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    Energy-saving 10K House in Barcelona is a “labyrinth that multiplies perspectives”

    Spanish studio Takk took cues from snugly stacked Russian dolls for the interior renovation of this Barcelona apartment, which features rooms nestled inside each other to maximise insulation.

    Called 10K House, the 50-square-metre apartment was renovated by Takk using a material budget of only 10,000 euros with the aim of updating the home to be as sustainable as possible.
    10K House is a residential interior design projectThe project was informed by concerns about climate change as well as the global energy crisis faced by homeowners and renters.
    Arranged across one open level, rooms were built “inside one another” in a formation that mimics the layers of an onion and places the rooms that require the most heat at the centre of the apartment, according to Takk.
    The bedroom is raised on recycled white table legs”This causes the heat emitted by us, our pets or our appliances to have to go through more walls to reach the outside,” principal architects Mireia Luzárraga and Alejandro Muiño told Dezeen.

    “If we place the spaces that need more heat – for example, the room where we sleep – in the centre of the Matryoshka [a Russian doll] we realise that we need to heat it less because the configuration of the house itself helps to maintain the temperature.”
    “The result is a kind of labyrinth that multiplies perspectives,” explained the architects, who designed the project for a single client.
    MDF was used throughout the apartmentRecycled table legs were used to elevate these constructed rooms to allow the free passage of water pipes and electrical fittings without having to create wall grooves, reducing the overall cost.
    For example, the raised central bedroom is clad in gridded frames of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) that are enveloped by slabs of local sheep’s wool – utilitarian and inexpensive materials that feature throughout the interior.
    “Despite being a small apartment, it is very complex to ensure that you never get bored of the space,” said Luzárraga and Muiño.
    The remnants of previous partitions were left exposedAfter demolishing the apartment’s existing internal layout, Takk chose not to apply costly and carbon-intensive coatings to the floors and walls.
    Rather, the architects scrubbed the space clean and left traces of the previous partitions and dismantled light fixtures visible, giving the apartment a raw appearance and maintaining a reminder of the original floor plan.
    The kitchen features a metallic sink and low-slung cabinetsThe kitchen is located in the most open part of 10K House, which includes timber geometric cabinetry and an exposed metallic sink.
    According to the architects, the open kitchen intends to act as a facility “without associated gender” and address stereotypes typically attached to housework.

    Energy savings from home insulation “vanishing” after four years

    “Traditionally, the kitchen has been understood as a space to be used mainly by women, whether they own the house or do domestic work,” reflected Luzárraga and Muiño.
    “This has meant that [historically] this space has been relegated to secondary areas of the house, poorly lit and poorly ventilated, especially in small homes.”
    “One way to combat this is by placing the kitchen in better and open spaces, so that everyone, regardless of their gender, is challenged to take charge of this type of task,” they added.
    10K House was constructed using CNC-milled componentThe dwelling was constructed using CNC-milled components that were cut prior to arriving on-site and assembled using standard screws.
    Takk chose this method to encourage DIY when building a home, and armed the client with a small instruction manual that allowed them to assemble aspects of the apartment themselves “as if [the apartment] were a piece of furniture”.
    Takk was informed by soaring energy prices when designing the project10K House is based on a previous project by the architecture studio called The Day After House, which features similar “unprejudiced” design principles, according to Luzárraga and Muiño.
    The architects – who are also a couple – created a winter-themed bedroom for their young daughter by inserting a self-contained igloo-like structure within their home in Barcelona.
    The photography is by José Hevia.

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    Eight inviting entrance halls that set the tone for the rest of the home

    In this lookbook, we’ve rounded up eight home interiors featuring entrance halls including a home in Devon with clay walls and a double-height entry space in Mexico.

