To answer the question why we love our jobs, we’d probably say it’s because of this: if you think of your apartment as your little world, we have a chance to literally make the world a better place for our clients.
Not just prettier, but better. Interior design combines aesthetics with functionality and treats them as equals. However, when it comes to private apartments, where a budget is also an issue, we seem to love functionality a tiny bit more. But to design space that serves its owners the best way possible is not the easiest thing to do. You see, we know what is beautiful and we could write about thousands of beautiful interiors, without really knowing if they’re functional.
At the beginning of a designing process, we ask our clients about their everyday life. Do they cook or eat outside? Do they often entertain? Do they work from home? Do they have a lot of stuff? Do they enjoy long bubble baths? Are they early birds or night owls? This is where functionality comes from.
Don’t worry if you’re not really sure what are we talking about – we found the perfect apartment to show you what we mean.
Pay attention to differences between existing plan and the new layout to notice how CIAA practice made minimal but strategic interventions. With just a few wall segments removed, they connected social areas of the apartment (balcony, living room, dining room, kitchen) AND separated them from private areas (bedrooms, bathrooms) at the same time.Why is this functional? Well, with an integrated social area of the apartment, space is easily adaptable to changing number of people in it. You can imagine this space working just as well with only one person watching television, or with few people sitting on the couch while others sit by the table and hang out in the kitchen area.
Also, this is our favorite bathroom/bedroom layout solution. It is amazingly convenient to have this kind of private area in the apartment – we always try to convince our clients to do this. To understand why, try to imagine the situation when your partner/roommate/teenage kid is having some friends over and you’d like to sleep. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to go from bathroom to bedroom without having to walk by everyone?To maximize the functionality of the space, a multi-functional shelf-wall was inserted into the apartment. With that gesture, the transition between spaces, previously rigid and restrictive, has become fluid and changeable, comprised of color panels and moving furniture allowing the integration of all spaces.
The design and performance of this “wall” has been carefully crafted, demanding production drawings of all its components, which were then assembled as a set of modules inside the apartment. The wall works simultaneously as a design piece and as an operating interior infrastructure to support the diverse and multiple actions of the social space. So smart! In our last post, we mentioned how architects design more than just layouts, and this is exactly what we had in mind.
Various interactions and different hierarchies between spaces are possible. Panels that open to reveal the bathroom and close to privatize the rooms, panels that open while cooking and close when the kitchen becomes a workspace, furniture that moves to maximize social functionality spaces according to the different moments – because time arrangement is just as important as space arrangement.
And how about that movable kitchen cabinet that works as serving cart? Maybe it’s weird to be blown away by a kitchen cabinet, but we love the “I would never think of that” moment. We secretly decided to copy that idea in every single kitchen we design from now on.
Go through the gallery and pay attention to amazing details. Don’t you love how this apartment simplifies life for its owners?
Studio: CIAA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Design team: Thiago Almeida, Priscila Bellas, Lucas Ramos
Location: Niterói, Brazil
Area: 70 sqm
Photographer: © Thiago Almeida