A small apartment bursting with character

April Kennedy April Kennedy
ghostarchitects Houses
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This small home in Milan has beautiful exposed brick walls and an antique character that is commonly found in old European cities. It is only composed of a single room and mezzanine, but the tiny space has a lot of charm and warmth. It presents some great ideas for creating a cosy interior.

The apartment is located in one of Italy's most stylish cities, but the owners loved British style interiors and wanted to bring some English-style warmth to the space. The home has few windows, so natural light was an issue and they wanted the interior to be a little brighter as well.

The architects from GhostArchitecture transformed the home by changing the colours, furniture and lighting. We won't give too much away just yet. But let's just say this small and simple loft space now has a very British, cosy feel. Come with us on a photo tour to see how it all works. There's plenty here to get the small home owner inspired…

A small and special open-plan layout

The loft is composed of one large room with a mezzanine level and a series of windows running along one wall. The rather small space has a living room, dining room and kitchen on the first level. On the second level there is space for a small study and sleeping area. The living spaces have been separated in a simple, yet effective way. The sofa has been pushed up against the kitchen island to separate the two spaces. The dining area is distinguished by prominent pendant lights and the mezzanine has a simple iron railing. Note the mirrored panel on the wall beside the staircase. The mirror reflects the light from the windows just outside the picture frame.

Old-world elements

Dark wooden furnitures are a very big part of the old-world vintage English style. Blue-grey colour palettes are another feature commonly seen in British interiors as well. But when you combine these two elements in a dark home, the interior runs the danger of looking a little visually heavy. Here, in the kitchen, we can see how the designers have sought to lighten up the space with white walls, open shelves, a mirror on the right and light, bare antique style light fittings.

Streamlined small kitchen

Subway tiles were originally used in the metro system of New York. But the style has a lot in common with old English vintage style and they work perfectly in this kitchen. Here they have been paired with wooden shelves and white kitchen cupboards. This lightens up the small kitchen and makes it feel that little bit more spacious. Older-style features often carry a heavy visual punch, so they can be used sparingly to great effect like this. Finally, note the retro style white refrigerator to our left.

Wooden furniture and glass mezzanine

From the dining area, we have a good view of the distinctive dark wooden furnishings that fill the home with a warm and natural warmth. The white wooden ceiling and small exposed brick column in the background definitely add that extra burst of cosy texture.

The other striking element here is the glass floor of the mezzanine. This allows lots of light to pass between the two levels. It also serves another purpose; the glass floor creates a slight, but important transition point between the sleeping zone and the study or storage area above the kitchen.

Simple living room

The designers have packed a lot of character into this home, but they haven't crammed every available space with furniture. Here we can see the rather simple living room. It has built-in white cupboards and a very bare sensibility. Simplicity is certainly one of the most important factors in any small home—even a warm and cosy one like this!

If you love a home with lots of textures and variety, perhaps it's time to take a ride on the wild side with A Singapore home of wild surprises.

What do you think of the glass bottomed mezzanine in this English-style home? Let us know in the comments field below!

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