When our photographer friend Matthew Williams and I traveled to Washington, DC, to photograph a
new project by German design firm Studio Oink, I was glad I had just cleared up memory on my iPhone. I took a lot of snapshots. The switch plates, powder-coated hardware, iridescent curtains, paint colors, flush electrical outlets—I was in design-detail heaven. A lot of it went on my mental pinboard I call “future remodel.” Here’s a look at the genius design ideas brought to life by Studio Oink’s Lea Korzeczek and Matthias Hiller.
Matthew Williams for Remodelista; styling by Alexa Hotz. 1. Swap walls for windows. Above: With an idea borrowed from Parisian interiors and Shaker houses, Studio Oink solved the problem of a lightless hallway by tearing down the existing walls between the bedrooms and creating a glass wall. “You can guide the light into smaller or hidden rooms without losing a private atmosphere,” says Lea. 2. Match light-switch covers to the wall color. Above: Studio Oink spec’d paintable Legrand Adorne Wall Plates throughout the project and matched the color to the Farrow & Ball painted walls ( Oval Room Blue here) for a seamless effect. 3. Create an appliance alcove. Above: Rather than installing a giant stainless refrigerator standing front and center in the kitchen, the designers wanted a look that was more discreet. They extended the wall to the dimensions of the Liebherr refrigerator to create a nook. 4. Don’t skimp on hardware. Above: When the designers and the owner agreed that standard American hardware wasn’t going to fit the bill, they sourced high-end hardware from Europe and New Zealand—and often through stateside vendors online. A powder-coated Tectus Hinge from Simonswerk in Germany and edge pulls from Halliday & Baillie show that every detail was considered—and the details make all the difference. 5. Consider the Harry Potter understairs cupboard. Above: Studio Oink made use of potential storage spaces with in-line cabinets throughout the house. Here, a cabinet cut on a diagonal and a door are used for easy access to the deep storage space. 6. Bring back the hospital track. Above: Kinnasand curtains are hung on a track in both upstairs bedrooms to create an open atmosphere while “at the same time, functioning as a private and discreet retreat.” In the main bedroom, seen here, the curtains run the length of the wall to cover both windows rather than hanging on individual curtain rods. 7. DIY your doorstops. Above: A DIY doorstop to keep door knobs from hitting the walls came from the owner: It’s made of the same wood and thickness as the door but cut, by the contractor, in a cube shape “so the lines are pleasing,” she says. She added pale gray adhesive felt where the door hits the stop.