While searching for amazingly designed colorful apartments (and you wouldn’t believe how many of them are out there) we started to wonder: is monochrome trend really just a line of least resistance? Almost a foolproof method for good apartment design?
It may be so, but we believe that before monochrome became a thing – and we’re not talking about all black and white, we’re talking about white and warm shades of grey combined with natural finish materials – everyone was going nuts painting their walls peach*, that such drastic move needed to be done.
*You see, we try to be objective in our posts, which isn’t really a problem (nor true for that matter), because we only write about interiors we adore, but we have to say we hate peach – love the fruit hate the color.
It’s like we had to completely clear our space and our minds from pointless colors, and then start bringing them back in a thoughtful way. We feel that every single apartment we featured in our last post, as much as these ones we’ll show in this post, would be great if they were monochrome. But colors gave them personality, they gave them a specific mood. Colors and tones were chosen deliberately to evoke emotions, to have a point – they were not chosen in order to give someone opportunity to look at their favorite color all day long.
Last week we talked about colored interiors but this time we want to show you how colors can be used as highlights of the interior.
Adam Wiercinski Architekt – K103, Poznan
We already mentioned in our post about the bathroom remodel that basic idea behind the interior design is to take control over the space and over its details. We love niches, but anything ‘sticking out’ of the main plains of the space (walls, floor, and ceiling), seems out of control. But remember, everything can be designed. Everything can be under your control. And colors can help.
This stylish apartment is a great example. It has a regular layout with only two irregularities that are painted green – architects highlighted them instead of trying to hide them, they took control of the space.
The green niche marks out the dining area. If you take a look at the layout, you’ll see that dining room is the only part of the apartment where everyone gets together. Do you see how colored wall has a point?
On the other hand, there are four rooms in the apartment, but only one has a green wall. That room also has a different layout than others – the color highlights that difference even more.
Now, you might say that this color was chosen arbitrarily and any other color would highlight those space just as well. While that might be true, we would like to point out to the fact that even just small parts of walls are colored, they still fit perfectly with all the other elements of the apartment. Once again, every material and piece of furniture are chosen in relation to that color.
Studio: Adam Wiercinski Architekt
Design team: Agnieszka Owsiany, Adam Wiercinski
Location: Poznan, Poland
Photographer: © Przemysław Turlej
MIEL Arquitectos – Piso Pere IV, Barcelona
And now when we have that rule set, it’s time to do exactly the opposite. To be honest, that’s how the designing process works.
One way to take control over the space is to carefully combine colors and materials. To choose things that go together well. But interior design is about intention over accidents.
What we love about this apartment, is the way it keeps you awake. It’s like you can’t just passively walk through it, you have to pay attention. There is something almost humorous about it. We talked about how colors evoke emotions, and we think that seeing this color can make you chuckle. Wouldn’t it be fun to be in this space?
But why is it so? There’s no way we’d usually advise you to paint your walls bright green. Yellow? Really, what is it?! (We know it’s actually fluorescent green – architects told us!)
One of the reason is the fact that everything else in this apartment is low-key, but not monochrome – and that’s what makes it brilliant. You’d think it would be the best to make everything else white, gray and black to be sure that this color is going to fit in. But that would be a line of least resistance, and the result wouldn’t be so impressive.
The other reason is the fact that the color is used only in small niches. That way, when you walk by, the size of the painted surface changes. You can’t even see it from every angle. It has a certain dynamic. Notice how architects covered that wall in mirrors. To visually enlarge the space, one might say. But we don’t think that’s the reason. Mirrors brought the rest of the apartment right next to the highlighted surfaces. They enhanced the contrast.
No one living in that apartment woke up one day and said: “Let’s paint those walls in any color left from my mother’s apartment renovation”. That color has a point.
Follow our link to the website of MIEL Arquitectos. They are amazingly skillful at finding creative and functional layout solutions. Their projects are often our source of inspiration.
NimTim architects – Westbourne Gardens, London
Of course, painting walls is not the only way to bring colors to your space. Colorful kitchen cabinets is definitely a way to go.
We’ve seen a lot of colorful kitchens (follow our Pinterest board and take a look at a collection of our favorites) but there is something special about this one.
Even though it subtly pops out, it is clear that it is designed in relation to the rest of the apartment. For instance, we love the fact that the same knobs are used on the kitchen cabinets and on closet fronts. That detail helps us to notice how well this cold shade of blue goes with a warm wooden texture of fronts.
Notice how those knobs add a pinch of warmth into the combination of light blue and marble backsplash. And how amazing is that backsplash? If we ever do an ultimate round-up of amazing backsplashes, this one will make it to the top.
The sleeping area is surrounded by the built-in wardrobe with ‘hidden’ fold-down elements like the bed and nightstand. This wardrobe is made out of cherry wood veneer that naturally has a warm red tone and just when you open it you can see beautiful blue painted background. We love that you can see a cold-warm contrast in this apartment in every detail.
Understanding their role in the interior is the right way to choose colors for your interior. Don’t settle for a decorative role when they can do so much more. They can really affect the way you feel in your space, affect your everyday life.
Our dearest, most talented interior decorator (yes, decorator) – whose apartment we plan to feature on this blog as a little sneak peek very soon – always says: “I only do what matters.” Wouldn’t you agree that’s a real foolproof method for good apartment design?