In some locales, apartments have come a long way indeed — with modern designs that incorporate balcony nooks, sliding doors, flexible “rooms,” and creative uses of space and light to make small dwellings expand both visually and perceptually. Here are some of the best that we’ve seen at Stylish Eve this year.
1.Natura Loft, Singapore, by AO Design
The term “loft” apartment covers a wide range of sizes and styles, but few are any more ingenious than this Singapore loft from AO Design. To create a greater feeling of space, the designers incorporate a series of sliding doors that can separate living areas and close off private spots when needed; this, along with a wooden deck terrace, gives the loft a clean-lined, airy feeling that makes it seem larger than it is. The unifying finish of the doors gives the apartment a smooth, uncluttered look as well; but it’s the ability to “flex” rooms that makes this space unique.
2.Cliffrock 4 Beachfront Apartment, Cape Town, by Antoni Associates
No matter which way you look, Cliffrock 4 by Antoni Associates is a feast for the eyes: sleek modern furnishings, wide-angle windows everywhere for great coastline views, and a casual style that Antoni likes to call “barefoot living” and ultramodern design. Still under construction, the apartment when finished will have vertical screening for dividers between “public” areas from “private” ones; pure white walls lend themselves to gracing with abstract art or anything a potential renter wishes to use to make the space his or her own.
3.Apartment “V’ — a Minimalist Redo, Romania, by Studio 1408
This contemporary apartment in the heart of Bucharest was originally a collection of living room, open kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an office; now, an open living/kitchen area has mirrored dividers and a large master bedroom suite has terrace access, as well as larger closets, en-suite bath, and a separate laundry. Neat and uncluttered, this space works equally well for a quiet evening at home or a party with friends, a comfortable design from Romania’s own Studio 1408.
4.Modern Moscow Apartment, by Alexey Nikolashin
Much of the time, unfortunately, apartment dwellers give up outdoor spaces; it’s impossible to have a “back yard” when you’re multiple stories off the ground. This design by Alexey Nikolashin of a contemporary Moscow apartment, however, fixes that problem: check out the alcove just off the master bedroom, with its rock “floor,” potted trees, and clean segue into the rest of the living space. It’s an indoor patio, a “balcony” where there isn’t a regular outdoor space available, and — with the curtains open — gives the occupant light and air without the need for a guard rail!
5.“White” Apartment, Chisinau, Moldova, by Grosu Art Studio
It’s probably a misnomer to call this the “White” apartment (even though that’s how it’s listed on the Grosu site!), with all the chic blue accents throughout. Where’s the ice-blue coming from? A shiny blue wall in a kitchen…blue stools at the eat-in island… couch cushions, bedding, lounge chairs, and more. All of these are in gradations of blue, balanced by vivid reds in contemporary art and bathed with pure natural light throughout. The overall effect is both cool (as in chic) and warm at the same time — a space in which it’d be impossible to be gloomy for long!
6.Colorful Ukraine Terrace Apartment, Kiev, by ID4U Design
This terrace apartment has an ideal layout for enjoying the fresh air and view — as well as entertaining — in this design from Ukraine’s ID4U. In fact, the terrace functions as an outdoor “room” with multiple uses: a wicker table and chairs stand ready for alfresco feasts or that first cup of coffee in the morning. And the indoor areas, with their bright colorful upholstery, shining wood floors, and easy-living furniture, are just as inviting; the ambience is young, spirited, and cheery in this clever use of a compact space.
7.Apto (Apartment) Tom Arthur, Brazil, by Mauricio Karam
At first glance, you might wonder, “Is this a contemporary apartment or a traditional one?” The answer is “yes.” Mauricio Karam puts together a clever mix of modern style and traditional, even antique, detail in this apartment; blue-painted antiques, wall-width tapestry, statuary, and gilt-framed mirrors happily coexist with a white rectangular dining table long, low-lying “cubes” of glass, dove-gray and white pseudo-Windsor chairs, and a modern tweed loveseat. Is it an equal mix? Not necessarily — but it’s one that works beautifully for warm, elegant style that’s as up-to-date as can be.
8.L.A. “City Traditional,” by Michael Armani Design Studio
When you think of Los Angeles, chances are you don’t think “traditional.” Yet that’s exactly what you can see here, in a thoroughly modern city apartment by Michael Armani Design Studio. In many respects part of a typical apartment building, this apartment boasts “pluses” like tall vertical windows for light and air, a precious commodity in any city home. Note that not an inch of space is wasted here, and mirrored help make spaces visually larger as well. From its white-beamed ceiling to its paisley rugs and polished floors, this L.A. space gives you the best of both modern style and warm tradition.
9.Whisper of Light, Taipei, Taiwan, by KCD Design Studio
This apartment in Taipei bears the poetic name “whisper of light,” as portrayed by KCD Design Studio. The light does seem to whisper here: it’s subtle, filtered, indirect. Sheer curtains, recessed fixtures, and a neutral color palette contribute to that impression, from the teak flooring to dove-gray bedroom walls and off-white backdrops throughout. Subdued touches of color enhance the peaceful ambience: pastel hydrangeas, a clever bronze sculpture, a splash of bright blue in modern art…for a serene oasis in the midst of a crowded, active city.
10.Manhattan Micro-Loft, New York City, by Specht Harpman Architects
Believe it or not, this 425-square-foot “micro” residence actually has four levels, including a rooftop garden, in this design by Specht Harpman Architects. If you love “small scale,” take a look at how well it’s used here — living/dining spaces are one, literally (no extra chairs, not even barstools); sleeping space is tucked beneath clerestory windows, and storage cubes within a stairwell. The sum total? An airy, deceptively “roomy” apartment that gives whole new meaning and dimension to the word “efficiency”!
Well, that’s a sampling of some of the best — from expansive and rambling to compact and clever — we’ve covered at Stylish Eve. Which one is YOUR favorite?