Aged interior spaces, especially cramped ones, always present a challenge for designers. This was the case with the challenge faced by interior designer Lauren Reik upon remodeling the apartment at downtown Tel Aviv – an old 70m2 flat that belonged to her great grandmother. “Despite the fact that the apartment has been renovated over the years to include the balcony areas, its layout and spacing was cramped and showed its age. With the current repurposing I wanted to turn it into a comfortable and versatile space that would fit my dynamic lifestyle and various activities, such as work and hosting, and during the process it became clear that these needs called for a massive renovation”, says Reik.
The project’s first stage included removal of all the interior walls, leaving only the beams and a column, old electrical systems and pipes were replaced by new ones, and new frames were installed on entrances and openings that had to remain as they were due to municipal planning laws. The plan that Reik designed was based on the creation of two spaces; an open space living area that includes the kitchen and hosting spaces, and a large bedroom that includes a workspace. The restroom and lavatory were positioned at the front of the apartment, near the main entrance (see post-renovation plans).
This sums up the technical aspect of things, and from this point onwards every single detail in the apartment points to Reik’s approach and signature style, as the space that welcomes visitors with an eclectic visage that alludes to the artistic and the vintage. The flooring consists of white triple-layer parquet that border on white walls with embedded lighting- these create a clean frame that accentuates the esthetic blend. Shelving is almost completely excluded in the delicate space, in which the prevailing white tones serve as a canvas for various inspirations and blends of different substances.
The walls of the passageway from the front door to the open living space and to the bedroom are decorated with antique mirrors and little frames with postcards and personal photos, and the column that remained standing at the end of this passageway provides a division between the spaces. It is covered with silicate bricks that correspond with the kitchen wall, which revealed the same kind of brick pattern during renovations.
The kitchen is positioned at the front of the living space, and at the back of it is the living room area that is engulfed by treetops peeking through windows and enriching the entire space with their green presence. Objects in the living area are kept to a minimum, and other than a few distinct furnishings all the other elements that are used in this space – from furniture to stylistic objects – were designed and custom ordered by Reik; unique woodwork and construction pieces were designed to be perfectly functional, visually connected and created to fulfill needs and aspirations.
“One of my dreams was to incorporate a wall with actual vines on it in the living space, so I designed a specialized wooden unit with an integral water exit. Despite that, the vines did not grow in it as expected, so I chose to alternatively combine regular planters with low vegetation in the wooden unit in order to maintain some effect of natural growth within the space”, says Reik about one of her inspirations. She achieved that effect in an extraordinary manner, using a carved tree trunk hanging from transparent fishing lines, and tiny buckets with cacti dangling gracefully from its branches.
The sitting area is overtaken by a wider than usual, almost wall-to-wall sofa, that is situated beneath the row of windows that delineates the area. The base for the sofa has been designed as a book cabinet with open spaces for storage, and with a multitude of black, beige and greige pillows spread on the light-colored upholstery – the sofa looks very inviting beneath the view of green trees. One side of the sofa borders and attaches to a matching wooden unit creating a 90° angle, its spaces – some open and some with facades – were meticulously designed for specific storage needs.
The minimalist wheeled coffee table was designed using angle irons and a glass top; the parquet floor accommodates a black and white striped rug; the only couch is a fifties vintage couch found by Reik while rummaging markets and vintage stores; and the personal-eclectic visage is completed by a laser-cut, golden graffiti colored decorative element nestled on a top beam, that is actually the logo of a jewelry line [http://www.laulaujewelry.com/] that Reik has established alongside her interior design career – an occupation that is made visible in the delicacy of the living space and its refined feel.
An open space absent of objects is maintained between the sitting area and the kitchen, to emphasize the clean and airy nature of the area, and the kitchen area that consists of wooden cabinets with a white oven-cured finish is defined by an island that delineates it. A light-blue vintage styled refrigerator is aligned with the cabinets, on top of a podest that emphasizes its presence, and the island unit’s design is especially surprising, with an original addition that discloses Reik’s affinity for mirrors: attached to its regular surface is a mirror surface with an aged texture that serves as an eating counter, and a supporting leg designed from an aluminum hoop.
Ornamentation and art pieces that complete the space convey a distinct statement that is revealed in the bedroom as well, in the form of graceful vintage items such as jewelry boxes and a lamp that rest on a dresser, in addition to Reik’s artistic touch. For example, a lighting fixture that she designed, the tall bed head that she made to look like a surface with velvet upholstery like a capitonnage with small peals, or the light that dangle from both its sides that were designed to incorporate nautics styled ropes.
The bedroom’s closets have mirrored fronts that create a feeling of space and expanse, and the workspace is situated at the back of the room facing the outside view, thus enabling calm breaks from computer work. The bathroom and lavatory have turned into stylish spaces thanks to Reik’s unique personal approach that emanates from the entire apartment. The bathroom flooring consists of painted concrete tiles, and the patterns on them and on the wall tiles have been painted by Reik, accompanied by words she incorporated in them. The space is completed by an enticing shower with see-through doors, the floating sink surface is made from colorful glass, the antique mirrors that Reik loves are not absent from this room and so aren’t her custom designed lighting fixtures.
When soothing music projects from an advanced sound system that is controlled by a smartphone and caresses the entire apartment with delicate sounds, there is no doubt that the white “canvas” Reik has created as a shell that holds her individual contents is indeed brimming with them.
Aged interior spaces, especially cramped ones, always present a challenge for designers. This was the case with the challenge faced by interior designer Lauren Reik upon remodeling the apartment at downtown Tel Aviv – an old 70m2 flat that belonged to her great grandmother. “Despite the fact that the apartment has been renovated over the years to include the balcony areas, its layout and spacing was cramped and showed its age. With the current repurposing I wanted to turn it into a...
- Year 2014
- Work finished in 2014
- Status Completed works
- Type Single-family residence / Interior Design / Building Recovery and Renewal