Plenty of Playful Spaces in This Budapest Apartment |
Plenty of Playful Spaces in This Budapest Apartment

Plenty of Playful Spaces in This Budapest Apartment

Gaspar Bonta mixes fun and function

Written by –
Isobel McKenzie
on February 5th 2017
She's always struck by the architecture of a building. Originally from London, she is enthralled with the majestic collection of curves and lines that make up the British capital. It's fascinating to see how modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks muddle together in every city. Her Instagram feed is full of spiral staircases.



“I highly doubt that this apartment can be turned into a decent home,” said the owner’s relatives. Challenge accepted.



This unusual structure stretches over three different floors; originally a strange collection of spaces and odd connections. A conversion transformed it into a unique and well-proportioned home with plenty of big playful spaces, and cozy quiet corners.

Entryway with wooden walls and coat rack |

The owner of this home in Budapest is an innovation and technology professional, with an enthusiasm for dinosaurs. He also just happened to be friends with designer and architect Gaspar Bonta, so called him in to oversee this renovation.

Relaxed interiors in Budapest apartment |

The downstairs area is a largely open plan entrance-lobby-kitchen-dining room. Between the white walls and floor are plenty of warm wood elements and bare brick walls, which unsurprisingly give the apartment a clean feel but with lots of rough and ready elements.

Entryway with wooden walls and coat rack |

The entrance is welcoming and practical with space to hang coats, enough room for bike storage, and to greet guests.

Open plan dining room and kitchen in Budapest apartment |

It was easy to choose these materials, as the wooden surfaces and brick walls were already part of the building. But the concrete table and other iron surfaces throughout the house, like the stairs and on other floors, create a contrast that works well combined with everything else.

Open plan kitchen and dining room in Budapest |

Everything fit right into place with the owner’s belongings and personal pieces. The bookshelves, television and art, make everything complete.

Open plan kitchen and dining room in Budapest |
Stairs and brick wall in Budapest |

I quite like the different lighting options in the kitchen area. As well as sconces that pick up some of the texture of the bricks, there are spotlights that also appear over the dining room table.

Stairs and brick wall in Budapest |

This is the first set of staircases in the building, tough and sturdy but still letting plenty of light through between steps so as not to make the room too dark.

Upstairs rec room with skylights and beams, Budapest apartment |
Upstairs rec room with skylights and beams, Budapest apartment |

The stairs connect to another kind of playful space upstairs; a living room area. What do you think of the color palette? It’s an easy collection of colors to blend together, to look neither overly feminine or masculine but a neutral urban blend. The heavy beams give strong architectural focus and speak to the heritage of the building.

Upstairs rec room with skylights and beams, Budapest apartment |
Living room and rec room that can be turned into a bedroom |

Another key point is the living room area on the second floor which, as shown above, has a sloped roof. Certainly, it could make things hard to fit shapes in properly. But the couch slips into place easily, as the windows are cut out for more head space.

Rec room that can be turned into a bedroom when children come along |

Another cozy cut out is this funny nook under the stairs. One of the more interesting parts of the project was to find solutions for connecting the spaces over different stories. With a mini set of stairs and this green area, we have a completely separate space compared to the rest of this floor. The bed is single sized but this could be considered the guest bedroom. The playful space was designed with a nod towards any future renovations; with a simple plaster wall the room could easily be adapted into a children’s room.

As a dinosaur lover it was important to throw in a few hints to Triassic times. It is after all, the little parts of your personality that make a house your home.

Dinosaur feet |
3Stories home tour features Jurassic Park rec area |

Given the number of bean bags and relaxed spaces you can tell this is an area for informal entertainment, much like the Prenzlaurer Berg Penthouse in Berlin.

Rec room and living room with bean bags |

One of the interesting things about this space is the stairs. The first big staircase is sturdy and constructed with lots of support and strength, set against the bricks. But this smaller one is more intimate and requires a bit more care, as it’s more private and leads to an even tinier space. And its reveal at the top is spectacular.

Barbecue area upstairs on the roof with views of Budapest |

It’s the perfect spot for an evening barbecue and party with great views over Budapest.

Master bedroom has tall windows for Budapest views |

Gaspar Bonta focused on a fairly relaxed style in the bedroom. A small balcony area offers light, while the soft wood finishes match with calming blue.

Master bedroom has tall windows for Budapest views |
Master bedroom in Budapest with tall storage |
Photos in the corridor of Budapest apartment |

From its complicated start, we can now see a gorgeous home has emerged. From top to bottom it has a lot of industrial and urban styling, yet its hard materials are met with fluidity from area to area, top to bottom. It’s way more than a decent home, it’s a well designed home with plenty of character, great details… and dinosaurs.


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