Ektoras, a video artist and bartender, and Simon, an actor and photographer, share a small railroad flat in a 155 year-old tenement building with a bathtub in the kitchen. While this may sound potentially unfortunate, the reality of how they have worked with what they have is stunningly impressive...
The flat serves as not only their domicile, but as two offices, and a photoshoot studio as well. (Simon and Ektoras get away to a DIY renovated country home upstate on the weekends).
"I don't want colors because it's small and when you add color it shrinks the space," explains Simon. Instead, "the white bounces off the light and makes it feel bigger and brighter." Simon, using his own two hands, created most of what you see in these photos. Instead of another room between the bedroom and living room, Simon sacrificed 25% of available living space to create storage space. He built the kitchen from scratch, the bookshelves, the coat closet in the kitchen, the clothes closets that jut into the living room and a darkroom turned walk-in closet (with the arrival of Ektoras and the age of digital photography).
The rooms are replete with framed drawings and beautiful vignettes. The colors of the art as well as the basics are almost universally neutral. "This is restful, says Simon, who explains that he cannot live in a "loud environment."
Design choices throughout the house reflect the incredibly artistic eyes of both Ektoras and Simon. While I was photographing the apartment, Simon took the makings of our tea and biscuits and created a still life that Claude Monet would covet. And beware! What Simon and Ektoras have done with the bathtub in the kitchen might elicit envy that you too aren't blessed with one of your own.
This railroad flat is one of the better illustrations that a lot of money and high-end products have absolutely nothing to do with guaranteeing a successfully beautiful home. Ektoras and Simon, rather, understand the value of, and are well versed in, hard work, the ability to excel within given constraints, and an incredible sense of style.
Style: Modern / eclectic
Favorite Element: Light
Biggest Challenge: Size
What Friends Say: Everyone seems to like it, complementing us on our use of space
Biggest Embarrassment: Bathtub in kitchen area, even if we love taking a bath while looking out at the trees in the back garden.
Proudest DIY: Huge storage spaces
Biggest Indulgence: Art collection
Best Advice: In doubt, get rid of it and keep it light.
Dream Source: Minimalism