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October 30, 2012

In our March 2012 issue we toured this small Bratislava, Slovak Republic, apartment in the story True Value. Now we're having a look at another hip flat by the same firm, Gut Gut. This time the scale is a bit bigger—the renovated space is over 1,100 square-feet instead of just 516—but the smart, colorful, and cost-conscious approach is the same. So click through to see how this up-and-coming Slovakian firm recast the ground floor of an early-90s apartment building as a stylish and scrappy family home. 

The real heart of the home is the open space made up by the kitchen and dining room. Here Gut Gut employed a few inexpensive measures to get a lot of bang from a small space. Contrasting colors on the kitchen shelving, a wall of chalkboard paint (a move echoed in one of the children's bedrooms) and the grain of exposed plywood all activate a space done with pretty humble materials.
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bratislava, slovakia, bookshelf, plywood
Open shelving can cut both ways: Curate the air out of all your cool stuff and you're left with a gift shop, not a home; but beware piling everything into an open space for fear of a visual muddle. The residents of NHR strike a great balance of colorful activity without getting too precious. Neutral flooring, a dark wall help, and a blue Unfold pendant lamp from Muuto keep a sense of play without tipping into formless clutter.
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The architects designed a modular shelving system out of plywood that gets repeated throughout the house. Here, the kitchen island with induction cooktop and the bookshelves are clearly from the same family without looking like twins. A green Dish Doctor by Marc Newson for Magis adds a splash of color next to the sink.
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The living room strikes more of a mid-century note with its Sunburst clock by George Nelson and an Eames molded plywood lounge chair. The architects added a deep window seat where the kids now play. The window frame also houses a screen which, when rolled down, is used to project movies onto.
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Here's a detail that shows more of the modular shelving system. An Eames bird keeps watch over the record collection.
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Part of the renovation was to create a new master bedroom with ensuite bathroom, which now exists in what was the kitchen and dining room. This space is now enlivened by recessed shelving and an e27 pendant light by Muuto.
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Two small kids rooms sit next to one another on the other side of the kitchen from the master suite. In this one, for the owner's daughter, chalkboard paint jazzes up a modest interior.
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Being on the ground floor has its benefits—namely a bit of outdoor space. The black I-beam supporting the canopy of exposed joists offers a nice contrast to the wood above and below. Pink chairs do the trick as well.
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Gutgut Kitchen
The real heart of the home is the open space made up by the kitchen and dining room. Here Gut Gut employed a few inexpensive measures to get a lot of bang from a small space. Contrasting colors on the kitchen shelving, a wall of chalkboard paint (a move echoed in one of the children's bedrooms) and the grain of exposed plywood all activate a space done with pretty humble materials.

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