    Entrance halls can be described as the space that is located directly inside of the main entry point into the home.
    These spaces are often hallways that lead to multiple different rooms in the home. They are typically where first impressions are made and can set the tone for the rest of the home.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring bathrooms with colourful features, homes with cross-laminated timber and mix-and-match flooring.
    Photo is by Markus LinderothTimjan, Sweden, by Johan Sundberg Arkitektur

    At this home in an apple orchard in Lund, Swedish practice Johan Sundberg Arkitektur applied a modern finish to the 1920s villa by adding an extension that contrasted with its 20th-century style.
    Plywood panelling covers the interior of the home and is paired with expanses of glass in the home’s entrance hall. A large clerestory window was placed above the entrance to the home, which is marked by a simple wood-framed glass door.
    Find out more about Timjan ›
    Photo is by Ramon PortelliMill House, Malta, by Valentino Architects
    Architecture studio Valentino Architects transformed a collection of 16th-century stone buildings in Malta into a family home that surrounds a central courtyard.
    From a large wooden door, original stone arches line the home’s entrance hall above a polished concrete floor that runs through the entirety of the building. A large planter decorates the entrance hall and visually links to the history of the original 1920s villa.
    Find out more about Mill House ›
    Photo is by Fabian MartinezCasa Tres Árboles, Mexico, by Direccion
    This home in Valle de Bravo, Mexico was renovated by Mexican studio Direccion and was designed to celebrate natural materials, the contrasts of light and shadows and convey a feeling of refuge and retreat.
    The entrance hall at Casa Tres Árboles has a wide span and a double height that allows light to be drawn into the space. Much like the rest of the home, the space was decorated with a simplistic yet rustic interior palette and uses black micro cement and wood across its floor.
    Find out more about Casa Tres Árboles ›
    Photo is by Adam ScottA Cloistered House, UK, by Turner Architects
    The walls at the entrance hall of A Cloistered House by British studio Turner Architects were covered in pale sage green that allow the home’s original dark wood flooring to be the focal feature of the space.
    Dado railings, skirting boards and arch moulding trims were painted white to contrast against the green walls and highlight the London home’s classical details. A black-painted bannister flanks the side of the wooden staircase.
    Find out more about A Cloistered House ›
    Photo is by German SáizConde Duque apartment, Spain, by Sierra + De La Higuera
    Madrid-based architecture studio Sierra + De La Higuera refurbished this apartment in its hometown by creating an open-plan living and dining arrangement, which are divided by a wood-clad entrance hall.
    Wood panelling covers the walls of the entrance hall and complements the mustard yellow glazed herringbone tiling that covers the floor of the space.
    Find out more about Conde Duque apartment ›
    Photo is by Michael SinclairPalace Gate apartment, UK, by Tala Fustok Studio
    This apartment in a Victorian mansion block that neighbours Hyde Park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, was transformed into a “calm sanctuary” by Tala Fustok Studio to balance the business of the city.
    The entrance hall was decorated with a woven chair, a large Venetian mirror and a stone plinth that was sourced from MAH Gallery in east London. A large vase from Flow Gallery was placed on top of the plinth and is host to a single stem.
    Find out more about Palace Gate apartment ›
    Photo is by Jim StephensonMade of Sand, UK, by Studio Weave
    London architecture office Studio Weave added a two-story timber-clad extension to a stone cottage in Devon, England. The extension was designed to provide accommodation and workspace for the client’s family and visitors.
    The interior of the extension and the walls of its entrance hall were clad in rust-coloured clay with subtle curving edges that blend into the door frames and walls. A bench lines the wall of the entrance hall and was topped with two pillows.
    Find out more about Made of Sand ›

    Washington DC home, US, by Colleen Healey
    An arched, tunnel-like hallway marks the entrance to this renovated home in Washington DC’s Logan Circle by architecture studio Colleen Healey Architecture.
    The white, tunnel-like entrance hall leads directly into an open-plan kitchen dining and living area that includes an exposed brick wall and diagonally laid flooring that helps to disguise the home’s skewed walls.
    Find out more about Washington DC home ›
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring split-level living areas, residential lifts and concrete bathrooms.

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    Ten Tokyo apartments with minimalist interior designs

    Cleverly concealed kitchens and subtle wooden accents feature in our latest lookbook, which collects Tokyo apartments characterised by minimalist and serene interiors.

