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Before and after: a compact apartment blossoms

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by Guillaume Jean Architect & Designer
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Valongo, a small municipality in Portugal, is home to both quaint old-world architectural beauties and modern dwellings. And urban living is rediscovering itself in a whole new way in compact but smart apartments in Portugal, just like in the rest of the world. So today, we'll guide you through the before and after story of an old dilapidated apartment in Valongo, brilliantly transformed into a bright and charming abode by Guillaume Jean Architect & Designer. The apartment witnessed makeover magic which changed it from a dusty bare shell into a stylish and minimalistic sanctuary. You will be especially dazzled by the clever mix of tasteful and functional designs and decor in the revamped apartment. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a closer look!

Before: dark and imposing interiors

The apartment was previously lying neglected and derelict, with cracks on the walls, and piles of rubble lying here and there. Dirt and dust had taken over everything. The interiors were dark, dreary and scary too. But the presence of the fair-sized windows made the architects consider the apartment’s possibilities. Undoubtedly, ample doses of light, air and cheerfulness were needed before the refurbishment took place.

Before: a depressing state of affairs

Take a look at the walls and the floor to see what we mean. Ruin and decay was written all over the apartment interiors, before it received the makeover blessing. The plaster and paint was peeling off in places and the space unabashedly showed signs of ageing. But the adequate size of the abode promised the scope for something better, which only intelligent designing and planning could achieve. And that is exactly what happened with this residence.

After: a heavenly white room

The lavish use of pristine and sparkling white changed the interiors like magic! Now the tiny apartment looks gorgeously spacious and open, with sunlight flooding its length and breadth through the large windows and sheer drapes. A comfy bed lies on the left and the smart work station has been positioned on the right. A couple of cosy armchairs along with a fancy three-legged stool stand near the windows, and break the monotony of white elegantly. A couple of plush rugs add a hint of understated luxury to the polished wooden floor.

After: bright for work and play

The sleek white table and quirky and modish white chair create the perfect setting in which to concentrate and work with ease. White produces a calming effect and exudes a positive and optimistic vibe, crucial for the generation of inspiring ideas. A slender, white decor piece like a bunch of dry branches adorns the left side of the work table. And on the right lies a flat metallic vessel which adds a spot of colour to the white canvas. The sconce lighting on the wall is a brilliant touch, and can offer focus for wall-mounted artworks if the owner so desires.

After: ideas are everything

The bed is a snug and inviting affair in white and stylish shades of grey. And the wall beyond it has been effectively utilised to house a highly utilitarian closet system, useful for storing clothes, blankets, shoes, bags, crockery and whatnot! What we love about this storage hack is the fact that it includes a small kitchen with a sink on the left hand side, for easy and simple cooking. You can also slide panels over the kitchen counter when it is not in use. All in all, the architects have thought of every possible need of the owner, and made the most out of the available space.

After: plush and quirky touches

Living in a compact space doesn’t mean you have to compromise on comfort or style. And this home is the perfect example. The bed has been equipped with a bunch of soft and cosy cushions in different tones of grey to go with the predominating whiteness of the abode. The bedside lamp, which is a globular affair with gauze-like finishing, adds a touch of quirk and fun to the space.

After: smart bathroom hack

The inviting wooden flooring and simple but solid wooden shelves under the sink add much needed warmth to the white walls and sanitary ware. The shelves are extremely functional and can help you arrange towels, bathrobes, toiletries, cleaning products and more. The large mirror, no-nonsense stainless steel fittings and the quaint white basin contribute to the simple pleasures of the bathroom.

After: a touch of nature

The architects believed that the simplest of things could be turned into beautiful visions with the help of nature. Hence, a sleek floral arrangement sits near the basin and adds a dash of colour and freshness to the bathroom.

So you see how the use of white, clever organisation solutions, and the subtle incorporation of warm elements like wood, rugs and cushions have turned a dingy apartment into an oasis of tranquillity and happiness. Stylish lighting and sudden hints of colour have helped too. 

Here’s another remodelling story to inspire you further: From dated to divine: a radical apartment makeover.

Have you been inspired by this makeover? What do you think of the clever use of space? Let us know in the comments!
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