After working for an architectural studio focusing mostly on low-energy and passive houses in Vienna, architect Rudolf Lesňák moved back to his hometown of Bratislava, Slovakia, and started a yearlong makeover of an “an old, ravaged apartment calling for renovation,” he says. He wanted his new house to unveil minimalist design, comfort and efficient storage. To do so, he custom made every bit of furniture. Along with the glossy fresh white area turned into an perfect background for his most precious showpiece: a living wall that lights up with kaleidoscopic colors.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Architect Rudolf Lesňák
Location: Ružinov, Bratislava, Slovakia
Size: 51 square meters (about 549 square feet); 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
Renovation cost: 90,000 euros (about U.S.$117,270)
Lesňák made the primary area to be simple and uncluttered, yet have lots of storage. He chose the exact same gray tiling to repeat at the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, and the white wall shelves that function as a desk and press stand maintain a minimal profile and feature drawers for keeping small things.
For efficacy, he put all of his electronic devices in a kitchen cabinet; he uses a Logitech Harmony 1100 universal remote to control everything.
Seat: Eames molded plywood dining chair, Herman Miller; tile: Stonehenge Cardoso, Lea
BEFORE: Here is the main space after the demolition phase. The plumbing, heating and electric wiring required to be entirely redone.
Lighting is an integral element of the layout, and Lesňák generated a wide range of lighting options, such as halogen mood lights and LED strip lights.
Following is a sample of the range of colors available through the strips of low-energy RGB LED lights. Lesňák enjoys mixing colors or changing them based on his or music mood. “Normally I turn it on while watching TV as a complementary lighting,” he says.
The living wall consists of golden pothos plant life. “I used living plants, since it has positive impact on my health and mind,” Lesňák says. “Additionally, it produces a natural opposite to the contemporary materials and of the technology.”
The crops get light from the nearby window and grow in hydroponic inserts (pots full of clay granules), relinquishing the need for dirt. Meaning no bugs and no dirt to manage. Aside from intermittent watering and directing their growth, the plants need little upkeep.
More: The houseplant you can’t kill
BEFORE: The kitchen dated cabinets and tiling were needing a contemporary update.
AFTER: A combination of matte and high-gloss white kitchen cabinets with built-in appliances contrasts with the custom-made bedroom door (to the left). The door was ordered from Italy with no finish and stained to match the kitchen cabinets. A stainless steel screen on the ideal hides regular small kitchen appliances, since there is limited countertop space.
The kitchen can also be the multimedia heart of the apartment. A printer and components are tucked away from dust supporting the middle square glass cabinet. Utilizing In One technology by Legrand, Lesňák controls his television, air conditioning, window blinds and other electronics with a Logitech Harmony 1100 universal remote. “I like the fact that I can control everything from anywhere inside my apartment,” he says.
Gourmet kitchen cabinets make floor maintenance a cinch and also keep the space feeling airy. “We hung all the furniture on the walls so it will not visually decrease the general area of the room,” Lesňák says. A strip of LED lights lines that are dimmed the bottom of the cabinets.
It had been difficult for Lesňák to locate a proper sofa, because every square inch counts in this small area. Instead, he custom made this sectional, which also acts as a mattress for guests. Straightforward glass photo frames hang from fishing wire nearby.
BEFORE: The bathroom remodel took four weeks to complete, because just one person was able to work inside the tight area at one time.
AFTER: Lesňák made the toilet storage to be visually minimal but accessible as possible. He used exactly the exact same gray tiles that he used from the living area. The shower has heated floors.
Tile: Stonehenge Cardoso, Lea
A frosted-glass door reaches the contemporary toilet and bidet.
More gray tiles show up in the bedroom, which was retained minimalist. Lesňák used exactly the same fabric to make the custom-made bed as for the sofa in the living room.
Tile: Stonehenge Cardoso, Lea
View additional photos of the apartment
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