    These apartments in Japan’s capital are united by their muted colours and an abundance of wood – elements often associated with traditional Japanese interior design.
    As one of the world’s most densely populated cities, Tokyo homes often feature smaller floor plans or less natural light than those located in more spacious cities.
    Architects and designers have created plenty of understated solutions to these restrictions, such as inserting space-saving storage into open-plan living areas.
    From a flat informed by traditional Kyoto townhouses to an Airbnb dressed in subtle geometric furniture, here are 10 Tokyo apartments with minimalist interior designs.

    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring concrete bathrooms, cosy cabins and homes with elevators.

    Kinuta Terrace by Norm Architects and Keiji Ashizawa Design
    Two apartments within Tokyo’s 1980s-designed Kinuta Terrace apartment block were renovated by Norm Architects and Keiji Ashizawa Design to include more natural light.
    The studios reconfigured the floor plans to form fewer but larger living spaces, which are characterised by smooth concrete, timber fixtures and sheer sandy-hued curtains.
    “Nature feels integrated into the apartment from most rooms so that, when looking out into the courtyard, you can’t quite tell you’re in a city as immense as Tokyo,” said Norm Architects designer Frederik Werner.
    Find out more about these Kinuta Terrace apartments ›
    Photo is by Satoshi ShigetaApartment in Kitasando by Minorpoet
    This 1960s apartment contains a sleek kitchen counter and storage space concealed behind folding doors informed by traditional Japanese screens known as Byōbu.
    Design studio Minorpoet took cues from traditional Kyoto townhouses for the project, which features a hidden kitchen that cannot be seen from the living room.
    Minimalist furniture and finishes match the pared-back theme, including iconic Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s stackable wooden 60 stool.
    Find out more about Apartment in Kitasando ›
    Photo is by Kaku OhtakiAirbnb apartments by Hiroyuki Ogawa Architects
    Local studio Hiroyuki Ogawa Architects renovated two Airbnb apartments in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward with completely contrasting designs. One has floors and walls clad in light wood (main image), while the other pairs a plush grey carpet with dark plasterwork.
    Neon lighting in the latter apartment was chosen to remind guests of the bustling city while cork stools, metallic kitchen cabinetry and charcoal-toned accents create a moody atmosphere.
    Find out more about these Airbnb apartments ›
    Photo is by Tomooki KengakuThe Life concept apartment by I IN
    The Life concept apartment is an understated residence set within a 1980s building by Tokyo design firm I IN. According to the studio, the project was created to encourage people to rethink renovated apartments in Japan, rather than favour newbuilds.
    An open-plan living space contains a kitchen, living room and bedroom characterised by reeded glass partitions, stucco walls and luxurious red walnut joinery.
    Find out more about The Life concept apartment ›
    Photo is by Toshiyuki YanoAkasaka apartment by FrontOfficeTokyo
    Almost all of the walls within this 50-square-metre flat were replaced with multi-functional box units and sliding partitions to make the space feel bigger and brighter.
    Local studio FrontOfficeTokyo stripped the apartment down to a single room, which features designated zones to lounge, cook, eat and sleep.
    Raw and simple materials emphasise the utilitarian interior design, including exposed ceilings, pale timber floors and a corner bathroom contained in a concrete box.
    Find out more about this apartment ›
    Image is courtesy of Snark ArchitecturesHouse in Chofu by Snark Architectures
    Snark Architectures renovated an apartment in Chofu – a city to the west of downtown Tokyo. Located at the base of Mount Takao, the dwelling intends to mirror traditional cabins.
    With an open-plan layout that references mountain huts, House in Chofu is characterised by lauan plywood cabinetry and floor-to-ceiling glazing that offers views of the surrounding scenery.
    “The house is the base camp connecting mountains and cities,” Snark Architectures director Yu Yamada told Dezeen.
    Find out more about House in Chofu ›
    Image is courtesy of G StudioTokyo Loft by G Studio Architects
    Located on one of the top floors of a 1980s housing block, Tokyo Loft is short-term accommodation that intends to balance home comforts with industrial finishes.
    G Studio worked with architects Teruya Kido and Suma-Saga-Fudosan to complete the interior look, which includes original sloping concrete walls that were illustrated with splashes of white paint in a nod to traditional Japanese washi paper.
    Rows of skylights were added to the walls to flood the apartment with natural light, while bright orange electrical wires and plumbing features were left exposed. A freestanding bathtub adds a playful touch to the main living space.
    Find out more about Tokyo Loft ›
    Photo is by Domino ArchitectsJ House by Domino Architects
    Wooden panelling creates “corners, blind spots and niches” in J House – a pared-back apartment renovated to maximise restricted floor space for a growing family.
    Japanese studio Domino Architects used low-cost exposed plywood for its simplicity, while rough concrete in the kitchen adds to the dwelling’s minimalist interior design.
    Find out more about J House ›
    Photo is by Shigeo OgawaMotoazabu Apartment sYms by Kiyonobu Nakagame Architect & Associates 
    Diagonally stepped floors and ceilings create a dynamic layout of triangular zones within a pair of apartments in Tokyo’s Motoazabu neighbourhood.
    Smooth, understated concrete defines the central interior spaces, which are surrounded by kitchen worktops and glazed bathrooms.
    “What we aimed to do with this structure was to create something that would blend with its surroundings and maintain absolute simplicity,” explained architect Kiyonubu Nakagame.
    Find out more about Motoazabu Apartment sYms ›
    Image is courtesy of Taka Shinomoto and Voar Design HausOpera Apartment by Taka Shinomoto and Voar Design Haus
    A material and colour palette influenced by the different shades of an Opera cake – a famed French dessert – informed the “layered” coffee-hued interiors in this apartment.
    The hallway features sliding geometric cupboard doors stained in various shades of brown while a mixture of glossy, matte and textured coatings cover the white walls.
    Find out more about Opera Apartment ›
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring concrete bathrooms, cosy cabins and homes with cleverly designed lifts.

