Who would not love a client, who is in spite of a realistic budget, not afraid of going for all the drama? This is why i was super happy to help renovate a dated apartment to create to home for a couple who wanted a bold space, inspired by their love of mid century modern style, vintage flare, vivid colors, rich textures and metallic shine. But let’s first take a look at how the apartment looked prior to the renovation:The apartment is located on the top floor of a typical socialist building in Ljubljana and offers outstanding views of both the castle to the west and mountains to the north. The two bedroom apartment had a decent layout with a separate bathroom and toilet, long narrow hallway, fairly spacious living room and small kitchen with a dining corner. The herringbone parquet flooring in the bedrooms and the living room was worth restoring while other finishes desperately needed to be replaced. As far as the layout goes we only did minor changes such as enclosing the hallway entrance to the kitchen, opening up the wall between the dining area and the living room and switching up bathroom elements. Being a baking enthusiast, the new owner craved more counter and storage space in the kitchen so we decided to enclose one entrance to the kitchen and create a U shaped layout. While the kitchen is fairly small it now offers enough counter space for her to create her masterpieces. To take advantage of all the available nooks and crannies we created a secret passage between the hallway closet and the kitchen to simplify exchanging the gas cylinder. As we removed the wall separating the dining area from the living room we were able to turn the dining table in a way that allows for more seating. We also mirror flipped the position of the sofa as we felt the space would flow better with easier access to the balcony. Hallway storage space is pretty limited so we decided to install another large wardrobe in the bedroom; which in spite of a new volume still feels spacious enough. As far as materials go we went bold! The main focus of the apartment is a deep green tropical wallpaper in the living room which is paired with a textured cream sofa, restored herringbone parquet and shiny metal details. On top of deep green, brown and gold hues, rich textures in deep purple can be spotted in the form of velvet dining chairs, hallway tabouret, flowers and decorative throws. We wanted to keep the big furniture pieces such as kitchen elements, wardrobes, sofa and bed pretty basic since those are the items that will stay in the apartment longer plus they serve as a backdrop to all of the dramatic accessories. The white walls and the minimal lines of large furniture elements are spiced up with smaller pieces of mid century modern and vintage aesthetics. The owners are also a big fan of quirky home accessories so we had to create a canvas for them to gradually add on different collectible pieces. As it can be noticed in the below photograph, the wall behind the TV feels kind of empty but i can assure you in a couple of months it will be filled with framed prints, art pieces and family portraits! While observing the space, one is never bored as there are so many interesting details to spot! The kitchen counter is made of dark grey kerrock with small shinny copper fractions that shine in the sunlight and match the kitchen sink, faucet and hardware. The dining table is custom made to perfectly fit the space. It comfortably seats up to six people and its deep texture of walnut wood also serves as the perfect background for instagram photos of the owners baked goods.The kitchen might be fairly small but we managed to visually enlarge it with an diy antique mirrored backsplash and ample lighting. The mirrored backsplash reflects the natural light coming in through the window while the ‘antique’ finish of the mirror ensures interesting visual impact. The mirror tiles were in fact ‘aged’ by the owners of the apartment themselves so they are that much more precious. The nightstands with their walnut finish and hairpin legs are a nod to the mid century theme and the brushed brass lamps add a bit of vintage flare. In the bathroom, walnut wood in rich chocolate tone was used for the furniture and it works as a lovely contrast to the graphic floor tiles. Even in the bedroom we did not shy away from using bold colors and decor. A blue-greenish accent wall serves a backdrop to an array of interesting details. The simple Ikea Pax wardrobe is accented with decorative front panels and custom door pulls while the lighting fixture adds a bit of relaxed boho vibe. The upholstered bed with curved headboard was custom made and it can be lifted to reveal more secret storage space.
Through out the apartment, different shades of warm colored metals such as brass and copper can be spotted.While the bathroom itself is really small we needed it to fit the washing machine and some storage space as well. We solved the problem by installing a large enclosed wardrobe, where all of the ‘functional’ elements are hidden so the bathroom can remain a visually pleasing paradise. We stuck to the vintage theme with the shape of the faucets but instead of trendy brass finishes we chose chrome ones that will last a lifetime. The graphic floor tiles visually enlarge the bathroom and give it some extra personality.
Photos: Anže Vrabl
Many thanks to Tina and Anže for letting me live out my passion of vintage style and dramatic finishes!