I was super happy to be contacted about a renovation project by a lovely family that just bought an old apartment in the idyllic mountain town of Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. See, the thing is that a couple of years ago I did a renovation of an 80ies apartment in the same complex and knowing i’m familiar with the bulding they enlisted my help but desired a completely different aesthetic. Compared to the colorful nordic vibe of the 1st project they wanted a sleek, dark, contemporary vibe with industrial details. Honeslty, one of my favorite aspects of my job is being able to interpret different design styles so i couldn’t wait to see this project come to life!These ‘before’ photos are the proof that the apartment was the epidemy of the 80ies style with the awful green carpet and dark wood furniture.The dining and the living areas were cramped together, yet there was a decent sized useless unheated loggia.The bedrooms are admittedly small but i was confident that we could utilize the space better!
The biggest change we made is enlarging the living area by tearing down the wall separating the living room and the loggia and installing new roof windows to enclose the loggia. Otherwise we didn’t make many spatial changes apart from adjusting the positions of doors to allow better furniture placement. The main focus of the design was using the space in a way that even though this is only a vacation apartment it offers all of the amenities a normal home would. It took us about three months to finalise the design. Due to the strict neighbourhood council rules we only had a three week window in which we could do construction work but thanks to the dedicated contractors we made it happen.
The result is an apartment that in spite of being small and located in an older apartment building manages to feel spacious, modern, stylish and comfortable.The materials we chose reflect the desire for a modern feel. We combined the concrete texture, matt black and metal, added warmth with dark wood, softness with grey textiles and a bit of drama with mirrors. The newly enlarged living area consists of a decent sized kitchen, 7 person dining room and a comfortable (sleeping) sofa. The newly installed roof windows allow ample amount of light in the space and also offer scenic views of the nearby mountains.One of the main design elements that can be seen throughout the apartment are the floating wood wall panels. They are the modern interpretation of the classic wood paneling that covered the walls of historic local mountain lodges. They are actually not covered in wood but in wood textured vinyl panels and have integrated led lighting that creates soft cosy atmosphere. We dedicated most of the budget to the ‘permanent’ design elements and complimented those with affordable smaller furniture and decor. However, we made everything feel more bespoke by customizing most pieces.
As the apartment is located on the top floor (with no elevator) installing a real fireplace didn’t seem practical. Instead, we chose an electric one that apart from looking almost real also radiates heath.
As the apartment is not in permanent real living plants were not an option so we opted for artificial ones but thankfully managed to find very realistic ones.The kitchen might be small yet it’s equipped with all of the necessary features. We used mirror as the kitchen backsplash to brighten the space and create an optical illusion of enlarging the space. In the master bedroom, the wall paneling is extended onto the ceiling, where we used it to ‘hide’ the flip drop TV.
The bed with it’s high upholstered headboard is custom made, the bedding, nightstand and the wall sconce are all from affordable brands and ordered online. The smaller bedroom sleeps three people yet there is also decent closet space to keep the room looking neat. The window offers great views of the nearby forest and the blackout curtains are there to provide peaceful morings. A small home office is located in a custom nook. The bathroom only measures 3.4 m2 but we managed to incorporate even a washing + drying machine, hidden behind a dark glass wall. We really had to use the space wisely and plan the layout with great precision. Even though we used a lot of dark colors the space itself doesn’t appear claustrophobic; the wood textured wall even provides some warmth. We visually enlarged the hallway by using darkened mirrors as closet fronts. Again, we can see the wood wall panel, here being used as a hanger and a custom made seating bench, covered in black faux fur.
Photos by Anže Vrabl
Many thanks to Kristina + Jure for the opportunity and trust plus Lesnina for the home accessories!