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    Child Studio blends mid-century modern and art deco details in Mayfair pied-à-terre

    Local practice Child Studio has designed a house in a mews courtyard in London that mixes mid-century modern furniture with custom-made pieces in a nod to fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent’s home.

    Child Studio designed the home, which was created for a hotelier and restauranteur, as a space for dining, entertaining and hosting parties.
    A white curved fireplace sits at the centre of the loungeIt centres around a spacious lounge that was informed by the grand salon in fashion designer Saint Laurent’s Paris home.
    Informed by the way Saint Laurent’s residence displayed his collection of artworks, the Mayfair home is a cornucopia of furniture pieces by iconic mid-century modern designers.
    Sculptures and vintage furniture decorates the space”We worked closely with the client to create a space that reflected his personality and interests, encompassing art, design, literature and travel,” Child Studio founders Che Huang and Alexy Kos told Dezeen.

    “This approach made us think of Saint Laurent’s salon – an eclectic interior where design objects and art pieces from different eras and parts of the world are assembled together, forming a highly personal environment.”
    Wooden shelving divides the roomA large open space in the residence, with narrow full-length skylights on each side, was given a vintage feel through the addition of wooden library walls.
    These divide it into a lounge area as well as spaces for dining and studying.
    “We were interested in finding an authentic design language for this project, balancing the art deco references with the 1960s and 70s modernism,” the studio added.
    Child Studio designed a wooden table for the roomAmong the furniture and lighting used for the residence are Japanese paper lamps by industrial designer Ingo Maurer and the “Pernilla” lounge chair by Swedish designer Bruno Mathsson, which have been juxtaposed with furniture designed by the designers themselves.
    “We paired vintage Scandinavian furniture by Bruno Mathsson and Kristian Vedel with playful lights by Ingo Maurer and Alfred Cochrane,” Huang and Kos said.
    “The cabinetry and tables were designed by Child Studio to unify the interior and accommodate all functional requirements.”
    The dining area has a glass-brick wallThe lounge also contains a fully functional, half-moon-shaped fireplace created by the studio, with a decorative shape that matches two ornate urns and a pair of art-deco-style floor lamps.
    “We designed the adulating fireplace to bring a sense of scale and permanence to the space,” the designers said.

