Location: Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro/RJ - Brazil.
Renovation and decoration project.
What were the main changes (during the construction process and on the structure) needed to make the construction feasible? Were there any modifications made to increase and make more of the space available? The project included a complete renovation from the demolition of the access to the guest’s toilet turned into an on-suite bathroom, to the demolition of the hallway wall to create an open concept to the living room.
New or old apartment? Old apartment.
Total project timeframe? One month of design project and three months for renovation and construction on site.
Profile of the residents? Concerning age group, children, profession/occupation field, I could say: 53 years old, single, bachelor degree in Languages and works as a public employee.
How did this client reach you? Through friends recommendation.
Apartment’s total area: 55m².
Were all the rooms renovated? Yes.
How many and what are transitions between rooms after the renovation? How does the distribution and articulation between spaces occur with the renovation design project? The number of rooms remained the same as before. The accesses were redesigned such as with the entrance hall and with the guest’s toilet that became the on-suite bathroom. In total there’s living room, balcony, bedroom suite, on-suite bathroom, guest’s toilet, guest’s bedroom, kitchen attached to the laundry room.
Name the social area: living room, balcony and kitchen.
Number of bedrooms: Two bedrooms.
Was there any part of the previous structure that was kept after the renovation? Give examples. Only the guardrail frames at the balcony because it is a standard for the building’s façade.
Considerations on the carpentry work: The carpentry work was exclusively designed in order to create visual unity and identity to the whole apartment. It hides the door that leads to the kitchen and to the guest’s room, it also serves as surface for decorative objects’ display integrated to the TV rack, as well as it brings warmth and makes the apartment tidy.
Talk about the brise-soleil at the entrance hall: The main door is positioned right in front of the bedroom suite entrance and because there were no walls to create a reserved space for the hall the entrance for the suite was completely exposed. Therefore, using the brise-soleil to build a visually permeable wall, a vertical plane was created for this entrance area, protecting the previous exposed view for the suite and allowing the resident to decide whether or not she wants to leave her bedroom door open or closed.
How do you rate the décor style? The decoration is minimal, with few decorative objects on display to highlight the architecture and the construction solutions. Is has a contemporary feel without loosing the client’s childhood emotional references from her hometown in Minas Gerais. The apartment feels like a house, with the resident’s personality present in the smallest details, such as demolition bricks’ shells and crochet blinds. In all it is an urban and contemporary atmosphere with a rustic touch to it.
Were there any special requests from the residents that helped shape the project? Or were you completely free to conduct it? The client asked it to be a confortable place to welcome her big family. So it was necessary to give the living area special attention and turn the old bedroom into a suite. Therefore, the previous guest’s toilet became a complete bathroom for the guests, once the old service room was transformed into the guest’s bedroom. In general there was a considerable autonomy to work on the project, from choosing finishes and carpentry work to the decoration itself.
What was the main idea for the interior design project? And how did you work to achieve this goal? Understanding the client’s personality, her memories, her lifestyle and daily needs were the beginning of the whole process from the layout decisions onto the entire development of the project.
What is the highlight of this project? In particular, I like the wooden panel that hides the sliding door separating the kitchen and the guest’s room from the living area. It was designed to create a clean and pleasant feel to the eyes and it also helps keeping the social area clean due to the suspended rack with drawers for organizing TV equipment. Following horizontal lines, even though it is divided into modules, it expands the living room, brings warmth from the color and the texture of the wood and also mimics the outdoor view. To finish, because of its artificial lighting system installed into the carpentry, the panel is highlighted with subtle light.
Considerations on the color palette used on the social area décor: Off-white colors ranging from beige to gray tones mixed with wooden surfaces and red as a contrasting color.
In regards to furniture, was it especially purchased for this project? What were the main criteria for the selection of design pieces? They were chosen according to layout distribution with the need of one tailor-made table and one tailored side seat. Sofa, table, chairs, pouf are from LZ Studio and coffee table is from Arquivo Contemporâneo.
Social area floor finish: Travertino Navona Bianco 60x120cm natural rectified porcelain tile from Portobello.
Private area floor finish: Travertino Navona Bianco 60x120cm natural rectified porcelain tile from Portobello.
Any relevant information on the lighting project? Who designed it? I designed the lighting design also with certain important scenes to highlight with general, direct and indirect lighting in mind. In the living space, lighting fixtures close to the demolition bricks highlight the irregularities of the surface, whilst a cove light near the wooden panel and the curtains highlights its texture providing indirect and more comfortable lighting to the room.
Any peculiarity about the project? The tailor-made wooden panel, designed with exclusive details, allowed unique finishes and opened a lot of space for everything else. The client’s main concern was to have enough space for all her clothes in an even reduced closet with additional storage spaces in the living room and the guest’s room. In the end, there was still some free space left.
Was there any challenge or particular difficulty during the process? Yes, during the demolition phase, we discovered all the plumbing was made of iron and there were four layers of old floors, including carpet in the middle. So these four floor layers were removed to get to the original structural layer in order to level all the rooms even and replace the plumbing system with new PVC pipes.
What are your final considerations? It is an apartment with a house atmosphere that carries and highlights the client’s personality in every detail. An urban and contemporary apartment with a rustic and romantic touch to it. It has a little bit of everything and in the end is all well balanced.
Photographer: Denílson Machado/MCA Estúdio.