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A narrow home of hidden wonders

Sana Salam Sana Salam
Minimalist houses by Vallribera Arquitectes Minimalist
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If you were to glance upon today's 360° project while casually strolling through the streets, chances are you wouldn't give it a second look. Sure, the teal blue facade is striking in its own way, and the details are there for when you pay attention, but otherwise it's simply another nondescript apartment building ensconced in a row of other staid apartment buildings. Step inside though, and the whole thing is flipped on its head.

This gorgeous Spanish home situated in Terrassa was actually built sometime in the last century and had deteriorated into a shell of its former self by the time the current owners got a hold of it. The renovations and refittings were undertaken by Vallribera Architects who were asked to work within a tight budget and retain certain old features of the house such as the vaulted ceilings. The end result is a mix of the old and the new that appears timeless appealing and embodies both good taste and charm. 

A minimalist facade

Let's take a closer look at the minimalist facade. This is the front portion of the house with a recessed entry and a small garage for the family's car. In the midst of the town's predominant colours (on the facade) such as pinks, oranges and yellows, this grey-hued blue already stands out. 

The windows, above and beyond their original function, serve an aesthetic purpose here. These are one of the overlooked parts of a house; if you'd like some creative window ideas, speak to our experts  

First look

Our first glimpse of the house reveals the living room, the dining area and the kitchen—the open-plan layout ensures that there are no jerky dividers that visually break up the space (an absolute no-no when you're working with a narrow space!); instead we find a fluid living space that airy and bright and yet has invisible separators. Subtle design tricks are employed to mark where one zone begins and another ends, such as the change in wall surfaces—the living room (which is an extension of the former building) has a crisp white wall while the dining area and kitchen have a warm, exposed-brick surface.

The old meets the new

There was a time when vaulted ceilings could only be found in centuries-old cathedrals, but it is increasingly becoming a preferred architectural element. Around these parts though, a vaulted ceiling is a common feature -lucky guys! The cool thing about it is that it can fit right in with any style, be it traditional, classic or modern. 

The vaulted ceilings in the kitchen integrate perfectly with its modern and minimalist surroundings, and give it a rustic Italian flavour. The floor-to-ceiling storage units were a cost-effective way to ensure that there would be no clutter to distract. 

A small, calm bathroom

Yeah, we didn't expect that pop of colour either. But it works oh so beautifully. When working with a narrow, small bathroom such as this, it is important to really give some thought to how to maximise the given space; your first idea may not be the best so keep on trying!

By adding a mirror at one end of the room, the space here is immediately visually expanded while the white glossy tiles and vanity allow light to reflect off of it, making for a bright bathroom. The enclosed glass shower helps maintain the visual flow while the gorgeous blue directs your eyes away instead of focusing on the constrained space.  

A converted loft space

And finally, we come to the study that is housed on the second floor or rather, the loft. Once again, we see the blend of different textures, materials and styles—the ceiling and the exposed brick walls lend that characteristic rustic vibe to the otherwise contemporary study. This space also opens out onto a substantial terrace. What you can't quite see here is the children's play zone in the far end of the room, a space where the kids can spend their days while their parents work and keep an eye on them.

For more drool-worthy homes, check out 7 family homes you'll wish were yours.

What did you think of this stunning family home?
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