How to make an apartment cozy, stylish and functional? How to extinguish the foci of irritation arising in it? And what, when re-planning an apartment, should not be done in any case? Here are some design tips and tricks. Try it – it should help!
1. Zoning a large space
The total fashion for free planning, studio apartments and combined kitchen-dining rooms has its pitfalls. Any architect will tell you that simply tearing down walls is not enough. A large area not divided into subzones can very soon begin to depress. Remove the partitions between rooms, combine them with the corridors and the kitchen – and you have a completely new room, where, as soon as it turns out, you do not like living at all. Why? Because psychologically, we need several different places for different activities..
We need to have separate, at least conditionally delimited zones where we could calmly network and dine without feeling twenty meters of empty space behind our backs, so that there is a secluded corner where we could retire with a book, and so on..
The first rule of planning an open space is to at least visually separate zones for different functional purposes – cooking, eating, watching TV, working, relaxing, communicating … This can be done using:
a) different floor textures;
b) the difference in the height of the ceiling or arch between the kitchen and living area;
c) several columns;
d) a light curtain (usually the dining room is lit more brightly, and the kitchen is in semi-darkness, where only work surfaces are illuminated);
e) “bar counter” or some other interior items that act as a barrier.
2. We banish smells, cut off sounds
The studio is, of course, great, but there is one “but”. When we cook, cutlets burn, milk escapes, etc. The situation is just like in advertising, only exactly the opposite: “And the smell! This smell! ..” All right, we have ventilated and forgotten. And upholstered furniture? And the carpets? And the curtains? Fabrics absorb odors like a sponge. If you often cook at home, make a sliding partition between the kitchen and living area – at any time, the kitchen can be cut off. In addition, the partition is also a sound screen..
3. We furnish spacious rooms
In very large rooms, you should not arrange furniture exclusively around the perimeter..
Why do you need a room to resemble an army parade ground or a dance class? You can fill the center with a “dining group” or just a guest sofa.
4. “Expanding” a small room
Do you have a typical apartment with a tiny kitchen and not very spacious rooms? You can visually increase the space with the help of:
a) the longitudinal direction of the floorboards or the pattern of the parquet;
b) doors with glass, mirrored doors of wardrobes and just mirrors;
c) diffuse lighting.
There is a widespread belief that light colors visually expand the room. But in very small rooms, for example, 8 square meters, white wallpaper will not solve the problem. On the contrary, for many, a small, bright room acts depressingly, causing associations with an outpatient clinic or toilet.
It is better to make a small room bright as a casket..
And if you are afraid of color overload, leave one wall light and monochromatic.
5. “Raise” the ceiling
If you want to visually increase the height of the ceiling, you can make it multi-level, for example, in the corridors below, and in the rooms above. The lowered ceiling at the entrance to the premises creates the illusion of higher ceilings in the residential part of the apartment.
Another way to visually “raise” the ceiling is to choose wallpaper with a vertically running pattern – for example, in a classic strip.
6. Repeat elements
If you use plastic elements in the interior – arches, curved walls, curved podiums or racks – be sure to repeat these lines again somewhere. The golden rule of the interior designer: all expressive details should be echoed in adjacent, simultaneously visible elements.
However, you should not build too many arches – you still have a modern apartment, not a palace suite..
7. Choosing doors and windows
If you like sliding doors, choose a compartment with two guides – top and bottom. A door with one upper fastening is very unstable: the slightest draft – and it “walks”. With such a compartment, you will wake up every now and then at night from a nasty rattling.
Whichever you choose, all doors that are visible at the same time must be in the same style..
“Door discord” very much spoils the overall impression.
The same is true for windows. By the way, windows with symmetrical bindings look best – do not strive for asymmetry of windows where it can be avoided.
8. What not to do in the kitchen
The kitchen is an arena where you can observe the “unity and struggle” of three opposites – stove, sink and refrigerator. Each of these elements should have at least a minimum of their own space, but at the same time they should not be far from each other. And do not put obstacles interfering with movement between them – this will create a source of constant irritation in your kitchen (here it is – a common cause of “kitchen” family quarrels!).
If you decide to put a set with a free-standing “island” in the kitchen, plan its place so that there are no less than a meter passages on all four sides – otherwise it will be inconvenient to use – and you are guaranteed another source of irritation.
The walls of the kitchen can be closed with the so-called kitchen “backsplash”.
This advice is relevant primarily for old houses, which are often visited by utilities – to change wiring, batteries, gas pipes … When installing a kitchen set, do not tightly seal the access to these very communications. Keep in mind that removing a one-piece plastic “apron” is much easier than breaking a tile.
9. Do you really need a podium?
Such a seemingly beautiful thing like a podium often turns into dislocated joints and broken children’s knees. Many people who have arranged “stairs” at home complain that it was very inconvenient. If it is possible to zone the space in some other way, it is better to leave the floor without drops..
In addition, the higher the floor, the lower the ceiling. And, accordingly, the air, so precious in urban conditions, is less.
10. Fighting floods
Do not raise the floor in the bathroom and toilet rooms: water tends to flow downward. And if in your absence, God forbid, a pipe or faucet bursts – parquet floors, laminate, furniture, neighbors below may suffer … Preventing this problem is easier than solving it: make a small nut. If the accident is small (for example, a valve has leaked), and the seams around the perimeter are sealed, such a “reservoir” will not be filled earlier than 12 hours later – a person enters the bath on average every 4-6 hours, so, most likely, before the flood won’t come.
And the last thing: do not forget that the toilet is not only you.
If you are planning a redevelopment, make sure that the bedroom is not next to the neighbor’s bathroom. The noise of the water being released will hardly be the most pleasant tune for you. Although one of my acquaintances, I remember, consoled himself with the fact that this is the most lively “natural” sound among the technical city noises.
Text: Elena Sukhareva (gazeta.ru)