How to design a practical kitchen | upgradesign

How to design a practical kitchen

It’s been months since we first wrote that designing a kitchen is one of the hardest tasks in an apartment remodel. We’ll be honest with you, there are professional architects who can design amazing buildings, without being able to design a kitchen. A functional, practical and beautiful kitchen.

Because, to design a kitchen means not only to respect technical limitations (plumbing system, electric and gas installations) and to create a functional triangle between main elements, but also to implement client’s requests, to understand general cooking process as well as client’s cooking process, to organize cabinets for a client (which can be especially challenging because we usually have different habits than our clients) and to know what’s the newest trend.Read More »

Step by step guide to a small bathroom design: CIAA - Icaraí Apartment

Step by step guide to a small bathroom design

Designing a small bathroom is always a challenge.

The reason is pretty simple: to design a functional bathroom means to respect some common dimensions of fixtures and space between them.

Now, there may be a lot of things you want to place in a bathroom. But the key is to start simple. And basically, a bathroom consists of three elements: a toilet, a sink, and a shower. Maybe, in the end, you’ll have a toilet, a bidet, a bathtub and double sink – it depends on the size of your bathroom as well as your preferences. But if you think about it, those are just variations of the three basic elements. At the beginning of a design process, you have to start with the minimum number of elements. Read More »

IMA - Haus für Julia und Björn

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”.Read More »

Quick tips for closet design

Closets. Don’t you feel like you love every single one you see on Pinterest, but hate your own? Guess lighting is different. Or yours isn’t white? And oh yeah, you don’t see the big pile of stuff that’s taken out of them in order to show „the perfect closet organization“ (also known as the pile of lies, muahahaha hah).

Just kidding. Some people are perfectly organized. Did you ever stumble upon and spent hours and hours going through organization-related projects on I HEART ORGANIZING like we did so many times?

When designing a room, we always advise you to imagine what do you want to do in that room, instead of what furniture you want to put in it. Same thing works for closets. Don’t think about how much drawers you want, but which items you’ll keep in them.Read More »

Do you even need a dining room?

Dining can be extremely formal and extremely casual. And everything in between those to extremes. It is totally up to you.

You can be the person who organizes family dinners. The ones where no one can leave the table until everyone is done. And no one really wants to leave. Where are at least three courses, perfectly paired with the right kind of wine.

You can be the person who eats dinner alone, in front of the tv.

Or you can be the person who grabs a take out and eats in the car on the way home.

It is totally up to you. You just have to keep that in mind when designing your apartment.Read More »

Architekten Innauer Matt - Haus für Julia und Björn

Nooks and niches

We seem to be obsessed with niches. We can’t talk about a bathroom remodel, shower design or even colors in the interior, without mentioning those practical little pieces of space. What’s so special about them?

To tell you the truth, niches helped us every time we designed an apartment in an old building. In the past, buildings needed thick walls for structural reasons. To leave a niche in the wall was a great way to save on building material, and to build a lighter structure. Also, it was a great way to help out future architects and interior designers!

You see, we often had to deal with rooms that are too small, and we were not able to fit a closet, or a desk, or a night stand. We once designed a bathroom so small, even water heater couldn’t fit. And almost every time there was a niche – just hanging around, with nothing to do. Those niches carved into old walls are so chic. Hop over to our Pinterest board if you don’t believe us. Read More »

About hardwood floors: Wood flooring pattern

About hardwood floors

During my hallway/kitchen renovation, I found these pretty cool tiles. They were slightly textured, in warm gray color, and their longitudinal shape was perfect for a random pattern I had in mind. The first person that came into my apartment after renovation said: “Wow, are those really tiles? They look just like a real hardwood floor!” Wait. WHAT?!

If you read our blog, you probably know by now that we are snobs when it comes to materials. Not in the way that we only like expensive ones, but in the way that we only like honest ones.

And hardwood floors are no exception. They are quite pricey, but if you can afford them, they are definitely worth the money. The thing is, imitations are not really imitations. They may look similar, but the texture is different, floor warmth is different, even sound of footsteps is different. While it is possible to get the look of the room with hardwood floors, you don’t get the feel of the room with hardwood floors.Read More »

Baby girl's room | upgradesign

How to design kids room

The attention new parents pay to nursery room design or decoration is a kind of proof for us that most people really believe surrounding space affects our general well-being.

And it really does. Our clients always seem to mention how they enjoy staying home after they’re done with apartment remodel. Even how less stressed they are since home maintenance is easier when everything is new.

When designing a room for a kid, there are three things you should have in mind:

1. Kids are more serious than you might think

Sure, at some point kids will want a scene from their favourite animated movie drawn on their walls just as much as they will want to be dressed like characters from that movie – after all, they ARE kids (there’s probably not many 5-year-olds who’d describe themselves as Scandinavian style enthusiasts) – but still, it’s never too early to create environment with aesthetic value for your kids.Read More »

CIAA - Icaraí Apartment

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.Read More »