    Ten homes where classic Eames chairs add a mid-century modern feel

    “The plaster finish seamlessly blends in with the surroundings,” they added.
    “The fireplace is placed below the skylight, and the soft shifts of sunlight throughout the day contribute to the tranquil atmosphere.”
    Armchairs by Charlotte Perriand sit around the dining tableIn the dining area, dark-wood shelving holding glassware, books and vases surrounds a circular wooden table with dining chairs by French architect Charlotte Perriand.
    “The material palette of this room draws inspiration from the modernist Villa Muller by Adolf Loos,” the designers said.
    “The combination of dark mahogany wood, patterned marble and green upholstery feels so chic, yet warm and unpretentious.”
    The study also features natural materialsA kitchenette next to the dining area was separated from the space by a glass-brick partition designed to filter the daylight.
    Behind the library shelves, Child Studio created a wood-panneled study for the homeowner. The studio aimed to use natural materials throughout the project.
    “We enjoy working with natural materials, such as solid wood, stone and plaster,” Huang and Kos said.
    “Child Studio often designs custom furniture pieces for projects, and we find that these simple and timeless materials are incredibly versatile and ideal for creating bespoke hand-crafted objects.”
    The reisdence is located in a historic mews in MayfairChild Studio used an “understated” colour palette for the residence to create a warm, relaxing environment that it hopes will continue to evolve.
    “Our goal was to design an interior that will continue evolving over time as the owners add new art pieces and bring heirlooms from their travels,” the studio said.
    Also in Mayfair, architecture studio Laplace renovated The Audley pub and filled it with art and MWAI designed an apartment as if it were a hotel suite.
    The photography is by Felix Speller and Child Studio.

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    Emily Sandstrom builds Sydney home extension from recycled materials

    Australian architect Emily Sandstrom has transformed a run-down 1930s bungalow in Sydney by adding an extension that was partly built from demolition materials.

    Sandstrom aimed to restore the home, which had been left untouched for decades, and celebrate its original features including picture rails and ceiling mouldings.
    The extension has a U shape with glass doors that let in lightThe architect demolished a small rear kitchen, outhouse and sunroom and reused the bricks and materials from the demolition to construct a 45-square-metre U-shaped extension, which accommodates an open-plan kitchen and dining space.
    Two large sliding glass doors open out to a courtyard and let natural light into the kitchen extension.
    Demolished bricks were reused to build the extensionThe U-shaped extension and courtyard were designed to provide a connection between indoor and outdoor entertainment areas.

    According to Sandstrom, concrete flooring and overhanging eaves help to passively heat the home in winter and cool it in summer. Solar panels were also added to the home, meaning no additional heating or cooling systems were needed.
    Sandstrom aimed to create a connection between indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces”The U shape in combination with the wide and curved eaves provides passive heating to the home during the winter months and shade during the summer,” Sandstrom told Dezeen.
    “This in combination with a concrete floor for thermal mass, double glazing and high windows located for cross ventilation, means there is no need for additional heating and cooling systems.”

    Brave New Eco applies cosy colours and materials to Melbourne “forever home”

    A large island with a countertop made from recycled Australian hardwood is the focal point of the kitchen, where a step down in floor level separates the “work zone” on one side of the island from the rest of the room.
    “The kitchen was a particular focus in the design, and a strong central point of the home,” said Sandstrom.
    A change in floor level separates the kitchen from the dining spaceInformed by Japanese design and bathing rituals, the bathroom features a sunken bathtub that sits below floor level.
    Timber decking covers the floors and conceals the drainage points for an overhead shower. Glass sliding doors lead to a small garden with an additional outdoor shower.
    “[The bathroom] was designed to achieve an atmosphere of calm and seclusion, and the design captures many different outlooks into the garden and directs the eye away from the less ideal views,” said Sandstrom.
    The bathroom features a sunken bathtub that overlooks a gardenThroughout the home, the architect removed carpets to uncover the original floorboards and restored original features, including stained glass windows, ornate ceiling mouldings, dark timber doors, trims and architraves.
    Newly added joinery was designed to preserve the home’s skirting boards, picture rails and ceiling mouldings, as well as maintain the original scale and layout of the rooms.
    The home’s original features such as ceiling mouldings and picture rails were maintainedOther homes recently completed in Australia that have been featured on Dezeen include an oceanside residence in Sydney that was transformed to suit a family of five and a home in Melbourne with interiors finished in timber, terracotta and rich jewel tones.
    The photography is by Rohan Venn.

