At RIMA, we undertake various types of projects, some more complex and challenging than others. Occasionally, our most impactful projects involve the remodel of interiors, such as our latest endeavor, which consisted of the rehabilitation and interior architecture of a 52m2 1- bedroom (T1) apartment in Trafaria, and its transformation into a 2-bedroom (T2) apartment.
Despite the apartment being in reasonable condition, the space was not efficiently organised, resulting in underutilised areas with limited natural light. The main objectives were to optimise the space by converting the apartment into a T2 and introducing more natural light to all areas.
Initially, the space was haphazardly arranged and impractical, comprising a bedroom with a balcony, a bathroom, a living room, a kitchen, and a second balcony accessed through the living room. The entrance to the apartment was confusing and cramped, with access to four doors and a small wardrobe that provided little useful storage. The presence of multiple doors detracted from the aesthetic appeal and restricted the entry of natural light. Additionally, apart from the poorly utilised balcony spaces, the only existing bathroom was situated in the center of the apartment, hindering the potential layout and the use of surrounding spaces.
However, aside from the layout, there were other crucial issues that needed to be addressed, including:
- Deteriorated and highly visible lattice structures on the balconies;
- Poor-quality and different floorings in various rooms;
- Very outdated kitchen;
- Old window frames that were energy-inefficient, lacked insulation, and varied between rooms;
- Outdated and deteriorated bathroom fixtures.
In summary, our challenge involved three key points:
- Selecting finishes and equipment to enhance brightness and modernise the apartment’s fresh appearance;
- Implementing the same flooring throughout the open space to create a sense of spaciousness;
- Creating an additional room by utilising the balcony spaces to accommodate the necessary divisions.
Proposed layout in the project
When considering a new layout, our primary goal was to create a second bedroom while maintaining pleasant and spacious areas that we knew the apartment could offer. To bring in more light and enhance the sense of space, we decided to go with an open space concept. However, we needed to address the issue of the bathroom located in the center of the apartment, as its presence prevented any significant layout changes. The solution was to utilise one of the balconies to create a new bathroom, eliminating the central bathroom and allowing for a more expansive and fluid floor plan. Consequently, the entrance no longer had obstructing walls, and we entered directly into the open space. By shifting the living room towards the center of the apartment, we gained space to create the desired second bedroom and utilised the existing enclosed balcony to help expand the room. Additionally, we managed to create a pantry adjacent to the kitchen where a balcony used to be, which not only served a practical purpose but also contributed to the harmonious appearance of the open space by housing larger appliances such as the refrigerator, washing machine, and water heater.
The kitchen, with two windows, was designed without upper cabinets to achieve better integration within the open space, providing more room for attractive wall decorations.
While our architectural mission focused on reorganising and optimising the space, the priority for finishes was the durability and resistance of materials. For the flooring, we opted for floating vinyl that provides a natural wood-like appearance and is highly resistant. This factor is crucial for an apartment intended for rental purposes.
Furthermore, selecting this material allowed us to use the same flooring throughout the open space without dividing the kitchen, as dividing the space would make it seem smaller.
In the kitchen, we chose white tiles for the walls to enhance the apartment’s brightness. The custom-made furniture, on the other hand, features a grain tone to avoid a cold all-white look and maintain contrast with the highly durable black granite countertop.
In summary, for apartments aimed at profitability and value enhancement, such as those intended for sale or rental, it is crucial to ensure two essential aspects: the durability and resistance of materials and their harmonious integration with the implemented layout to make the apartment more appealing. This combination is fundamental to achieving a high-quality result and a modern appearance, factors that are highly valued by potential clients and contribute to the property’s appreciation. However, to achieve these objectives, extensive analysis and planning are necessary, so we always recommend engaging a specialised studio for this type of rehabilitation project.