself, they told us that they love light. We immediately realized that they would want it to be completely altered in order to bring more light in and modernize it as they felt that the walls and doors surrounding the apartment made this hidden gem feel dark and cramped.
Its nostalgic appearance gave us a spatial narrative as the apartment reminded us of a Parisian pied-à-terre. In collaboration with the owner’s aesthetics, who were super passionate about experimenting with design and colours, this project was from commission to completion very inspiring.
In our initial meetings, we focused very much on their desire to bring more light into the space. Our ambition was to make the space look much airier and brighter by bringing as much light in all spaces as we could. To address this issue, we came up with several floor plans and an open layout was what worked best for our clients.
We demolished the walls dividing the kitchen and the living room flooding the apartment with light. We also demolished the bedroom corridor and although there was a column there, we used it in order to create a shelving unit. This also served as an alternative element by partly concealing the bathroom door and also dividing the bathroom and bedroom areas from the rest of the house without blocking the light.
Furthermore, since the kitchen walls were removed, we created an L-shaped open kitchen with a bar sitting where the wall dividing the kitchen from the living room used to be. This allowed us to create an organic connection between the two rooms. As the client was not in favour of upper kitchen cabinets the L-shaped bar also served its purpose, providing more storage space. We created a cabinet for the fridge which also accommodated the washing machine and the water heater in order to make the bathroom more spacious.
The beautifully ornamented arch entering the apartment was preserved. It takes us back to the era the building was originally built while the interior touches add a modern vibe to the apartment.
The muted colour palette was inspired by the French province giving a harmonious result. The forest green cabinets, the vintage brass handles and the wooden countertop of the kitchen add character to the space. The silver satin hues used for the fridge/washing machine cabinet together with the wide board oak floors round out the contemporary yet rustic feel of the kitchen. The tile of the backsplash was carefully chosen to remind us of the once existing terrazzo floors.
While selecting materials and colours, we deliberately avoided cold colours and shiny surfaces. We wanted to transform it into a cozy space while the juxtaposition of vintage and modern elements fabricated a beautifully calibrated visual result.
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6 December 2021