Deep in the historic Italian city of Rome, we will explore a small 50m² apartment that has undergone a modern renovation.
In a previous incarnation, the home was dark and damp. All the natural light came from two tall windows and the small outdoor courtyard was separated from the main living space.
Italian architects and interior designers Studio Acrivoulis turned the small courtyard into a room within the home and allowed the light from this area to pour into the home. But it's the refined minimalism and sculptural staircase that really has us enamoured. Come with us to explore this little Roman residence in more detail…
Like many Roman buildings from the late 19th century, this one has high ceilings. In a small apartment this poses an obvious opportunity for a loft bed or mezzanine style bedroom. The design of this sleeping mezzanine or bedroom loft is incredibly light and refined. It almost has a weightless quality.
In this photo we can see the construction of the entire mezzanine and staircase. Both are ideally designed to suit a small apartment. The main supporting beam is white and blends into the white walls. The walls are made from thick transparent glass this also enhances the light-weight quality of the form. Finally, we have a good view of the wooden staircase that has been carved from a single block of wood. It has no railing or visible support structure so as to appear weightless.
The small, walled courtyard lies directly beyond the dining room wall. The wall between the kitchen and this courtyard has been opened wide, so a diffuse light spreads throughout the home. Natural light from the courtyard also pours through a narrow, but powerful panel window.
The unusual turns and quirks of the building could have easily made the home feel cluttered or busy. But the ultra refined and minimalist decor soothes the edges and makes the characterful elements feel positively delightful.
The kitchen has all the elements that make for a good small kitchen design. The white kitchen cupboards are highly polished and reflect light, the chrome detailing is minimalist and there is an excellent use of the corner space. Of course, of primary interest is the light coming from the courtyard to the left.
The owners wanted this little courtyard to be designed as outdoor seating reminiscent of Mediterranean gardens. The cushions are placed on the ground and the peace lilies and plant-life hold pride of place. This is a small place in which to enjoy the simple pleasures of the winter sun.
The small bathroom has an incredibly soothing quality about it. Much of this is due to the minimalism of the design. There is a single top mounted basin, a simple wooden shelf and the shower has been designed to fit into a minimalist shower room. Soft beige tiles run high up the wall to increase our sense of space.
Next, let's see how another apartment of the same size has been configured: How this 50m² apartment feels bigger than it is