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MASON RESIDENCE | scandinavian inspired renovation

  • PROJECT:  Condo renovation in Brookline, MA
  • ARCHITECT: Kristen Giannattasio; Atelier et Alia
  • CONTRACTOR: Flynn Build & Develop
  • FURNISHINGS:Kristen Giannattasio; Atelier et Alia
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: Jared Kuzia Photography
  • PUBLICATION: The Boston Globe Magazine, September 2023

This renovation of the public spaces in a compact condo unit reflects the homeowner’s love for Scandinavian design principles. Additionally, it incorporates clever architectural strategies to enhance utility and convey the sense of increased space without enlarging the original footprint.  The existing condominium unit required a refresh to harmonize with the preferences, style and practical requirements of the new homeowners.  Despite the prior layout featuring an open-plan concept, the kitchen, living room, and dining area remained clearly and inflexibly delineated.  Through the renovation’s design, these areas blend together, capitalizing on their intersections to generate additional functional space.

The kitchen is expanded by overlapping the dining zone, and a new lounge area is added without compromising the usability of any other zones.  The layout is reorganized to function better for the homeowners, and optical techniques are employed to transform the space without structural modifications.    The functions within the overlapping spaces comfortably belong to either zone, contributing to the blurring of boundaries and fostering the illusion of a more expansive space.  Techniques like extending the countertop beyond the edge of the opening to the living room, adding a slat wall room screen/divider, and wrapping the beam with wood all work to harmoniously reinforce the layout and spatial adjustments.

Introducing a wooden slat wall along the junction of the kitchen and living room facilitates the expansion of the kitchen area.  This innovative design addition not only creates a partially secluded living room enclave within the open plan but also permits filtered sunlight to permeate deeper into the space.  The extended kitchen base cabinets exhibit dual faces: those oriented towards the kitchen function as sideboard storage for the dining area, while the cabinets facing the living room house a retractable television.

In this Scandinavian-inspired renovation, a muted color scheme dominated by warm whites and natural wood tones yields a serene and uncomplicated aesthetic.  The ambiance is enhanced by abundant natural light and a touch of verdant accents.  For the new wooden components, white oak was selected to harmonize with the existing Brazilian Cherry flooring that was refinished with a matte finish.  The use of wood maintains equilibrium by balancing out the white ceiling, walls, and cabinetry

The homeowners’ affinity for Scandinavian design, characterized by its clean, minimal lines, functional design, and warm natural materials, permeates the entire interior design.  Even a seemingly minor change in the details can wield substantial influence over the space.  The existing contractor-grade window and door trim is replaced with minimal wood trim and painted to blend seamlessly with the walls, creating an interplay of light and shadow that bolsters the uncluttered and minimalist allure.

The presence of the white oak cabinets and Brazilian cherry flooring imbue warmth into this simple material palette, while a larger, newly installed kitchen window amplifies both the natural light and views. 

In addition to the architectural design, we provided furniture curation and layout services, aiding the homeowner in choosing pieces that harmonize with the transformed environment. The new dining table boasts an expandable design, accommodating up to 14 people during festive gatherings and special occasions. Moreover, a new micro-lounge area was seamlessly integrated into the layout between the dining space and entryway, catering to everyday needs – when the dining table is not extended. 

Adding a coat closet in an already compact space would have been detrimental to the goals of this project.  Thus, we seized this as a chance to conceive an engaging resolution that combines artistic installation and practical storage. Coat hooks are integrated into the wood wall treatment, harmonizing with the open slat wall design on the opposite end of the space. This fresh wall treatment delineates the entrance landing zone, acts as a backdrop for the new micro-lounge, and looks great with or without the coats and bags it is meant to support.

As an extension of the public spaces in this Scandinavian inspired renovation, the guest bathroom also enjoyed a modern refresh in this renovation. Despite its dimensions remaining unchanged, the replacement of fixtures and finishes bestowed the bathroom with an airier, brighter aesthetic, creating the illusion of more space. 

Do not hesitate to contact me to start your design project journey!.