Architects used OSB for a complete transformation of an old apartment in Zagreb

As you probably know by now, we love to feature amazing interiors on our blog. Interiors that are designed by architects and that are full of amazing details and smart solutions. We do think it is important to bring the architecture a bit closer to everyone, after all, we are surrounded by it, but not many of us really understand how complex it is.

Every interior we shared earlier was designed by architects we love and admire – for their clients. Their clients, who came with a list of things they wanted in their home. And to make those wishes come true is a part of architects’ job.

But today we have something a little bit different for you.

Today, we’re glad to show you an amazing apartment our friends and colleagues – architects, Lana and Nikola, designed for themselves. And we’re going to explain the background work, and smart decisions, behind that project.


Their apartment is located on the 9th floor of an apartment building on one of the busiest streets in Zagreb – Vukovarska street. Luckily, with its south orientation, the apartment is turning its back to the street noise and opens up to the beautiful south view of the city.

Previously, the 62 sqm apartment consisted of a living room, a separate kitchen with a dining space, a pantry, a bedroom, a bathroom and a separate toilet. But a flexible building structure (column and beam system), combined with a fully glazed longer side of the apartment, allowed the floor plan changes – and full transformation.

D:[1010] BLOG76stan_L&N -Lana nadodala Model (1)The architects decided to design an adaptable home – the one that can easily be transformed from one bedroom to two bedroom apartment. Because at first, the apartment was intended to be used by a young couple, and then by parents and their child(ren).

And that was the idea of what the space should be. But how to do that?

Well, they drew plans and sections, they solved the construction details, they planned the deconstruction, pipeline lifting and relaying, masonry and brickwork. They even designed the furniture.D:[1010] BLOG76stan_L&N -Lana nadodala Model (1)D:[1010] BLOG76stan_L&N -Lana nadodala Model (1)D:[1010] BLOG76stan_L&N -Lana nadodala Model (1)

A couple of technical problems affected the selection of materials used in the apartment.

First, there was the difference in floor height – a common problem, especially in old buildings. After the old floor coverings were removed – hardwood floor and old terrazzo tiles, the architects realized the hardwood floor was laid directly on the concrete substrate. They, then, decided to lay the acoustic floor to reduce the unwanted noise between two floors and level the base for the new flooring. The rooms, that were previously covered with hardwood floor, now had the higher floor (which means these rooms were lower), so the architects decided to use the linoleum flooring because it’s basically the thinnest possible solution.
In the rest of the apartment, they opted for OSB – a durable, almost undestroyable budget-friendly material which, when used wisely, looks amazing.

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | linoleum floor | OSB floor | OSB corridor
Apartment remodel in Zagreb // photo: © upgradesign

D:[1010] BLOG76stan_L&N -Lana nadodala Model (1)

And they used it wisely!

You see, previously, there was an entryway  – a little bit big for the apartment, if we may add. Lana and Nikola thought so, too. Their goal was to create a spacious living room, but they didn’t want to lose the idea of an entrance space – so they covered the area where entryway used to be with a different material (OSB) to make it seem like it’s a separate space. And it really worked!

This entryway features an amazing storage space. Our Instagram followers fell in love with the storage space from this entryway, when we posted it last month. And for a good reason. It features three elements: shelves, a library and a wardrobe. It’s a semi-open type of wardrobe, with a sliding door hooked to the ceiling, made of polycarbonate panels framed with aluminium protection profiles.

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | closet | storage | bookcase | lexan door
Apartment remodel in Zagreb // photo: © upgradesign

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | entrance storage detailApartment remodel in Zagreb | sliding door details

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | linoleum floor | OSB floor | glass wall

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | linoleum floor | OSB floor | glass wall

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | built in closet | curtains | plants | glass wall
Apartment remodel in Zagreb // photo: © upgradesign

The open space in the apartment includes a kitchen, a dining room and the living room. One part of the living room makes a half-space (planned to be parents bedroom one day) separated by a glass wall. They used a transparent glass wall because it visually expands the entire living area and it allows them to have a wonderful view at the city throughout the whole facade. The curtains behind this glass wall allow the privacy if needed.

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | corridor | OSB walls

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | bathroom | OSB walls
Apartment remodel in Zagreb // photos: © Senja Vild
Apartment remodel in Zagreb | ceiling detail | lighting
Bathroom ceiling // photo: © upgradesign

On the other side of the entrance is a hallway that leads to the bathroom and the bedroom. Thanks to the OSB, the hallway is also very effectively visually separated from the rest of the apartment. The boards are placed on the walls and doors (they bought a wider door, removed the lining on hall side of the door and screw in a thin OSB panel), as well as the floor.
Covering every surface of the space with one material was a smart solution because now no-one notices the hall is narrowed because the bathroom needed to be expanded. Since the ceiling of the hall needed to be lower for all the installations, there was no room left for the lighting so they decided to break the wall that divides the hallway and the kitchen and set up two sandblasted glasses with LED tubes in-between. This lighting solution serves as artificial lighting for the hallway and lighting for a kitchen worktop at the same time.Apartment remodel in Zagreb | corridor detail

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | washing machine detail | OSB walls
Apartment remodel in Zagreb // photo: ©  upgradesign

The space beneath that window is well used for storing the washing machine that is placed in the dead corner of the L-shaped kitchen – which is one of our favourite functional details in this apartment. Because we are on a secret quest of convincing everyone to kick the washing machine out of the bathroom (you can read more about that in our How to design a storage post, and also in How to design a small bathroom post), and because we openly hate corner kitchen cabinets.  So in our opinion, that decision was a double win!

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | bedroom | white bedroom | chair as a nightstand

Apartment remodel in Zagreb | bedroom | simple bedroom | white bedroom | chair nightstand
Apartment remodel in Zagreb // photo: © Senja Vild

We could go on about interesting solutions used in this apartment. How about the spacious bedroom, with plenty of light? Amazing decorative details are the chairs next to the bed, which are used as a nightstand but when needed they are used as extra dining chairs. It’s no secret we love practical solutions.

This amazing apartment shows exactly why we believe it is so important to learn about interior design from others. We know most of you would never think of such a smart way to use that corner kitchen cabinet. You probably wouldn’t be sure it’s possible to truly separate a part of one room with different function, with nothing but the difference in material.
In theory, everything we think of can be done. But now we can see how beautiful it is – when it’s done.

Apartment remodel in Zagreb

Apartment remodel in Zagreb
Apartment remodel in Zagreb // photos: © Senja Vild

What do you think about this apartment? Can you see yourself living in an apartment like this?

Designed by: Lana Trobentar Šimunić and Nikola Šimunić
Location: Zagreb
Floor Area: 64 m²
Completed: 2017
Photographers: © Senja Vild *featured photo // © upgradesign



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