Photography: Gidi Boaz
This three bedroom apartment in a 1970’s building on the old north side of Tel Aviv underwent a fascinating process of compactization with a couple who were especially ambitious.
The tiny children’s room was enlarged in order to fit the two twins, the parents gained a private shower for them. The mother who works from home as a graphic designer, requested a work area during the day in the specious parents’ room. At night this function is hidden away, becoming a part of the bedroom.
By letting go of the customary guest bathroom and dining area, two functions often carved in stone as having to take up a whole room on their own, allowed to create lots of valuable, usable space for a spacious feeling.
A spacious living area juxtaposes with the tiny children’s room and a small shower room with a separate toilet. The service porch takes up room, as do the separate kitchen area, entrance-way and hallway.
Open dining table
Stowed dining table
The function of a permanent dining table was removed in order to gain the space necessary to install a shower room and to enlarge the kids’ room. A work room delineated by a door was added to the parents’ bedroom as well as a private bathroom.
We combined the toilet and shower rooms into one spacious, airy room surrounded by an "L" shaped compact kitchen that is efficient and has a lot of storage. Optimizing the living room measurements, we've added lots of storage space which contains, among other things, the folded up dining table .
When guests arrive, one simple and quick action is all it takes to pull out a dining table which can potentially seat 12 people. If this table were to stand in the house under the old floor plan, we would have had to give up an entire room to fit it.
In the framework of our design, we searched relentlessly for storage spaces, in the living room for the kids’ toys, work files and so forth; in the bedrooms for clothing and of course for more kids’ toys. Since the house contains a lot of storage cabinetry, we chose white to “lighten” the visible weight of furniture overload.
Sometimes the language we use creates inaccurate needs: Dining room (does it have to be in a room?), Parents’ unit (is there’s no other choice but to bundle the parents’ room together with the walk-in closet and a shower room?). What about the work room? Does it have to be a room? In the merit of the client’s open-minded thinking, we understood that it was possible to use the space in the bedroom during the day time to fill the need for a work room. The tenant stated: “At night, I don’t want to know it exists.” so the work space was designed so it entirely closes up, including having the computer chairs move aside, turning it back into a bedroom.
As the bedroom is also a work room, the client looked for a place to relax for a minute, to breathe and to rest.
Being a small apartment, we need to use every centimeter, even the closet. The hanging portion of the closet needs to be 60 centimeters deep. For folded clothing, it’s actually more convenient to create a closet with less depth. That way, piles don’t build up behind each other. We created a small space behind the portion of the cabinet for folded clothing, and designed a bookshelf into this niche.
Our tenant, a professional graphic designer, designed the handcrafted kitchen tiles herself.
The kitchen was planned in an L shape that “folds” around the bathrooms. The kitchen gets the natural light and fresh air that are necessary for cooking. The “fold” of the kitchen allows it to both receive natural light and fresh air while being part of the living room, opening out into the rest of the home.
The Laundry Ritual
In the bathroom, under the sink, there’s a white cabinet. Through it, laundry is passed from the bathroom to the laundry area. This allows removal of the clothing directly to the laundry area without the need for a laundry basket. The washing machine and dryer are hidden in the kitchen cabinets and don’t need their own room.
About cats and crates
In a small apartment, even the cat’s litter box needs to have a place planned for it. In this case, we needed a solution for the smell, along with easy entry and exit for the cat and for cleaning the litter box.