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    Trewhela Williams adds louvred oak facade to London mews house

    Architecture office Trewhela Williams has completed a minimalist renovation of a mews house in north London, adding a bespoke timber facade to animate its street-facing elevation.

    The home, which is set in the Belsize Park Conservation Area, originally featured a disused garage that took up a sizeable portion of the floor plan on the ground floor and blocked off any connection to the street outside.
    Trewhela Williams has renovated a mews house in north LondonTrewhela Williams was brought on board to optimise the home’s ground floor and convert the garage to provide additional living space.
    The project focused on opening up the dark and insular interior to views of the quiet mews at the front and a small private courtyard in the rear.
    The studio created bespoke timber louvres to animate the home’s exteriorExisting walls enclosing the garage were removed to allow this space to be incorporated into an open-plan living area that now extends across the full depth of the property.

    The former garage door was replaced with a facade crafted from white-oiled oak that retains the proportions of the old door but provides greater visual interest when viewed from the mews.
    The oak louvres were angled to provide privacy while also letting light into the house”The existing garage doors along the street create quite a closed and guarded frontage,” Trewhela Williams told Dezeen. “We wanted to create something that’s visually animated and provides a more open and engaging elevation.”
    Angled oak fins positioned in front of the large window function as a brise soleil, allowing daylight to enter and providing limited views of the street from inside while maintaining privacy.
    A small courtyard is located at the rear of the propertyFrom the entrance to the mews, the fins appear to form a solid wooden volume covering the window. But their geometry seems to shift and becomes more permeable as people approach the house.
    The bespoke joinery forms a pared-back structure comprising simple planes, volumes and edges that was influenced by the minimalist wooden sculptures of American artist Donald Judd.
    The interior has a minimal material paletteTrewhela Williams specified a frameless glazing unit with concealed fixings to enhance the sculptural simplicity of the carpentry.
    The windows include an espagnolette mechanism that allows them to tilt to facilitate cross-ventilation through the house or pivot open so the family’s pets can go outside.

    Echlin uses broken-plan layout to create spacious interiors within London mews house

    The studio applied a pared-back material palette with a focus on tone and texture to create a minimalist interior scheme.
    Walls and ceilings are rendered with a subtly textured Danish plaster that is complemented by the warm Douglas fir flooring and terrazzo tiles speckled with marble aggregate.
    Textured plaster walls and Douglas fir flooring finish the interior spacesA worktop made from cloudy white Mugla marble extends along the full depth of the property – from the entrance hall and storage area at the front to the galley kitchen, dining space and snug towards the rear.
    “Whilst the interior is pared back and displays the traits of minimalism in its simplicity, there is real harmony and beauty in the details,” Trewhela Williams explained.
    “There are very few materials and details within the home, so each one has been meticulously chosen to harmonise and create a space that feels warm and calm rather than being cold or sterile.”
    The kitchen worktop is made from cloudy white Mugla marbleAn existing courtyard at the back of the house is now visible and accessible through an enlarged opening, which fills the full height and width of the rear elevation.
    A minimal pivot door can be opened to create a seamless connection between the interior and the courtyard that also functions as a lightwell drawing daylight into the adjacent living spaces.
    The courtyard is paved with large-format concrete tiles and is enclosed by walls covered with natural clay plaster, harmonising with the textural palette of the interior.
    A pivot door opens onto the external courtyardThe courtyard houses a simple linear bench and a cylindrical plant pot, with their geometric forms providing visual structure while a lone acer tree adds a burst of colour.
    Despite being situated in a conservation area, the bold design for the new facade was complimented by the local planning authority, which said it provided a positive precedent for neighbours considering similar conversion projects.
    A bench and circular plant pot add geometric forms to the courtyard”It was a big relief,” said Trewhela Williams. “A lot of conversion and extension projects focus on the rear of the property but here we were working on the front so we had to tread very carefully.”
    “Thankfully the planners were very supportive,” the studio added. “We’ve also been contacted by some of the neighbours about doing something similar with their properties, so there is an appreciation for what we’ve achieved here.”
    Previously, the studio has created an extension to an Edwardian house in north London featuring a brick wall that extends out from the kitchen into the garden.
    The photography is by Lorenzo Zandri.

