Lofts generally have a reputation for being small in size, with a lot of headroom and floor space lost due to pitched roofs or structural beams. But still, loft apartments have a lot of potential – they’re often a little more affordable when it comes to renting and buying, and they can offer a lot of natural lighting and privacy when designed right.
For Ceci, a woman who lives in a loft apartment near the bustling Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain, her hope was to transform her 505 square meter roof terrace into something pragmatic and enjoyable. Originally from a town north of Milan, Ceci is a lover of thoughtful design, technology and the good life. So to realize her dream of having a home that suited her tastes and needs, she turned to local firm Gon Architects (previously seen here with another excellent loft conversion) to get the job done. The architects describe their approach this way:
“There is a popular Italian expression, be lazy which names a lifestyle linked to the pleasure of doing nothing, possibly being this idle and idle attitude one of the ways of being in the world that most activates human creativity.”
The idea of bringing some practical leisure into the space meant not only revamping the entire floor plan, but also adding some luxurious surprises, like an outdoor bathtub. The newly renovated apartment, now called Casa Gialla, is a far cry from its original dark and divided state. Gone are the existing walls that divided the apartment into poorly ventilated rooms, which included two existing bedrooms. Instead, the new design scheme involves the creation of an open, multi-functional space in the center that serves as a place to cook, work and read.
Many of the functional elements and storage spaces have been pushed and condensed into the perimeter of the apartment. We can see the kitchen here, which has been redone with minimalist white cabinetry, integrated elements such as an induction cooker, and appliances such as the fridge hidden behind cabinet doors, creating a much cleaner and streamlined look. Much more natural light now pours in, thanks to the addition of a skylight. The ceiling also feels significantly less heavy, thanks to the fact that the old wooden beams are now hidden by a flat, white surface that unifies the room visually.
We love this clever addition of a mirror at one end of the kitchen table, which gives the illusion that it continues into the distance, thus giving the impression of a larger space.
At the other end of the apartment, an old wall that separated the room for an additional bedroom is gone, allowing more open space to come into view. Instead, we have a Murphy bed that can be folded down and offer guests a place to sleep. The kitchen table folds down to become a work area in the corner. There is also a comfortable couch here that Ceci can move around to set up different configurations of rest and relaxation.
There is also a brilliant kitchen island on wheels that Ceci can roll out to create a dining area for dining or entertaining guests.
With the addition of a stool, the movable kitchen island can also be used as a second work area. The remaining wall here, separating the main living space from the bedroom, is now reimagined in a cheerful light yellow – shelves, cupboards, doors…
… and even the tiles lining the threshold of the door leading into the bedroom.
The bedroom itself can be closed off with a curtain.
To the side there is a door that connects the bedroom with the bathroom.
The bathroom itself has much of the same minimalist themes, dressed in white and yellow.
Back outside, and past a bi-fold patio door, we enter the renovated terrace. Here we find a nice little outdoor space with a rain shower and built-in furniture for relaxing.
A delightful surprise can be found when you flip up the seat to reveal an outdoor bathtub – all in the heart of Madrid.
There are so many brilliant renovation ideas here that prove that small loft apartments are no obstacle to living the good life; to see more, visit Gon Architects.