Empty-nester trades four-bed family home for uber-cool 45sqm apartment
There come's a time in many empty-nesters' lives when they find themselves rambling around a big old family home that, quite frankly, seems long past its use-by date.
Even if the house has been well maintained, in all likelihood the upkeep is tremendous.
The elderly owner of this tiny 45 square-metre inner-city flat came from a huge four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the suburbs, complete with swimming pool.
She took the concept of downsizing to heart, moving into the flat in Krantz and Sheldon's Causeway Gardens complex in Perth, following a complete interior redesign by architecture firm vittinoAshe.
The architects say the project was a design exercise in "quality over quantity" – refurbishing rather than building anew. "The project seeks to engage in a conversation about ways of ageing gracefully in place."
Central to the design is the custom cabinetry that separates yet connects the living and sleeping areas, tying together the "complex geometry".
"The cabinetry is the main cost component of the project and houses the essentials for living," the architects say. "It is something that was not specifically called for in the brief, but manifests as the accordant and discordant object within the original architecture.
"The cabinetwork also responds at a more intimate scale to our client, with the provision of a handrail, continuous light source and curved surfaces, so that the apartment can be comfortably navigated along its shortest possible route."
Timber veneer was used to differentiate the cabinetry from the solid load-bearing structure and shell of the apartment. A matching cork floor helps to anchor the look.
"All other "cranky" surfaces, and in particular the outer shell, are left intact and simply painted. The client's treasures were listed, drawn and curated, and further furniture pieces sourced and restored to purposely fit this small space."
The architects say other elements, such as the softness of cork flooring, the shower bench with hand shower, and the widths of openings were design considerations that will allow the client to live here for many years to come.