Home renovation in four steps - step four

Home renovation in four steps: step four

We are so excited for this final step.

You see, now we get to believe we helped some of you design your perfect home, or at least inspired you to start thinking about beautifying your apartment and simplifying your everyday life through interior design. Because maybe, some of you read our Home renovation in four steps series and thought: “I really think I can do this!”

Because you can do this.

If you follow us on Instagram, you know we have this #motivationmonday thing going on. One of our favorite quotes from brilliant Bernard Tschumi is: “I always insist that architecture is not about the knowledge of form, but the form of knowledge. But we [architects] are not the only ones who have the right to talk about this form of knowledge, others can talk about it, too.”

We are architects who are also bloggers. Sometimes, we like to think we design cards. Petra loves photography and Tina wants to write a children’s book. Probably about a little girl who loves water but hates when her hands get wet. #greatideaforabook

So yes, you can do this.

To prove it to you, in our final step we will not show you yet another amazing interior, designed to its last detail, by a team of professional architects and designers.

We will show you a home. A simple home, from our favorite decorator who works in a designer furniture store, but is sometimes a flower designer plus a make-up artist.Read More »

Home renovation in four steps - step three

Home renovation in four steps: step three

I bake cakes for my family reunions. Every time, I bake this stupid, simple, four layers cake, which is basically pavlova with store-bought vanilla frosting, „homemade forest fruit jam“ (that contains nothing but few cups of frozen forest fruit and two tablespoons sugar), topped with whipped cream. And every year I bake „the ultimate chocolate cake“ or „the world’s best birthday cake“ or „the devil’s food cake“ or „the perfect Christmas log“. But no one cares. Everyone just wants the first one. If I’m lucky, there’s someone allergic to strawberries or someone who simply doesn’t believe in desserts without chocolate – who eats a piece of the other one. And the sad part is, this semi-store-bought-fake-pavlova is also my favorite.

Why do we do this? If we have an option that works every time, or we saw an option that could work, why do we stubbornly try to invent something new?

Just like cooking, interior design is not about making stuff up. It is about knowing the rules, finding inspiration, and then creatively implementing those rules, other people’s smart solutions you find inspiring, and your own ideas – into a new, original design.

In Step three of the Four steps to a home renovation, we will show you how to get inspired by amazing interiors to make sure you’re going to love the final result of your apartment remodel.Read More »

Home renovation i four steps - step two: CIAA - Icaraí Apartment

Home renovation in four steps: step two

Welcome to the STEP TWO of the Home renovation in four steps. Did you miss the Step one? Don’t sweat it. Or should we say: don’t SWOT it?

So sorry for that. You can go here to check it out.

. . .

At the beginning of a design process, it is incredibly important to do a thorough analysis of your apartment in order to enhance the things you love, eliminate the things you hate, improve the things with potential and find a solution for problematic areas. And SWOT analysis is really the simplest way to do that.

Listing apartment features in four different categories (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) always helps us see a solution. As we showed in our example, the solution is usually a set of responses to detected problems.

For the sake of the argument, we’ll assume you’ve already got your SWOT on. Because it really is the first thing you should do.

Next is to prioritize those issues. Focusing on the important tasks during apartment remodel is crucial for time and budget management.Read More »

Home renovation in four steps: SWOT analysis

Home renovation in four steps: step one

What do you think about apartment remodels? Not the renovations that have to be done, but remodels – done only for the sake of creating a more beautiful space? Do you find it superficial and materialistic? Do you feel it’s a way to get compliments from guests? Do you think it’s a way to keep oneself busy when one has “nothing better to do”?

Maybe your answer is “yes”, or maybe you’re surprised we even asked those questions because you can’t believe someone feels that way. Or you’re aware that majority of people feel that way, but you don’t agree.

Either way, interior design is usually seen as something too luxurious – expensive, without being necessary. And yes, it is definitely perfectly acceptable to live in a not-perfectly-designed apartment. Actually, it’s not only acceptable, it’s a reality for almost everyone.

But for us, interior design is not about luxury living. It is not about designer furniture nor expensive materials.Read More »

Calacatta Gold marble

About stone coverings

“Again and again, there is the sensuality of the material – how it feels, what it looks like: does it look dull, does it shimmer or sparkle? Its smell. Is it hard or soft, flexible, cold or warm, smooth or rough? What color is it and which structures does it reveal on its surface?” — Manfred Sack

To choose the right material. What a complex task!
It has its color. It has its sound. Its temperature. A specific material doesn’t only create a warm or cold atmosphere – it is physically warm or cold.

Different materials feel differently. They are different to touch.

They absorb or reflect sound (waves). They absorb or reflect light.

Even more than light or colors, materials set the mood.

And the stone is probably the most expressive material to use in interiors. Completly rough, natural, or perfectly smooth. So smooth that it becomes reflective. Slippery, if used on floors.Read More »

About room dividers: Alventosa Morell Arquitectes - LB flat renovation

How to use room dividers instead of partition walls

There are two ways to organize an apartment: you can either have “one room – one function” situation, or you can combine few functions into one single, probably large, room. For example, you can design a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen, or you can design one room with kitchen area, dining area, and living area/lounge.

Basically, you can integrate or divide your space. But sometimes, there’s a very thin line between those two possibilities.

Interior design is often focused on the interior space, while actually, borders of that space is where it gets interesting. Borders, like walls or even openings, are what defines the room. They can be completely static and neutral (like walls usually are) or they can bring an extra value to the room.Read More »

Maayan Zusman & Amir Navon + mentored design graduate Eilat Dar - Airy and Open apartment, Tel Aviv

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.

Read More »

3 signs you might hate your apartment

Interior decoration became some kind of madness. Have you noticed? Every so often we meet a friend who’s “all stressed out” because she’s just in the middle of her apartment remodel and something went wrong.

You guys, there are people literally fighting with their life partners over a size of a couch. Or feeling unhappy because they can’t decorate or design their apartment in a way they wanted, for whatever reason. At times, we feel like marriage counselors, hearing ourselves saying things like: “Why do you think what you want is more important than what he wants?” Isn’t that just a bit too much?

We too are guilty of this. “Oh, if I only had time and money to create a perfect home workspace, it would be so much easier to work on evenings and weekends.” No, it wouldn’t. But it would be nice to have a perfect workspace, though. It would really be a dream come true.

See how easy it is? It is so easy to convince yourself that you absolutely must at least redecorate, in order to be happy at home.

On the other hand, maybe you really hate your apartment.
Let’s find out.Read More »

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 »