Renovating an old home is a daunting task—you know the problems but fixing them is a lot harder than it looks. When you decide to do a complete rehab of your home, it's important that you chose the right architects and designers who can help you maximise the existing space (whether small or big) and ensure that you have a largely stress-free time.
On today's 360°, we explore one such renovation project in the city of Sao Paolo undertaken by the talented Zoom Urbanismo architecture firm. They opted to tear down walls and unnecessary partitions to make way for a spacious and open apartment that has tons of interesting design. Some of the old structural elements have been retained, which only adds to the character of the whole space. We can't get enough of it, and we're pretty sure you won't either!
To keep the entire apartment airy, the architects went in for an open-plan layout. One rather common way this can boomerang is if the different zones are placed too close together making it appear cramped. Zoom avoided this by giving each zone—dining area, living room and the kitchen—a liberal amount of leg room. Plus, each zone has been given its own intimate feel, with its own features, making it feel like a separate room altogether. The centrally-aligned dining table, for example, is flanked by open bookshelves and a long balcony with views of the city!
Zoom out, and you can get a better sense of the open-plan layout here. The first thing you notice is the exposed concrete beam, a remnant of the partition walls that separated rooms in the earlier structure. In this freshly refurbished space, they serve their purpose by lending an industrial edge to the otherwise warm and eclectic apartment. We also love that wooden flooring parquet that gives a warm and interesting element to the space.
In a long room like this, especially if it's relatively narrow, it is often a good idea to back up your furniture against the wall or wall-mount as this empties up the area in the middle, allowing not just room for movement but a more visually open space.
We've said it before and we'll say it again—small details can make a big impact. Technically speaking, the kitchen here is a smartly-executed yet simple space. But tactical design and decor choices lift this space up tremendously. First off—that bright pop of colour! Now, yellow cabinets alone are not newsworthy but those constellation-style perforations on it certainly are! These serve both an aesthetic feature as well as a functional one. What, you ask? They are New-Age handles is what they are.
We're also big fans of how the parquet flooring neatly segues into the cream and orange tiles seen in the kitchen.
Those constellation cabinets again! This time around though, it's markedly tuned down. The bedroom space, in keeping with its function, goes in for muted colours. The room itself is relatively small so there are no design flourishes here; instead, it's kept minimal. Browns and whites take predominance over the bright bursts of colour we saw earlier. That doesn't mean it's boring. The unique closet makes for an instant eye-catcher while the Indian-inspired bedspread gives the space a touch of boho.
Small bedrooms can be a challenging space; it often ends up being the secondary (or in some cases, even primary) dumping ground. If you're looking at a re-haul of your old sleepy zone, speak to our interior designers.
The muted colours of the bedroom continue in the bathroom and work perfectly in this limited space. The combination of the granite flooring and white walls give the bathroom a cool, modern look that simultaneously has a breezy feel to it. The shower stall is separated by frameless and transparent glass doors, which is a great space-saving option that also does not visually break up the area. It also adds to the modern vibe of the whole space. The sink space (to the left of the frame) is enclosed within a nook and sports the same perforated cabinet, this time around in wood.
To see another refreshingly renovated apartment, check out A drab home transformed with a few small changes.