When the design studio NA-DECO was hired to breathe fresh life into the home of two local artists living in Hohhot City in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of China, they had two requests to follow. The first, that there should be no major changes made to the 132 m² apartment's structure; the second, that the redesign should somehow reference the ancient culture of Mongolia. Completed in 2017, the final project ticked both boxes on the owner's succinct checklist.
As artists themselves, the owners are great admirers of the work of American sculpture artist, Richard Serra. Hence, the design studio used this as the basis for gleaming structural addition: a trio of curving walls sheathed in gold tiles which are placed directly front and center in the living area. The sheen playing off the gold tiles of these walls adds a brightness to the entire space, both reflecting light as well as imprinting a sense of "mystery" in the overall look of the room, reminiscent in part of the mysterious Mongolian civilization.
This trio of walls stands out against the mostly midcentury modern touches regarding the rest of the interior, such as the wood paneling surrounding the flat screen television and most of the furniture like the black leather lounge chairs and matching ottomans, and the simple metal-framed table and chairs in the dining space.
The understated color scheme is highlighted by touches of teal blue, utilized in the large, velvet-upholstered, corner sofa and the heavy curtains framing the windows in the living room; as well as in the kitchen cabinets, whose lacquered sheen also boasts the same shade. The elaborately designed, skinny mirrors on the white, veined-marble kitchen walls add yet another special touch.
In fact, following the path of the hexagonal tiles which "carpet" the floors throughout the apartment, reveals many of these special touches - such as the elaborately inlaid design on a side table, the carved sculptural façade of a cabinet, or the many art pieces hanging on the walls. All of these are testaments to the fact that this is indeed an apartment belonging to artists; ones who share a love and respect, not only of design, but also of their cultural heritage.