Interior designer Ariella Azaria-Berkowitz is used to being given free rein by her clients. But in this project, the designer surprised her clients twice: they only saw their apartment for the first time at the end of the project, and in addition, they discovered that the bedrooms were fully concealed behind hidden doors
The 170 sqm sea-view apartment belongs to a couple, both ex-CEO’s, whose grown children have left home. The original property was a four-bedroom apartment which Azaria-Berkowitz renovated into a three-bedroom.
Two of the new bedrooms were designed to be small and functional and serve the husband’s children from his previous marriage on weekends. The available space that Azaria-Berkowitz created was incorporated into the main bedroom turning it into an indulgent, large, and luxurious master bedroom, and the kitchen too was considerably enlarged.
“The biggest surprise for the owners was the change to the bedroom entrances”, says the designer, Azaria-Berkowitz. “The doors were concealed with wall-like cladding, without door frames or handles, creating complete privacy”, she explains. “When the bedroom doors are closed, you can’t even tell they are there. It was amusing to see the owners’ reaction when they entered the property for the first time and asked where the rooms disappeared to”, she smiles.
“When I plan a new project, the design concept starts brewing as soon as I see the space for the first time. The design direction, materials, and color palettes all become very clear to me”, says Azaria-Berkowitz. “That is why the artistic freedom I get from my clients in designing and planning properties, gives me true freedom of expression. There is no doubt that the responsibility is huge, but it leads to incredible results”.
The apartment was designed in an elegant-urban style and incorporates clean lines and rich materials as well as items that have been personally designed by Azaria-Berkowitz herself and brought to life by a variety of leading tradesmen.
The entrance to the property leads to the main space which was tiled with light cream granite porcelain resembling a unique parquet. These tiles were fitted across the entire property with the exception of the master bedroom, where the use of black granite porcelain was chosen for a bold and dramatic effect.
The property color palette also includes grays and blacks with touches of orange and bronze that are apparent throughout, except for the children’s bedrooms.
A large sofa was positioned in the lounge and was the only item of furniture that moved with the owners from their previous apartment. The rest of the furniture was sourced to compliment the dominant sofa; two fabric armchairs, a coffee table, a stool with in-built storage space, and a blackened oak library. The dining area was custom-designed by Ariella Azaria-Berkowitz and includes a base made of two metal frames and partially processed blackened oak.
The brown dining chairs match the lounge rug that was custom ordered by Ariella Azaria-Berkowitz.
The kitchen is designed, in its entirety, in dark ebony wood with a dark gray marble worktop. The attention to detail is evident in features such as the mirror cladding behind the dining island which allows those sitting with their back to the sea view to enjoy its reflection.
As mentioned, the entry to the bedrooms is through push-open hidden doors. These lead to the two children’s bedrooms, a bathroom, guest toilets, and the master bedroom that is situated at the end of the corridor.
The master bedroom was divided into four well-defined areas; a sleeping area, a wardrobe area, a bathroom, and a utility room that includes practical storage spaces. The design is dramatic and seamlessly continues that of the rest of the apartment.
A floating bed upholstered in gold velvet and framed with led lighting was positioned in the sleeping area. The ceiling above the bed was lowered and fitted with a rectangular light fixture measuring the same size as the bed.
The wall behind the bed, as well as the one next to it, were covered in black and bronze imitation leather printed with large triangular shapes.
There is a richness of textiles in the bedroom: curtains, rugs, and accent cushions in orange and gold contribute to the dramatic effect. The en-suite bathroom continues the bedroom’s design concept with a black ceiling, dark glass doors, and a color palette that is urban and dramatic.
“The flat is very harmonious and there is a continuity of the design theme throughout it. You can see the same colors in the lounge as you can in the room furthest from it, with blacks, browns, bronze, and orange, all contributing to the continuous and homogeneous feel”, summarizes Ariella Azaria-Berkowitz.