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​Antique Touches In A Modern Apartment

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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From Parisian apartments fit for an artist, to beach house mansions perfect for the rich and famous, homify 360° will get the inside information and share! For the next stop on our world tour of architectural gems, we set foot in Lisbon, Portugal, for a look at a first-floor apartment located in a building that began construction in the late 19th century.

Portuguese architects rar.studio treats us to one of their creations – a modern apartment facing the Lisbon riverfront. This place has all the elements to ensure a stylish living space: chic layouts, high-quality materials, a decadent selection of colour tones, plus an abundance of natural lighting to ensure sufficient vitamin A injections on a daily basis.

Oh, and did we mention that a handful of antique adornments, left over from the apartment’s previous life, is also present?

Old meets new

We kick off our tour with a look at the hub of any home – the kitchen. And for those who love a bit of antiquity in their surroundings, we have a treat: the kitchen still flaunts the original 19th century wall tiles, adding a unique historic vibe that can be enjoyed with each morning coffee or meal. 

This architectural project was based on the desire to recover the old, conserve the mature, and enhance the modern characteristics – which is why some old elements were kept and mixed with spanking-new additions. 

This old element blends in rather well with the flooring and furniture, both of which are brand new additions to the apartment. Looking at that honey-toned timber flooring and creamy wall coverings, one almost gets the feeling of being in a beach house.

​Yesteryear’s look

On to the living room, which still continues to boast that pristine white shade of pale along the walls and ceiling. The fact that most of the upper half of the room is adorned in a tranquil white (including the bookcase and window frames) makes the rest of the elements, like the furniture, even more striking. Just look at how fabulous those metal- and earth tones stand out. 

Of course the furniture isn’t the only new element added to the apartment. Things like electrical wiring and lighting had to be updated to ensure a comfortable (and safe) environment. However, the bits and bobs of interior factors that were left over from the original design make their glorious presence known, such as that wonderful stucco ceiling design. 

All of the old elements that were kept were integrated seamlessly into the new contemporary look of the interiors, resulting in a perfect modern space that flaunts a charming dose of antiquity.

​Keeping the old charm

The stunning wooden floor leads us into the hallway, which also has that magnificently high ceiling space that so many homeowners crave. This is just one of the many elements of the original design that the homeowner insisted be kept. The abundance of natural lighting, as well as the conservation of some of the original materials and unique decor elements, was high on the to-keep list. Smart choice indeed, as these characteristics do a remarkable job of defining the space’s identity.

Space for dreams… and more space

The spatial element of the apartment corresponded quite strongly with the client’s requirement; thus, allowing our designers ample space to work their magic. The interior rooms were designed (and decorated) in such a way to be left opened on a permanent basis, allowing air and sunshine to flow freely from one area to the next. This also establishes a strong link between the eastern- and western sides of the apartment, setting up a visual and spatial relationship between them. 

This is powerfully enforced by the absence of excessive decor and furniture. With a very minimalistic approach to interior adornments (and a very clean colour palette), the spaces (and its inhabitants) can breathe both comfortably and stylishly.

​Pink for a bathroom

The bathrooms are the two areas where the most renovations took place – consequently, these are also the spaces where we see the least amount of structures or elements left over from the original apartment. 

Although both bathrooms have been redesigned, the hallway bathroom is the one where more emphasis is placed on the new elements, such as that very modern sink and shower area.  This space was adorned with a stunning coating of Portuguese marble, blessed with a sandy pink tone and showing off a delectable portion of tiger skin pattern. This blends in superbly with the whiteness of the walls, as well as the timber flooring.

A bath for daydreams

The bathroom en-suite to the master bedroom opted for a more neutral approach in terms of colour. Along with that ever-present sandy flooring, whites and greys are the only hues responsible for decoration—and it works marvellously. 

Offering up a shower area (just like the pink bathroom), this one also allows us an opportunity to relax in style in that gorgeous bathtub. Wall art reminiscent of a snowy forest ensures a bit of pattern (and helps to activate our daydreams as we soak in pristine white bubbles), while the rest of the bathroom is what we have come to expect from this apartment – charming tranquillity. 

Out with the old? Not always – see our homify-approved list when it comes to Home renovations: what deserves to stay.

We love the sublime touches of yesteryear, but we can’t speak for everyone. What are your thoughts on this modern-meets-antique space?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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