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    Eight residential interiors with sociable split-level living areas

    Our latest lookbook collects eight homes that feature split-level living areas, from a humble apartment in Mexico to a vast brutalist-style house in Bali.

    Split-level areas are often seen in residential homes, where architects separate different spaces using short flights of steps to make interiors feel expansive and interesting, whatever their size.
    Listed below are eight examples of the technique from around the world.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring homes with broken-plan layouts, atriums and sliding doors.
    Photo by Rasmus NorlanderHaus am Hang, Germany, by AMUNT

    Designed by German architecture office AMUNT, this cross-laminated timber house on a hillside in the Black Forest is organised to maximise internal sunlight.
    The ground floor is split into three levels, with an entrance space on the top level, a kitchen and dining space on the middle level, and a lounge tucked into the lowest area.
    Find out more about Haus am Hang ›
    Photo by Tommaso RivaA Brutalist Tropical Home, Indonesia, by Patisandhika and Daniel Mitchell
    The 512-square-metre A Brutalist Tropical Home in Bali, by architect Patisandhika Sidarta and designer Daniel Mitchell, has a double-height living room flanked by split levels that were modelled on Ray Kappe’s modernist Kappe Residence in Los Angeles.
    “To be able to see spaces from angles that you could not in a conventional house with walls gives a completely different sense of space and feeling,” Mitchell said.
    The multi-level layout displays books, records and a speaker system and leads down into an open-plan kitchen/dining area.
    Find out more about A Brutalist Tropical Home ›
    Photo by Fabian MartinezCasa Tres Árboles, Mexico, by Direccion
    Mexican studio Direccion replaced walls with split levelling to make the social spaces of this weekend retreat in Valle de Bravo feel more connected in a renovation project.
    The black microcement floor of the double-height entrance hall – itself sunken from the street – gives way to soothing wooden floorboards via a single step down into the lounge, dining and kitchen space.
    Find out more about Casa Tres Árboles ›
    Photo by Gilbert McCarragherFrame House, UK, by Bureau de Change
    The ground floor of Frame House cascades down terrazzo steps, from the kitchen at the front of the home to a dining area and onto the lounge at the rear.
    London studio Bureau de Change aimed to “create a coherent journey through all spaces” in its renovation and extension of the Victorian terraced home in south London.
    Find out more about Frame House ›
    Photo by Julian WeyerVilla E, Denmark, by CF Møller
    This family home in Aarhus designed by CF Møller Architects sits on a sloping site, so it was divided into four distinct blocks separated by short flights of steps.
    A kitchen and dining room leads onto a sitting room, which in turn is adjacent to the utility areas, hobby room and garage, all connected by the same herringbone oak flooring.
    “The concept of dividing the building into ‘four small houses’ that could be moved between each other offered the solution and at the same time divided the villa into different family and living zones,” said the studio.
    Find out more about Villa E ›
    Photo by Shinkenchiku ShaHouse in Takatsuki, Japan, by Tato Architects
    Tato Architects’s House in Takatsuki takes the concept of split levels to the extreme. The three-storey Japanese home is spread across 16 different floors that residents traverse via wooden blocks, shelves and other pieces of furniture instead of staircases.
    “The idea is to create a sense of expansion inside a small house, so that you would find yourself on top of a rooftop in one moment, and tucked beneath a floor in another,” explained studio founder Yo Shimada.
    Find out more about House in Takatsuki ›
    Photo by Taran WilkhuKnightsbridge mews house, UK, by Echlin
    Three simple steps divide the living room from the kitchen and dining area in this west London mews house that was remodelled by local firm Echlin into a broken-plan layout.
    A generously sized, built-in L-shaped sofa helps to demarcate the separation, while a low wall that continues along one side of the sitting area from the kitchen floor helps to emphasise that sunken feeling.
    Find out more about this Knightsbridge mews house ›
    Photo by César BéjarDomus Peepem, Mexico, by Kiltro Polaris, WEWI, and JC Arquitectura
    Apartments inside this block, designed by Kiltro Polaris, WEWI, and JC Arquitectura and located in a traditionally working-class area of Cancún, have a compact layout that sees the kitchen, living and dining area separated from the sleeping area by a tall wooden step.
    The step stands out as a softer element among the polished concrete finishes of the walls and floors.
    Find out more about Domus Peepem ›
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring homes with broken-plan layouts, atriums and sliding doors.

