Living room by 株式会社エキップ

A look inside 4 apartments from 4 cities

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Today we'll go on a whirlwind tour of the world and soak up some multicultural flavour as we explore apartments in London, Barcelona, Ankara and Tokyo. Each home has been chosen for its ability to convey something about the spirit and history of the city. This appears in the old crumbling walls of a Barcelona dairy, the classic wainscoting on a London apartment and the inlaid tiles of a modern Turkish bathroom and more.

None of these homes are completely traditional. But they do reveal how modern architects are looking to integrate their respective ancient designs into modern forms. So, let's get started on our tour!

1. A converted dairy in Barcelona, Spain

This trendy modern loft is located in Gracia, a bohemian barrio in Barcelona, Spain. It's hard to believe, but it was once an old dairy in dire condition. The architects have brightened up the interior with large glass walls and created a large living area of double height.

Catalan history

The architect tried to keep the older features of the Catalan building as much as possible. So the old wooden beams and some of the brick walls were restored. A mezzanine was installed and the passageway takes in these features. It is a home with a lot of character. The old forms also form a stunning juxtaposition against the fresh white walls.

2. A luxurious apartment in Istanbul, Turkey

This modern apartment is Ankara is utterly lavish and evokes images from the glorious Ottoman empire. The golden colour theme may trace back to an ancient past, but the modern lighting is certainly a fresh approach. We bet it's one that would have appealed to Turkish artisans of the past too.

Turkish tiles

At first glance, the modern apartment has little in common with traditional Turkish designs. But then we notice the ornate floor tiles. They make a strong decorative statement and firmly place this within its location.

3. A nature-friendly modest home in Tokyo, Japan

 Living room by 株式会社エキップ
株式会社エキップ

ダイニング・キッチン

株式会社エキップ

Nature has frequently held an important role in Japanese architecture. In this modest Japanese living room we have a lots of wooden finishes and a light, playful ambiance. There are few items on display aside from a rather generous collection of houseplants.

Japanese minimalism

Minimalism may be the hallmark of modern design, but it's been around forever in Japanese interiors. This little hallway area shows just how pared back things can get in a Japanese apartment. Space is incredibly sparse in Tokyo, so wooden storage units and furniture are often built into the space. Here we have some shelving under the window.

4. A classic London apartment

 Living room by Nash Baker Architects Ltd
Nash Baker Architects Ltd

​The living room at the Mansfield Street Apartment

Nash Baker Architects Ltd

The single most defining features in classic old English homes are wainscoting, decorative wall trims and plaster molding. This London apartment has all three. It's been combined with bright modern artworks and a rather lovely mirrored door.

Classic English kitchen

 Kitchen by Nash Baker Architects Ltd
Nash Baker Architects Ltd

​The kitchen at the Mansfield Street Apartment

Nash Baker Architects Ltd

Classic English kitchens are incredibly soft and homely. This one has wooden cabinets and ruffled window treatments. We love the marble benchtops and decorative light shades.

For more apartment inspiration, have a look at A simple and sleek apartment to use as your template.

Which of these apartments is your favourite?
 Houses by Casas inHAUS

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