reform identified a tremendous opportunity in accepting the challenge of remodeling this tiny, 500 square foot, studio apartment along the burgeoning waterfront of Washington, DC. The recent completion of the Wharf in Southwest in addition to new development pushing West from Nationals Park and the Yards have dramatically transformed this once sleepy neighborhood previously occupied by congressional staffers into one of the most popular residential areas of the city.

When the couple initially purchased their small, ground floor condominium in the Harbour Square Co-op – they immediately recognized the potential of this location in such close proximity to the city center and the water’s edge. The major hurdle however was that for a couple who enjoy cooking and entertaining, the compartmentalized design of the tiny apartment did not fit their lifestyle in the least.

reform suggested to our clients that to maximize the functionality and efficiency of the space and to modernize all elements within it the most effective solution would be to bring the space to a blank shell. The existing condo was completely gutted and rebuilt from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Instead of approaching the design of the new condo as a series of discreet rooms or spaces, reform began thinking of the unit as a large, open room that could be transformed depending on use and the time of day.

The bathroom and entry vestibule have been consolidated toward the rear of the unit and the entire space was wrapped with floor to ceiling cabinets. The cabinets serve the practical function of storage, but also contain the programmed space of the kitchen and a hidden murphy bed for sleeping. The design allows the space to be entirely opened up so that the clients can entertain groups of people around the large central island and throughout the large living space which extends out onto the oversized exterior patio. At night, the bed is pulled down into place and the living area is transformed into a comfortable master bedroom creating a space the now fits the lifestyle of our clients perfectly.

The selection of materials and surfaces further reinforced our desire to make the space feel larger than it actually is. By using high gloss, pure white acrylic cabinet faces, polish quartz countertops and bright color ceramic and porcelain tiles, surfaces flicker between being perceived as discrete versus identifiable and reflective and blending into one another. This reflective “mirroring” allows the occupant to feel as if though the space continues past surfaces. Subtle, phenomenal symmetries mimic the perceived symmetry of organized space.