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    Anastasiia Novikova gives monochrome makeover to artists' apartment in Kyiv

    Parisian decor flourishes feature throughout this apartment in Kyiv, outfitted with black-and-white living spaces by Ukrainian designer Anastasiia Novikova.

    Renovated just before the start of the Ukraine war, the apartment is located on the third floor of a five-storey residential building erected in 1912.
    Anastasiia Novikova has reinstated stucco inside a 1912 apartment in KyivAfter its previous owners had completely ripped out all of the original stucco, doors and floorboards, Novikova wanted to restore the home’s historic charm – particularly in the living room.
    “When I saw the large empty room with its four-metre-high ceiling and four big windows, I immediately came up with a picture of how it would look in the future,” she said.
    “I wanted to make the walls, the floor, ceiling and windows like they were in the past and implement some modern furniture, light and art.”

    A vintage French mirror and fireplace mantel were added for decorationThe living room was freshened up with a lick of white paint while stucco was reinstated on its ceiling.
    “I created a few sketches, then a Ukrainian craftsman sculpted them entirely in one-to-one scale out of plasticine,” explained Novikova. “After that, they made it from plaster.”
    The kitchen features jet-black cabinetryElements of the stucco design are based on an ornate Napoleon II-era gilded mirror that’s mounted on a wall at the far end of the room, directly above a vintage Louis XV fireplace mantel.
    Novikova included these decor features to bring a slightly Parisian feel to the apartment as the owners – a pair of artists – love visiting the French capital.
    Grey tones permeate the principal bedroomThe living room is otherwise occupied by an L-shaped grey sofa, a selection of contemporary artworks by Ukrainian artists and an old piano that’s played at family parties.
    The adjacent kitchen was fitted with jet-black cabinets and a matching breakfast island. From the centre of the island extends a white marble dining table, accompanied by chairs with olive-green velvet seats.

    Yana Molodykh refurbishes attic apartment with views over Kyiv

    The apartment’s largely monochromatic colour scheme continues into the principal bedroom, where the walls, curtains and curved headboard are all a shade of putty grey.
    Textural interest is added by a shiny brass pendant lamp that’s been suspended over one of the side tables and a cane-inlaid bench that sits at the foot of the bed.
    Its ensuite bathroom is almost entirely lined with white marbleThe ensuite bathroom is housed inside a separate volume in the corner of the room, lined inside and out with panels of white veiny marble.
    Brighter shades appear in the children’s bedrooms – one of which is finished in sage green while the other is blush pink with mustard-yellow accents.
    Brighter colours were applied in the children’s bedroomsNovikova connected the two rooms via a small mezzanine, where the kids can hide away to play, read and nap throughout the day.
    The apartment is among a number of residential projects that were completed in the Ukrainian capital just before the start of the war and are now finally starting to be published.
    A cosy mezzanine connects the two kids’ roomsMakhno Studio finished Mureli House, an all-beige dwelling with intricate ceramic walls on the city’s outskirts, while designer Yana Molodykh reconfigured an attic apartment to allow for more storage and natural light.
    The photography is by Yevhenii Avramenko.

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