Charl Create CC, Architects Pretoria

Published work: a residential apartment in Athens

This article, entitled "A Sense of Balance" was published in the October 2005 edition of the Greek magazine Oikia kai Diakosmisi (Home and Decoration).

"The philosophy behind a living area of good taste does not only rely on unparalleled aesthetics and absolute functionality. It goes much deeper. It relies on the pure enjoyment which one finds in this apartment in the centre of Athens.

"Although it is situated in the Lycabettus area, the apartment is surrounded by green. It came into the hands of the new owners a year ago. Since then it has acquired liveliness, freshness and the character of a youngish home. The new owners, of South African descent, did the decorating themselves, respecting both the apartment's character and architecture.

"The leading elements are the unified dining room and living room, this area's relation to the kitchen and the unique position of the fireplace between two windows. These automatically favoured the creation of a functional dining room and a bright, warm living room. The windows and large glass opening that secure plenty of sunshine for the apartment, were draped with light coloured blinds and impressive curtains.

"To deal with the large, protruding fireplace, the owners used different styled furniture in the inlay area. This furniture was decorated with useful and valuable pieces that were brought over from their homeland. Given the position of the living room, it is also nice to see the different uses of the two sides. This was done by using two large couches, two armchairs and useful wooden, minimal tables. The smart lights placed in well-thought-through positions provide a delightful sense of warmth.

"The paintings and sculptures are signed by Susan Mitchinson, Mark Coetzee, Serghei Manoliu, Esme Mayer, Thijs Nel and Chris Diedericks. The armchairs and couches are from Silvestridis. All the furniture provides an intense, scenic picture as the vivid colours on the couches and pillows create dynamic combinations. The dining room, which borders on the living room, contains classical furniture and impressive art. The key materials used here are crystal and wood. The paintings with their unique themes and the large sculpture by Serghei Manoliu, astonish us while at the same time drawing our attention.

"Yet another distinct element is the kitchen. This area is especially bright. It is located in the middle of the apartment and is open to the corridor that leads to the bedrooms. Smart solutions such as the large shelves on the one wall, the many cabinets and the verticals that let the light shine through in a unique way, make the owners' everyday living pleasant.

"The bedroom was furnished with just a simple bed and a few paintings. Besides, most of the furniture has simple lines. And while simplicity provides us here with some outstanding examples, the intense colour contrasts remind us of the frame of mind of the apartment's residents. Their choices have brought serenity to every corner. Carefully studied, elegant, modern, it manages to balance ideally between yesterday and today. In emitting a sense of good taste, it helps us meet and enjoy the company of its creators."

Text: Savvas Koumelis
Photographs: Ioanna Nikolareizi
Assistant: Olga Nikolaidou

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