Belgian architect Arjaan de Feyter wisely works with an open plan layout to bring communal living to a petite modern apartment, showing how subtle segmentation can create space in smaller homes and apartments.
DESIGN Arjaan de Feyter PHOTOGRAPHY Piet Albert Goethals
Open plan living has encouraged many positive opportunities for home life; better integration of spaces, room to be together while undertaking different duties and bringing the ‘communal’ element of living back to the fore. In a smaller home however, open plan living is a harder feat to accomplish – but when it works, it works wonders.
Case in point; this Belgian loft designed by Arjaan de Feyter. Typically of European apartments, the space was on the smaller side, with a central living area and smaller private bedrooms and bathrooms off a linked hallway. In order to find space in that communal hub of the home, de Feyter has kept the layout open plan and the furnishings at a minimum, while introducing a rich material palette to add texture and dynamic to the space.
In keeping with the modern Belgian affinity for monochrome tones, the loft is primarily kitted out in tones of charcoal, slate, matte black and soft grey, while timber and stone work in harmony throughout the spaces. In order to maximise storage while hiding much of the home’s clutter out of sight, wall-to-wall storage runs along one wall of the home, while floor to ceiling windows on the adjacent wall create a link between the living and kitchen areas of the central space and welcome in natural light. Further consistency between the spaces comes from the chevron floors, which creates a visual dynamic throughout.
Each space also benefits from some individual elements; the built-in fireplace acts as an anchor for the lounge area, while bold stone has been used extensively in the kitchen, from the splashback, to the countertops, to the striking kitchen island. Again, joinery works hard here to hide much away, letting you take in the material feast uninterrupted.
Elsewhere in the home, the material differentiation is less dramatic but still consistent, with the chevron floors throughout most of the home and the bold, modern bathroom working from a range of charcoal elements to exude a sophisticated style. Arjaan de Feyter knows exactly what to prioritise in this home and how, with the result being a city loft that leans into its limitations, rather than working against them.