Fabio Cipriano and Emanuela Carratoni of CAFElab Architectural Studio created this bold and beautiful apartment renovation in the Appia Antica Park located in Rome, Italy. The original layout was a 1970’s throw back that was not working for the young family that had purchased it. They envisioned a bright and friendly atmosphere that would work both for them and their child. The renovation included running raw oak plank flooring throughout the home, wrapping the walls in white and then punching it up with bold colour including ancient red as the dominant colour and “fil rouge” red, emerald and lime green used in tiles. Dropped ceilings where used extensively to incorporate lighting while at the same time being non-invasive to the overall design aesthetic.
When you first enter the apartment there is a small closet just around the corner from the entry hall. A dropped ceiling follows the hallway and wraps around the closet and down the hall to the bathroom and Bedroom wing. The ceiling has a light track wrapping around an L shaped crevice coloured in black for dramatic effect.
The closet has been converted into a small home office complete with under lit shelves and desktop. Between the under lit shelving and the track in the ceiling, this office space is well lit and perfect for a computer station.
Across the room opposite the hidden office are windows on either side of a fireplace that has been modernized with a black façade and stone surround. Here, too, a small dropped ceiling runs across the bay created by the two windows and fireplace and a second, similar crevice holds a track of 3 spot lights. A veritcle low profile radiator runs the height of the small wall that separates the living and dining areas.
A long warm wood plank runs between the fireplace and the wall acting as both a great place to enjoy the views and as a place to sit extra guests for large groups of people. The window above this floating seat opens to allow for air movement on a hot summers day.
The window glass behind the bench is textured and frosted for privacy while the glass above the wood mullein is clear.
The small wall niches that hold the windows continues through the dining area and into the kitchen. The kitchen is defined by another dropped ceiling that housed both lighting and the suspended stove hood. The look of this kitchen is contemporary, bold and graphic. Perfect for a young family. Cabinets in ancient red glow against the stainless steel appliances and an original tall column of staggered wine bottles creates a stunning graphic detail against the clean and crisp lines of the cabinetry, especially with its contrasting raw concrete look finish. The column also acts as an end wall for a floor to ceiling bookshelf that continues past their niche morphing into shallower shelves that go to the edge of the window while two continue past the window to the far wall.
The kitchen is a study of grey and red. Using the grey tones on the counter and back splash allows the red to become more of a background colour so that it is not overpowering to whomever is working in the kitchen. The red trim on the window is a great tie in to the cabinetry.
The solid surface counter top is a mottled pattern that plays off of the masonry finish on the side of the wine column and the weathered oak flooring offers a nice warm flavour that compliments the red cabinetry.
The finish of the wine column is textured with an oak relief to tie in with the flooring.
The texture on the wine column offers an organic appeal to the crisp modern lines of the kitchen.
Just down the hall from the living area is the bathroom. This room leaves the red behind with its explosion of green tiles. Here, too, the colour avoids being overpowering by the use of the white vanity and white tiles on the tub wall.
The white tiles have a whimsical pattern of a tree that looses its leaves and becomes furniture. The leaves reference the red tones used in the kitchen.
The tiles show several different story’s about a trees life – all with leaves dispersing. It’s a way of taking a bathroom and having some fun with it – perfect for a young family.
Just past the bathroom at the end of the hall is a door to the private areas of the home, including the Master Bedroom. The bedroom has a suspended ceiling that frames out where the bed will be located. The dropped ceiling continues down the wall in a bump out with a niche that includes bedside lighting. The niche is the same ancient red as the kitchen.
The niche has two types of lighting. A fluorescent tube at the back for general lighting and Alligator Lights that are easy to adjust for the perfect reading angle. The on/off switches for the lighting are located in the niche as well.
The private washroom is accessible to both bedrooms and continues the red theme with the tiles used in the walk in shower. This is the only room that does not have oak flooring, but the tones of the oak are used in the floor tiles.
The shower features two types of tiles. Solid red mosaics on the floor and a patterned 12’x12′ patterned tile on the far wall.
The patterned tiles create a textural effect to a hard surface. All the tiles used throughout the apartment are an Italian brand. And both bathrooms feature handmade details painted in pure gold.
The vanity is a large vessel sink with a simple chrome and glass base. The wall behind the vanity is a stacked 3″x12″ white tile while the mirror above the vanity reflects the red shades used elsewhere. The pattern in the tiles uses on the floor is similar to the pattern in the shower tiles.
The layout of this apartment is just perfect for a family of three.
The oak flooring used throughout the home brings a natural feel to an otherwise sleek and modern space.
That natural feel of the flooring is a reflection of the landscape outside.
CAFElab Architectural Studio