A Bright Palette Makes This Bulgarian Apartment Feel Bigger Than Its 600 Square Feet

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By Heather Corcoran / Published by Dwell
When a couple in Sofia, Bulgaria, wanted to make their apartment feel more spacious, Pavel Yanev of All In Studio gave them a modular, color-coded solution.
White appliances by Karim Rashid for Gorenje pair with concrete floors in the apartment's kitchen.

White appliances by Karim Rashid for Gorenje pair with concrete floors in the apartment's kitchen.

Split between two people, 600 square feet can quickly feel cramped. So when Pavel Yanev of All In Studio was tasked with renovating a one-bedroom apartment in Sofia, Bulgaria, he used two main strategies in the yearlong project to make the place feel as spacious as possible: color and flexible furniture.

In the bathroom, marble walls provides a sleek backdrop.

In the bathroom, marble walls provides a sleek backdrop.

The first step was defining a simple color palette of bright white, expressed through a pared-down selection of materials: concrete, marble, lacquer, and MDF. The color was chosen to "open" the space, but instead of simply painting, MDF was used to provide a variety of textured surfaces. On the wall separating the bedroom from the main living space, vertical strips draw the eye upward, while in the bedroom, squares of varying depths create a rhythmic pattern.

Instead of paint, the walls are embellished with MDF to create interesting surface textures.

Instead of paint, the walls are embellished with MDF to create interesting surface textures.

"The residents wanted clear lines and a pure white feeling."
—Pavel Yanev, designer

All In Studio designed the custom furniture, in complementary gray, to be modular, flexible, and functional. When unfolded, the sofa doubles as a bed.

All In Studio designed the custom furniture, in complementary gray, to be modular, flexible, and functional. When unfolded, the sofa doubles as a bed.

With this the simple white backdrop established, Yanev turned his focus to function. Storage is carefully hidden throughout the space, including a wall-length wardrobe in the bedroom and a cabinet system that spans the main living room wall. 

In addition, All In Studio created a custom selection of modular furniture that can be reconfigured to suit the residents' needs. The sofa's two seats swivel to face one another or can be extended to form a bed. Fabricated in charcoal gray, they're a subtle counterpoint to an otherwise colorless canvas.

In the bedroom, storage was designed to fade away into the background, while a colorful painting pops against the white backdrop.

In the bedroom, storage was designed to fade away into the background, while a colorful painting pops against the white backdrop.