Sometimes it’s hard to see the potential hidden behind a mess of drop ceilings, darkening partition walls and hideously dated kitchens, but the bones of a residential space can be more beautiful than you would have imagined. These 15 bright, spacious, modern apartment renovations open up cramped interiors, make use of vertical space and reveal long-forgotten historic features that add lots of character.
Looking at the dim, depressing, highly ordinary ‘before’ photos of this apartment in Istanbul, would you ever have guessed at the potential it contained behind all of that plaster? SEA Architects saw the beautiful historical bones in brick and timber, tearing out most of the walls and ceilings to reveal what has been hidden for decades. The results are fresh, creative and highly unexpected.
Formerly Frightening Basement in Barcelona
Dark and dirty with stained walls and floors, this basement in Barcelona was legitimately scary before RAS architecture got their hands on it. ‘Apartment Tibbaut’ has a single entrance from above, one of three sources of natural light to the space, but octagonal stone pillars and a domed ceiling made it seem promising. These original elements were restored while new partition walls of laminated pine help define the new private areas.
How can you live in an ‘apartment’ that’s the size of a closet? Make the best possible use of every inch of space, like Kitoko Studio has done here with a maid room in Paris. A built-in inspired by swiss army knives takes up an entire wall, with the various components pulling out or folding down to reveal a bed, storage, a table, a wardrobe, a staircase, a kitchenette and more.
A young fashion designer gets a bold and fun new apartment in a historic space within Paris’ Montmartre district courtesy of SABO project. A white built-in storage partition with alternating tread stairs leads to a sleeping loft and separates the living room and kitchen. The latter features a small green wall and vibrant flooring comprised of 25 natural rubber strips in 14 colors.
The formerly uninhabitable attic of a Moscow apartment has become a fun two-story play space for the client’s children. Ruetemple added the timber structure with a nook for the kids, connecting the lower level to a playroom.