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Rigillis, 200m2

Athens, Greece, 2019

Photography by Alina Lefa

This apartment, within a downtown 1958 apartment building, is filled to the brim with rare vintage pieces dutifully collected over the years, the eclectic nature of which served to guide the transformation of its many spaces. Playing with rich, moody colours, interesting textures, and a variety of opacities and lighting situations, a perfect balance is created. Bearing distinctive 60s characteristics, the building’s façade is adorned with wooden bungalow-style shudders, setting the tone for the interiors. Floor-to-ceiling glazing allows a generous amount of light inside. The original wooden floors, woodwork, door and window frames, as well as moldings and hardware were preserved and restored where necessary.

The apartment has two sections: the front hosts the public living areas and can be completely separated from the innermost private quarters, which are in the back. The walls of the common areas (from the entrance to the halls, living room and dining room) are painted in a light aqua green. The ceiling and doorframes are painted in a slightly darker hue for depth and contrast. The overall effect complements the honey tint of the floors, which was earned over decades of wear, and is copied vertically by the translucent curtains.

The focal point of the living room is the large original green Tinos-marble fireplace, nestled between two floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, custom built to fit the existing niches. The AKA-designed W coffee table, with its distinctive laurel-root veneer and electric blue trim, centers the living space. Continuing the play with complementary colours and rich textures, two gold velvet sofas are placed around a large aubergine rug to demarcate the space. An extension to the living room is created between the living and dining spaces: a small assemblage of vintage furniture is carefully arranged on a carpet specially commissioned and designed by Greek contemporary artist Philippos Theodorides.

The dining area echoes the living room’s distinct symmetries through the addition of a large tinted mirror. A heavy vintage wooden dining table, altered through the addition of two custom black lacquered extensions, allows for flexible dining arrangements. Above the table, the oversized AKA-designed Double Margarita chandelier, composed of interlaced horizontal and vertical metal tubes, dominates the space. The balcony, which is directly accessible to each of these spaces, serves as a small garden: overflowing with tropical plants, it creates a buffer from the busy street beyond.

The kitchen was completely redesigned. The alternating green and white cabinet doors with wooden trim were inspired by a 1960s chest of drawers by Gio Ponti. The main bathroom, previously renovated in the 1980s with pink porcelain accessories and painted tiles, was left almost untouched, as a statement capsule room. The small WC embraces the lack of natural light; dark terracotta painted walls suggest an intimate space and ceiling mirrors aid in spreading the low light emanating from two brass appliques installed above the sink.