New York designer Susan Knof remodels a penthouse – the highlight being the absolute choice of either staying open to the elements or choosing to stay completely private… |
Uniting two separate apartments - an east and a west facing one - into a single 3,600 sq ft space with incredible panoramic views over the city and adjacent mountains in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, the designer controls the moods and ambience of this 3600 open modern penthouse, by the simple mechanism of a well-planned spatial layout and the manipulation of light.
Fitted out with floor-to-ceiling glazing all around to bring in the scenic outdoors, the home is anointed with an open plan to create a single, luxurious, bright and open environment, which would make the best use of the incoming light at different times of the day; and a “light-privacy balance”, where sheer soft voiles co-exist with black-out blinds allowing the inmates complete control of the degree of privacy desired.
Luxury is introduced via material and stylistic overtures border on the exclusive: a neutral envelope with a pale-wash of timber flooring and gentle grey-toned marble flooring with subtle and beautiful natural striations; natural-dyed, full-height grey-veneered walls to the pure white of the kitchen, and subdued soft natural materials come alive with personality accents, and strong and punchy colours, as the light-filled space exudes cheerfulness and vitality. Ingenuity is subtly incorporated via large aesthetic mirrors and use of glass that brings in transparency and opens the home to the exterior views from any/all angles. It is also camouflaged in the architectural challenge of reorganizing the mechanical layout to enable unhampered installation of curtaining by bringing the air handling units inside the internal core walls and concealing them in custom joinery units.
Custom-designed furniture, bespoke joinery, select chic light fittings, rich material finishes like, white satin matte lacquer inlaid with leather, two-tone textured finishes, brushed satin stainless steel, custom-cut, small, rectilinear natural limestone tiles, acid-etched glass, honed quartzite, metallic copper penny round mosaics, dyed timber, quilting, and marble finishes in Thasos, soft pink rosa egeo and opal white… along with signature pieces of furniture pep up the space, introducing the ‘uber cool’ appeal that provides the expected level of luxury, with an overall feel of understated sophistication.
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