Friday, February 4, 2011

Urban Retreat

Originally intended as a half-way home in the city, this soho apartment turned out to be more than just that.

For two years already, this family of four has been traveling daily from the southern suburbs to the city, which meant five hours each day spent on traffic. This constant routine has been taking a toll on their two children's health. So the couple decided to acquire a one-bedroom apartment in the city, near the children's schools and the couple's offices. Their next move was to hire an interior designer who could make their one-bedroom apartment space efficient for the four of them. Interior designer Kristine Javier-Datuin was recommended by a relative of the couple. She transformed the bare unit to this beautifully designed and livable apartment.

The key in designing this apartment, says the designer, is to efficiently plan the lay-out of the space and all the elements that will go with it. The couple was not really into the ultra-modern minimalist look, taking also into consideration that this would take them off their budget for the renovation. A clean, crisp contemporary look, free from frills, straightforward yet relaxing is what they had in mind.

The dining area is the first thing you'll see as you enter the apartment. What catches your eye though, is a wooden screen divider with a series of circles. This divider separates the living area from the dining area, and at the same time, serves as a relief from all the linear and angular lines of the furniture. The dining table for six didn't make the place feel cramped at all, especially with the installation of a tall framed mirror at the center of the dining area. In the living area, there is an over-sized sofa which doubles as a bed for the kids. Walnut stained wooden shelves cantilevered from the wall, with indirect lights at the back give character to the living area.

White is dominant in the whole apartment as seen on the walls, the leatherette and accent lighting. The contrast of dark walnut stained furniture and chocolate brown fabric grounded everything and gave the place a crisp and clean look. To add texture to the flat white walls, the designer mixed leatherette with chenille fabric and silk taffeta. No-fuss sheer white drapes were used to maximize the natural light and the view of the city.

Kristine says, the initial inspiration for the design of this apartment is the wooden screen divider and everything else just followed from there. Inspired by the wooden screen designed by renowned British interior designer Kelly Hoppen, they had to tweak the design to make it more personalized for the apartment. After the construction and installation, the couple admits that they have never left ever since. The kids have also been healthier and bonding time as a family was even more effortless now that they have more time together. With all that, who would want to leave anyway?

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