Attic apartments generally have a reputation for being small in size, with a lot of headspace and floor area being lost to sloping roofs or structural beams. But even so, attic apartments have a lot of potential—they are often a bit more affordable when it comes to renting and buying them, and they can offer a lot of natural lighting and privacy when designed right.
For Ceci, a woman living in an attic apartment near the bustling Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain, her hope was to transform her 505-square-foot rooftop home into something pragmatic and enjoyable. Originally from a town north of Milan, Ceci is a lover of thoughtful design, technology, and the good life. So to realize her dream of having a home that suits her tastes and needs, she turned to local firm Gon Architects (seen here previously with another excellent attic apartment remodel) to get the job done. The architects describe their approach in this way:
“There is a popular Italian expression, il dolce far niente which names a way of life linked to the pleasure of doing nothing, possibly being this idle and idle attitude one of the ways of being in the world that most activates the creativity of the human being.”
The idea of bringing some practical leisure into the space meant not only revamping the entire floor plan but also adding some luxurious surprises, like an outdoor tub. The freshly renovated apartment, now called Casa Gialla, is a far cry from its original dark and compartmentalized state. Gone are the existing walls that divided the apartment up into poorly ventilated rooms, which included two existing bedrooms. Instead, the new design scheme involves setting up an open plan, multifunctional space in the center that serves as a place to cook, work, and read.
Much of the functional elements and storage spaces have been pushed and condensed into the perimeter of the apartment. We can see the kitchen here, which has been redone with minimalist white cabinetry, integrated elements like an induction stovetop, and appliances like the refrigerator being hidden behind the cabinet doors, which creates a much cleaner and streamlined look. There is much more natural light pouring in now, thanks to the addition of a skylight. The ceiling also feels significantly less heavy, thanks to the old wooden beams being hidden now by a flat, white surface that visually unites the space.
We love this clever addition of a mirror at one end of the kitchen counter, giving the illusion of it continuing on into the distance, thus lending the impression of a greater space.
At the other end of the apartment, an old wall that separated the space into an extra bedroom is gone, allowing more open space to come into view. In its place, we have a Murphy bed that can be folded down and offers guests a spot to sleep. The kitchen counter folds down to become a work area in the corner. There is also a comfortable sofa here that Ceci can move around to set up different configurations of rest and relaxation.
There is also an ingenious kitchen island on wheels, which Ceci can roll out to create a dining space to eat or entertain guests.
With the addition of a stool, the movable kitchen island can also be used as another workspace. The remaining wall here that separated the main living space from the bedroom is now reimagined in a cheerfully bright yellow—shelves, cabinets, doors …
… and even the tiles that line the threshold of the door going into the bedroom.
The bedroom itself can be closed off with a curtain.
Off to the side, there is a door that connects the bedroom to the bathroom.
The bathroom itself has much of the same minimalist theme, dressed in white and yellow.
Back outside, and past a bifold patio door, we come into the renovated terrace. Here we find a gorgeous little outdoor space with a rainfall shower and built-in furniture for lounging on.
A delightful surprise can be found when one flips up the seat to reveal an outdoor soaking tub—all in the heart of Madrid.
There are so many brilliant renovation ideas here that prove small attic apartments are no barrier to living a great life; to see more, visit Gon Architects.