The remodelling project was ordered by a top management married couple of many years. The original investment was rather modest, and involved a mere replacement of the balcony door with patio sliding doors. In reality, the endeavour created a giant snowball effect. Balcony doors replacement turned into a general overhaul. The living room and terrace, the master bathroom, and part of the kitchen underwent a metamorphosis.
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The living room terrace allows a charming view of a park and old tenement house roofs. Balcony doors obscured the view to a certain extent. A latticework-free sliding leaf was the perfect solution, especially in its threshold-free version. We decided to lighten the leaf, creating an optical effect of disappearance and appearance. A special light-weight “gateway” of vertical veneered panels was set up to connect and “separate” parallel walls. Lowered locally, the ceiling created an effect of optical interior elevation. An interior-expanding effect was reached with the use of matte-structured dark veneer on the background wall. Photographs by homeowners were hung on walls as a distraction from the large-screen TV set. The wall began suggesting a modern gallery. The living room was freed of chest of drawers and shelves, all replaced with handle-free veneered forms levitating above mirrored supports. The wall separating the living and dining rooms was removed. A heater in a modern sculpture form adorns the living-dining room concourse.
The hallway was rather difficult to modify with its nine pairs of doors. We placed our bets on an optical illusion effect, using veneered panelling and mirrors. Panels mask doors and a large overcoat wardrobe. Identical panels were used to construct furniture which seems to “emerge” from walls. Folding guest coat hangers bring a steel ornament to mind – a steel veneered panel turns out to be a heater. I designed thick latticework-free windows for the existing inner solid door investors wanted to keep, with engravings as a suggestion of lattice division. The result was as light as it was modern.
Handpicked lighting was the final touch. Most lamps were made by top European manufacturers. In the bathroom, however, a simple mock-skylight trick proved an inexpensive way to suggest larger space.
Investors selected free-standing furniture and carpeting themselves. I leave such choices to clients on request, so as to avoid a sense of hotel room furnishings in private homes.
The result was a warm, cosy, and relaxing place, welcoming its owners after a hard day’s work.