You can stop looking, we’ve found it: the smartest little studio apartment you ever did see. Located in a formerly dilapidated palazzo in Italy’s northern region of Brescia, this studio—designed by Brooklyn-based architect and furniture designer —is a well-appointed but minimalist haven for one. However, while the merits of an historical Italian palazzo are many, so too are the obstacles that come with renovating it.
Preda was met with a trifold challenge: to incorporate natural light, electricity, and plumbing into the roughly 700-square-foot space. Though the apartment is small in size, Preda’s task was no small feat. He used sheetrock to cover the existing walls, which were a mix of brick and stone, in order to facilitate modern (and much-needed) elements like electricity and plumbing. He created partition walls but kept them below the full height of the ceiling to let natural light travel throughout the studio. And he left the original wood-beam ceiling exposed, painting the portion above the living room gray to add a contemporary feel.
To match the scale of the apartment, he designed the interiors with petite furnishings—like a vintage love seat as well as a custom dining table and coffee table (designed by Preda for his furniture line, ). In the bathroom, the mirror and oak vanity, built by a local millworker, are also custom. The clean lines and simplicity lend a sense of charm to the entire studio.
In Preda’s own words, he inserted modern architectural elements into a historical shell—all the while maintaining the integrity of the space. And the result is pretty darn clever.