Stair of the week floats in modernized 538 sq. ft. apartment

Iuri Niccolai
© Iuri Niccolai

Located in the heart of Florence, Italy, this small apartment features a minimalist stair, sleeping loft, and a view out onto the city's Renaissance treasures.

Smaller apartments are quite common in older European cities like Paris, Barcelona and Madrid, and with housing prices on the rise in many of these urban areas, an increasing number of people are choosing to renovate older, smaller, more affordable apartments that are centrally located, instead of moving out of the city.

In the heart of Florence, Italy, Pierattelli Architetture has redone this 50-square-metre (538-square-foot) apartment in a contemporary fashion, while aiming to maximize space by adding in a sleeping loft, and installing custom-made furniture made with "millimetric precision," thus freeing up more space than was previously possible in the original layout.

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

Upon coming into the apartment's entry hall, one turns to come into an impressive double-height space in the living room. Coloured in a contrast of white beside an elegant marine blue, the apartment's walls are kept relatively unadorned in order to eliminate any sense of visual chaos.

That same blue is echoed in the denim-clad, customized sofa and bench that occupies one side of the living room. Against that backdrop, the pale-coloured herringbone flooring adds dynamic visual interest. The scheme is dominated by a round arch that lends a sense of proportion and distinctive character to the space.

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

Coming into the kitchen, that restrained sense of minimalism is carried through in the cabinetry, appliances and in the floating dining table in the corner.

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

Beyond the kitchen, there's a small grey door that leads into an extra closet space.

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

The new scheme also manages to fit in a floating staircase that doesn't look too bulky, as it seamlessly incorporates a structural member that holds up the sleeping loft above. Notably, this structural element takes a bend and disappears into the wall, instead of touching down on the ground, further reducing visual clutter. The client has also chosen to hang their bike here, underneath the stairs.

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

Upstairs, the sleeping loft is ringed in by a set of glass partitions that won't block out the light; beyond the bedroom is a small door that leads to extra storage space.

The "jewel" of the apartment is its tiny window here that offers a framed view of the dome of Santo Spirito, one of the city's many Renaissance-era churches.

Iuri Niccolai© Iuri Niccolai

While living outside of the city might mean more a wider choice of more affordable and larger homes, many people -- especially young professionals -- are choosing to ditch driving and opting to live in cities where everything is available and where communities tend to be more walkable. To see more, visit Pierattelli Architetture, Instagram and Facebook.

Stair of the week floats in modernized 538 sq. ft. apartment
Located in the heart of Florence, Italy, this small apartment features a minimalist stair, sleeping loft, and a view out onto the city's Renaissance treasures.

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