Architects and interior designers are well aware that an apartment’s layout is critical in optimizing the available space, ensuring smooth circulation and reflecting the occupier’s requirements, especially when there is a shortage of square metres. So when Taiwanese interior design studio 2BOOKS design was commissioned by Mr. Weng to renovate a compact apartment in the country’s capital, Taipei, the first order of business was to modify the existing layout in order to accommodate their client’s lifestyle. As important, the designers have conjured a décor of contemporary elegance and minimalist sensibility that nevertheless channels Mr. Weng’s childhood.
Previously, the apartment’s dining and kitchen areas had been downsized in order to accommodate three bedrooms and two bathrooms. This not only meant that the refrigerator stood in the dining room because it didn’t fit in the kitchen, its presence there meant that there was no space for a four-person dining table. By eliminating one of the bathrooms and slightly shrinking two of the bedrooms, the designers have addressed both grievances by sufficiently enlarging the two areas, as well as creating additional space in the living room.
In order to enhance the sense of spaciousness, an essential attribute for such a small-sized apartment, the designers have eschewed decorations and superfluous furnishings in favour of a minimalist aesthetic of simple lines and uncluttered spaces. For the same reason, sliding panels separate the kitchen from the open-plan dining living area allowing the two areas to be perceived as one when opened. Meanwhile, the use of translucent glass allows natural light from the kitchen windows to illuminate the dining area even when the doors are slid shut.
In consultation with the new owner the selected materials reference the environment he grew up in thus bestowing upon the renovated flat a sense of familiarity. White and grey two-toned walls and cement flooring brandish the design’s simplicity, pine plywood conveys a familiar residential atmosphere, while exposed brickwork delineates the study area. The small selection of furniture that has been chosen, such as the light blue sofa, the minimalist red console and the distressed wooden crate used as a coffee table, further accentuate the apartment’s personality without undermining the décor’s subdued ambience, proving that simplicity and character are not contradictory concepts in interior design.