We are creatures of habit, giving ourselves tasks and daily rituals to preserve balance and order at home – our shelter from the chaotic and ever-changing world. So when tasked with turning this 635-square-foot (59m²) apartment into the perfect home, the designers from XS Studio for Compact Design went straight to the home owner’s daily routine to get a sense of where to move forward. The size and shapes of certain spaces were re-examined and re-organized.
Take for example the main living area, where the habit to relax and enjoy the television in a cozy environment is key; timber flooring marks the boundaries for the living room, cushioned with a large sofa and framed on two edges with storage and cupboards.
A previously unused balcony is now claimed and converted into the kitchen. Marked along the window, it’s delineated with a strip of ceramic tiles reminiscent of the original outdoor space. The tiles are designed to hint at the shapes and styles of the original 1930s Bauhaus building design, supplied by local makers.
Seeing as the home owner doesn’t cook much, the kitchen was planned to be as pared down and simple as possible. What was important was to create a home office area. Complete with a bookshelf and sturdy desk, the study corner is intentionally positioned to allow for working while watching TV.
Working a great deal from home as a scientific researcher, the home owner is able to comfortably enjoy the large space of the multi-functional room and not feel locked off and secluded.
On the other side of the house we encounter another quirk of the daily habit. A service area is lively in mustard yellow hues, the perfect spot for washing the face in the morning in a bright room bathed in natural light and view of the city.
A washer and dryer are housed here, with the large yellow wall cabinet “designed to add to the sensation of [the] light and warm feeling of the room.”
This is the more public ‘dry’ area of the bathroom, with the ‘wet’ room concealed behind frosted doors.
Instead of a slim fitting shower stall, the home owner embraced the freedom a wet room provides.
In the center of the apartment is the light and airy bedroom, and an entrance hall that can be adapted for different uses. Dividing the space is a steel frame partition with windows.
Instead of an opaque partition the bedroom is unusually transparent to let light all the way into the foyer. Guiding this design feature is the desire for a feeling of spaciousness at bedtime.
From the designers
The owner wanted an airy feeling to the bedroom and a wider feeling to the room than the actual size. We also wanted to light up the entrance with natural light and ventilation. Since the apartment is planned for a couple, the idea of this glazed transparent wall does not hinder the sense of privacy one needs when sleeping. Moreover, if there are guests in the house, a light drape was installed to give a semi-private feeling in the room.
An unusual and fun element of design for this apartment is the foldable table in the foyer. In this house, dining at a formal dining table is a rare occasion – that’s why the kitchen counter is a more commonly used space.
So the idea of having a folding table is a perfect way to acknowledge daily rituals and monthly celebrations. Opening up the folding table instantly transforms the foyer space into a dining room. When it’s time to host guests, the outstretched table can dine up to six people – with chairs collected from other areas of the house.
The flexibility of this foyer space, adapting between private and public spaces, is one of the apartment’s unique features. With the pull of a curtain, a room transforms. Storage is seamlessly integrated and comfort is thought of in every design element. Which makes it a suitable space for creating order and balance; a perfect space for daily rituals.