This 400-Square-Foot Modern Brazil Home Feels So Much Larger Than It Is

published Feb 16, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Square feet
Sq ft
House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Post Image
(Image credit: Manuel Sá)

Project by: Filipe Battazza and Raoni Mariano of Fábrica Arquitetos
Location: São Paulo, Brazil

This professional project is one of those amazing examples of how you can do so much with so little when you harness the power of design. Engineered by architects, using a lot of sleek materials, this exact renovation might be out of reach for some, but it’s still filled with tons of ideas you can steal to make a small home work (and look) so much better.

“The project consists of the refurbishment of a 38-square-meter [409-square-foot] apartment in São Paulo, Brazil, in which the main goal was to optimize the space and produce the sensation of wideness through material and carpentry,” wrote the designers Filipe Battazza and Raoni Mariano of Fábrica Arquitetos, in their submission.

On the architect’s website, you can see how the floor plan was changed in the remodel. As you can see, what was removed from the small space was mostly older sliding doors. But the main areas of the space—where the bathroom is, the kitchen—weren’t moved. What really makes this small space so functional is the built-ins in every room, as well as well-placed sliding doors. And the way they used materials in the space is what makes the home so beautifully stunning.

(Image credit: Manuel Sá)

“To do that we decided to work with lines and furniture that extended longitudinally in the space, integrating areas that were separated, like the living room and the terrace. In this new open space, the flooring was sectioned to mark the space designated to the kitchen and service, where we applied an industrial blue tile. The social area—where we have the office, living room, and a table for meals—received a natural wooden oak floor that extends towards the bedroom. The layout we designed for the blue tile forms the image of a ‘V’, connecting to the chevron layout of the wood floor.”

(Image credit: Manuel Sá)

By using the same material/color for much of the living space’s walls and built-ins, the room is saved from feeling too heavy or dark. Physical space/air underneath the built-ins makes the space feel airy, too. The use of straight lines adds to the minimal, modern vibe. And check out that simple wood grate/cover built over the air conditioning unit, disguising it… that’s something that could be DIYed by someone handy.

“Space is complemented by two main furniture objects that serve both areas and perform different functions alongside its extension. For the service area, we designed bicolor furniture where the lower part it is made of blue MDF, matching with the blue tile at the floor, meanwhile, the upper part is white, such as the wall painting, creating two plans that reinforce the wideness of the space. The social area is defined by an “L” shaped furniture made of Tauari wood, in which we have different surfaces designated for working at the office, the television, and as a bench for meals. Besides that, it houses two sliding doors that separate and integrate the bedroom whenever it is necessary.”

I love the details in the kitchen area… the corners of the cabinets have triangle-shaped pulls. The blue sliding door helps conceal a large appliance. And the backsplash tile design could also be DIYed.

(Image credit: Manuel Sá)

“In that way, the apartment was reconfigured within a few actions, but with great visual and spatial impact. Starting with three basic components: floor, furniture, and color.”

• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Project Submission Form.