Many dream of an elegant, bourgeois apartment, but most give up on this dream all too soon. Often because someone might think their flat is too small for such a large-scale, wow-factor interior. This blogpost is for those people: through example, we are going to show you how it’s possible to create luxury in a small space.
Like all the interior designers, we love it when we can let our fantasies fly free, and design and furnish a large apartment based on our own aesthetic and preferences. However, in many cases this is just not possible, but of course we still need to bring out the best of every home we work with. In Budapest this means that sometimes we need to prove that a small apartment and elegance can actually go hand-in-hand, even in a 40-65 sqm flat.
Is it really possible to turn these small spaces into homes that make jaws drop? Or do you actually need to knock down walls and turn two small flats into one big one to achieve a perfect result? We believe ‘mini-luxury’ is a thing: and we don’t just talk about it, we practice it as well.
Imagine a typical 58 sqm apartment near the Great Market Hall in the 9th district. When you open the door to the main entrance, you find yourself in a long corridor, with many doors leading off of it. The bathroom is on your left just as you walk in, the corridor ends with the kitchen, you find a poorly placed bedroom to the left: nothing special, the space feels tiny, despite the high ceilings - it’s simply not very welcoming.
We immediately saw that, in this rather boring place, a lot of things could be improved with a smart and well thought out blueprint. Our client’s first priority was that we match the interior and the furniture with the mood and patina of the neighbourhood, so aimed for elegance.
As we wanted to create as much space in the apartment as it was possible, we removed all the unnecessary walls, only leaving the structural walls. This was a perfect base for creating something new. We just needed an awesome idea to make the flat special.
In the end, we decided to go with a light blue kubus -a loft whose bottom is surrounded by walls) for the bedroom, which is more exciting than a simple loft. The bathroom is hidden within the walls of the kubus, and the bed is on the top of the structure, and can be reached by stairs running along the side. This way we can really utilize the impressive, four meter ceiling height, without leaving that squeezed-in feeling that lofts can sometimes give you.
This unusual interior design solution helped us create a spacious room, and made it possible to reach the overall effect of a fresh, modern, and sophisticated look.
The kitchen and the living room are in the same space, which gives the flat a very open feeling. The kitchen is next to the kubus, which allowed us to add one more kitchen counter. This is a wonderful part of the kitchen, because we were able to hide the larger kitchen appliances under this extra counter. In addition, with the proper chairs, it’s easy to transform this part of the kitchen into a dining room, which makes it possible to host dinner parties in a small space.
We didn’t want to overdo it, so the living room was designed to be intimate - despite opening onto the kitchen, we wanted to separate it somehow from the other parts of the apartment, so it wouldn’t look like everything is just floating together. The living room has a real luxury element in it - a fireplace that is visible even from the kitchen and dining room.
We mentioned earlier that in the original flat a long dark corridor welcomed you as you arrived to the apartment. We eliminated this by removing the corridor’s door, so those who enter the apartment will see through to the larger space full of sunlight, right up to the huge windows, and it will become immediately clear that this is not a usual home.
We didn’t want to put any storage room in the hall, so we decided to build a large closet where the bedroom used to be, and we wanted to turn it into something that stood out from the rest of the apartment. A lot of storage space, drawers with special lights, cabinets, a soft carpet, a very special wallpaper, comfortable chairs, plants: we are already in love with it, a little piece of America in the heart of Budapest.
And while we are talking about elegance: we believe that classical and modern elements don’t just go well together, but by putting different styles into the same space you can create a very special harmony. The minimalistic design’s counterpoint is the vivid decoration that is reminiscent of the mirror room in the palace of Versaille. Wall stuccos, coffered panels, all of this painted gold - what could be more bourgeois?
When we showed our designs to our client, we were calmer than the usual - we felt that our plans could bring out more than what they had thought of as the maximum potential of this apartment. The client immediately fell in love with our plans, so the renovation has already started. We will come back to you with some updates on the progress, and we hope you will be just as excited about it as we are.