Urban dwellers often have to give up space to gain space—it's a matter of choosing which rooms to prioritize. When a Stockholm family of five wanted to create a living room that's a real gathering place, their apartment required some spatial juggling. Architects Lotta and Henry Imberg of Imberg Arkitekter's solution? They gained footage by corralling the family's three children in a fun and high-functioning room with a three-level bed. And a bathroom that had been in the front of the apartment got relocated to the middle. Have a look at the results:
Above: The newly enlarged living room is furnished in black and white. Light colored floors make a room look more spacious and the pale gray used here is a warmer alternative to white. The large framed mirror also enhances the sense of space.
Above: The architects introduced built-in storage to the hall outside the master bedroom and childrens' room.
Above: The cabinets strike a balance between open shelving and and closed doors.
Above: In the master bedroom, mid-century Vittsjø Luxus Wall Lamps by Östen Kristiansson serve as reading lamps and a commercial kitchen rail for cooking utensils is used to hang clothes. N.B.: Another source for vintage Vittsjo lighting is Domino Antik in Stockholm.
Above: Book spines provided the only color in the otherwise neutral space.
Above: In the boys' room, a custom closet acts as a divider while providing storage (note the black and white door pulls).
Above: Two children sleep on one side of the divider and a third on the other. Access to the top bunk is via a ladder of sorts fashioned out of cabinet handles on the wall. A set of hooks inspired by the Eames Hang-It-All provides casual storage opportunities. (Looking for more hook ideas? See Remodeling 101: How Shaker Pegs Saved My Summer Sanity—my philosophy is if it's off the floor, it's been put away.)
Above: The window ledges have been extended to become desks for the children.
Above: White ceramic tiled walls combine with Carrara marble tiles on the floor in the family bathroom.
Above: The floor plan shows how Imberg Arkitekter made smart use of the available windows by moving the bathroom to the middle of the apartment. The three childrens' beds are part of the multi-level custom closet and room divider.
Swedish photographer Pia Ulin's photographs in this post supply a real sense of Scandinavian winter light. An Architect's Dream Commission in Norway shows her portrayal of summer light. For more on architects Lotta and Henry Imberg of Imberg Arkitekter, see the family home they created out of a disused military garage on the island of Gotland in Before & After: A Garage Turned Summer House in Sweden.