it’s funny that i have never done any kind of house tour, but the truth is our place is not pinterest worthy. not that it has to be. i could show you pics of the dishes in the sink and the weird basket i keep under the bathroom cabinet that’s filled with toiletries that are probably 5 years old (but i can’t seem to bring myself to throw away? what’s with that). but, you know, it’s not that cool. we don’t live in a magazine house and we probably never will.
Klara and Klemen are students of architecture who live in an old house in Moste, Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. they regularly walked past the once grand villa hidden amongst the trees in this old neighborhood, and wondered about the abandoned looking apartment inside – which, it turned out, had been sitting empty for 20 years. after tracking down the owner and making a deal to fix up the flat in exchange for rent, they got the keys and started renovations. you can read the story of the apartment on their blog Handmade in Moste.
In truth, the flat did not look inviting at first glance; the paint was falling apart, plumbing and electricity wires suspiciously battered and the floor was very damaged in some parts. There was no central heating and all other modern commodities. But it had promising qualities such as high ceilings, big rooms with lots of windows, it was classically built out of brick and had a cooking furnace that was so inviting, that we almost smelled wood burning…
they designed and made many of the built-in components in the house themselves – including (but not limited to) a beautiful work light; all the shelving in their studio, bathroom & kitchen; a sturdy coffee table and the sweetest log rack. you can see all their projects on their blog, and read about their philosophy of handmaking items of quality & simplicity.
another thing i have been doing a lot of in anticipation of moving soon, apart from browsing etsy, is actually looking for a new place to stay.* which is a frustrating process, at best. so when i get sick of looking at dingy, overpriced flats i start looking for things that actually inspire me – like these two flats in Cape Town’s CBD designed by architects Wolf & Wolf.
We designed a new penthouse loft apartment in the historic Fruit Growers Building in Cape Town. We explored the concept of re-fabrication, using as much of the existing timber on site and re-working it. The result is our take on what a “Cape Town” style loft apartment is. House Wellington 7C is a compact version of 7B. Here we explore the idea of compact Urban Living. The total area is 50m²
* may as well take this opportunity to appeal to people in the cape town area who are reading this – if you have a flat or know of a flat in cape town that is becoming available next year please email me! that’s the smell of desperation, friends.
House Wellington 7B:
House Wellington 7c:
hey, want to move to sweden with me? malmö, specifically. it’s pretty cold there right now but we can hole up in this apartment. it’s for sale for R3,5m. did you know the swedish krona’s exchange rate is basically on par with the south african rand? i didn’t either. it makes me feel pretty great, except a coffee there probably costs 30 bucks which makes me feel the opposite. it’s okay, we can take our own coffee & live like monks! if you can bring the 3.5 million we’ll be set.
oh, you only have 1 million? let’s buy this one, then.
i could show you more but 100% of these apartments basically look the same inside.
i’m moving into a new place this month, and i’m excited. i’ll be living with my very good friends (yay) and just the thought of experiencing a change puts a spring in my step. have been catching myself looking at interiors online, which is kind of futile since i don’t have a money tree (yet). yeah. so, this is kind of what i would like my house to look like… one day. or at least elements of. taste veers drastically from very light & airy to pretty dark & moody.
click on the images for their sources. some of these might be reposts, sorry.
we’re not done with paris… yet. i still have many photos to get through, so in the meantime i thought i’d show you the apartment we stayed in. it’s on the left bank right behind notre dame, and filled with so much awesome art and weird little artefacts that my eyeballs almost fell out.
man alive this is a clever little flat! it would force someone to live very minimally (not a bad thing)
a pretty cool modern renovation of a turn of the century row house in washington, dc
i wish we had more row houses in SA, i would love to live in an urban street not dissimilar to what you see on london, new york & other cities the world over. smaller than a house, bigger than a flat. what more could you ask for?
the design of this attic to maximise space & provide for various living areas on different levels is pretty darn cool.
instead of taking the existing rooms as a starting point, the architect placed a large three-dimensional object in the space, creating a play of heights and a second level. the mezzanine-like structure not only provides a separate sleeping area and extra storage, but also screens off a kitchen area and bathroom.
holy wow check out this flat in paris… though i think i would be shit scared to climb those stairs.
facing the eglise saint-gervais on one side and the hôtel de ville de paris on the other, this 95 sqm apartment occupies the whole of the the two top floors of an 18th century building.
this one is also pretty cool,
the project centers around a 1.6 x 3 m rotating door separating the living room from the bedroom.
if you choose to live on your own as a young person (and i say this assuming that you don’t earn major bucks or perhaps you live in an expensive city – or both) you will probably be faced with the reality of renting a studio apartment. unless you’re an investment banker, or you won the lotto, or your granddad left you a sweet inner city pad the size of an ark that he bought back in 1950 for R500, or you’ve found some 3 bedroom palace with wooden floors and a working fireplace that’s being rented out for tuppence. if you’re one of those people, please don’t pity me. for i might be jumping on the studio flat bandwagon one of these days, and of course in lieu of that, the first thing i consider is HOW TO DECORATE.
zach motl lives in a 178 ft² studio apartment in brooklyn. that’s 16m² folks… he’s an interior decorator, which explains why his flat looks the way it does. “the more stuff you put in a room, the bigger it seems”
probably one of the cutest apartments i’ve seen is this one that won the second prize in apartment therapy’s small cool contest in 2007. more for the use of space than the actual decor (though i so love the chaise). in actual fact it’s bigger than the one above – at 293.5 ft² (27.27m²), yet it actually looks kind of smaller:
another apartment that abides buy the “more is more” rule and pulls it off, is this one (also a 2007 small & cool winner) – it is roughly the same size as the one above (300 ft²):
i think what the americans have going for them in terms of apartments (large & small) is that they usually have built in cupboards (sorry, closets) and i don’t mean the ugly ones we have here that are just plonked in the corner of the room, but actual cupboards that are recessed into a wall. sometimes with a light! oh how i wish to step into my tiny built in closet and tug on the dangling light switch to reveal all my stuff crammed up sardine style. like so:
oh, anything for a royal tenenbaums reference. anyway don’t distract me…
this couple has a really inspiring little studio in NYC (400 ft² = 37 m²), and they did all the DIY themselves:
this NYC couple‘s apartment is only 200 ft² (18 m²!!!)
and, further into the archives, these wee houses – i wouldn’t mind a tiny pre-fab studio sized house that is placed slap bang in the middle of a forest or somewhere else awesome.
or perhaps a tiny beach chalet
sigh. either way, small can be cool.
i’m nowhere near buying a house (or even a cupboard somewhere) – but if i was on the market for a wee bit of real estate, i would probably start off with something teeny like a studio flat. this is a pretty great example of a studio that doesn’t feel like a studio.
i love the galley ‘kitchen’ behind the couch, genius. and there are two living areas – impressive! i’d probably replace the 2nd living room with a dining / work area. the decor itself is bordering on gaudy, but the use of space is just awesome. via luphia loves from light locations