Why we love raw concrete in interiors

Why we love raw concrete in interiors

Ready or not, concrete is here to stay.

It entered our homes like a big-shot, covering our floors to help us create beloved „industrial lofts“. Some of us immediately fell in love, some of us didn’t. It was too cold. It looked like the interior wasn’t finished. It was maybe just a trend – nothing we’d love to live with for years to come.

Then little concrete products happened. The coasters, the knobs, the vases and bowls. And we started to think: “Hey, this is nice!” Product design is sneaky that way. It familiarizes us with things and ideas we would otherwise never consider.

Yet there is something special about concrete. When you think about it, it doesn’t really look good.

Now, you can take a block of exotic timber, coat it with high gloss lacquer, and call it a side table. And it would be a pretty side table, no doubt about that.

Just like putting a slice of fancy smoked salmon on a piece of toast would be a delicious snack.

Concrete doesn’t work that way. Concrete works only when you have an amazing idea and an amazing execution of that idea. You know, like a hamburger with brie instead of standard cheese and arugula instead of lettuce. Oh, and maybe a pinch of truffles mixed with mayo. Hungry much?

Us comparing cooking with interior design isn’t new, but here’s what’s new – this week’s breathtaking interiors featuring concrete finishes, furniture pieces and few of the most beautifully designed details we’ve ever seen.

So even if you don’t like visible concrete in home interiors, you still might like this post. Because really, it’s not about concrete surfaces – it’s about ideas and executions.  Continue reading “Why we love raw concrete in interiors”

Malte Wittenberg and Studio BLB redesigned 19th-century apartment into an art space with both private and public use

Malte Wittenberg and Studio BLB redesigned 19th-century apartment into an art space with both private and public use

“But how do you start?”

This simple question got us thinking. It wasn’t about how to design something specific, it wasn’t even about how to design an apartment as a whole, it was about how to start designing an apartment as a whole. It was about the small slice of time where the design begins.

As we were remembering all of our projects, the answer cleared up. We start with a client’s wish that seems like something that can’t be done. Sometimes because the space is too small, sometimes because building structure is not flexible enough (with only load-bearing walls and nothing to tear down), sometimes because the client wants two contradictory things.

The “impossible wish” is a priority because it is also the reason clients contact us in the first place. Without it, most of them would probably do the remodel by themselves.

That approach is based on our honest belief design solves problems.

And design does solve problems. Continue reading “Malte Wittenberg and Studio BLB redesigned 19th-century apartment into an art space with both private and public use”

RÄS studio used rediscovered attic space for a new mezzanine floor in la Domenique apartment remodel

RÄS studio used rediscovered attic space for a new mezzanine floor in la Domenique apartment remodel

This Barcelona-based studio seems to amaze us more and more with every new project. They are doing a great job at seizing opportunities of every apartment they design.

We love the simple designer’s tricks they use to give the apartment exactly what it needs. With every look at their interiors, you can discover a new amazing detail you’ve never noticed before. Continue reading “RÄS studio used rediscovered attic space for a new mezzanine floor in la Domenique apartment remodel”

JRKVC designed clean and functional apartment using full height bookshelf as a space divider

JRKVC designed clean and functional apartment using full height bookshelf as a space divider

Writing about our own projects tends to get quite technical. As the authors of the design, we try to explain what we did. What changed. How it was done.

Writing about interiors designed by architects we admire, is different.

We write about things we notice.

We carefully go through every image of the interior noticing all the wonderful details, while creating sentences to describe our impressions.
We write about the effect of the interior. About emotions it evokes and thoughts it inspires.

And it’s really not that hard to notice amazing design. Continue reading “JRKVC designed clean and functional apartment using full height bookshelf as a space divider”

Maayan Zusman and Amir Navon transformed an old-fashioned apartment into an open and airy oasis

Maayan Zusman and Amir Navon transformed an old-fashioned apartment into an open and airy oasis

There is something comforting in a thought “This is what everyone does”. Normal is good.

Yes, in many cases, a standard thing to do, is also a good thing to do. But that rule doesn’t really apply to interior design.

And we are not just saying that. We have an amazing, the most wonderful example for you today. The one that will make you rethink everything you thought was a good, normal thing to do in your apartment.

Continue reading “Maayan Zusman and Amir Navon transformed an old-fashioned apartment into an open and airy oasis”

Innauer-Matt Architekten designed all-wood family house in a picturesque Austrian town

Innauer-Matt Architekten designed all-wood family house in a picturesque Austrian town

The very beginning of every project is an amazing time. Wonderful and frustrating. When we know everything could happen, but also don’t see it happening. There’s an empty space – maybe an existing apartment to be remodeled, or an empty plot for a new house to be built. And we know what has to fit in that space. But it doesn’t fit.

So we calculate, combine, remove something only to add it again later. We stretch, erase and then draw again. We get angry because it’s impossible. Then we get sad because it is possible, but it doesn’t look good nor feel right. Because it feels forced and unnatural.

Yet every single time, there comes a moment when everything clears up. When we don’t even have to finish drawing the layout to know that we found the solution. That moment is the reason we sometimes find ourselves explaining to our sisters how amazing will be an apartment they’ve never seen, for people they’ve never met.

We feel that same excitement when we see a project like the one we’re about to share with you. Because we know how much effort was put into creating something so simple, so clean, and so impressive. We can relate. We can imagine that moment when everything cleared up during the design process. We can imagine someone over at the Innauer-Matt Architekten saying: “If we move master bedroom to the end of the hallway, we’ll get this clear row of private rooms. Also, bathrooms will be right next to each other to simplify the plumbing system”. Continue reading “Innauer-Matt Architekten designed all-wood family house in a picturesque Austrian town”

CIAA designed functional small apartment painted in pastels

CIAA designed functional small apartment painted in pastels

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. Continue reading “CIAA designed functional small apartment painted in pastels”