Navy Blue, Taipei

Lush greenery and overlapping concrete buildings make a stunning backdrop to this beautifully reconstructed 33sqm/355sqft apartment, a modern respite in the midst of Taipei’s traditional Wenshan District. Drawing inspiration from the minimalist aesthetics of Japanese living, designer Anny Hong from AODA Interior Design blended natural elements with a contemporary colour palette to evoke a sense of tranquillity.

Initially, Hong started with a blank canvas, with only the flooring and bathrooms installed. By dividing the area with thoughtfully crafted partitions, the apartment transforms from an open space to sectioned-off private areas when needed.

Panels and shelves are integrated vertically and horizontally to make the most of the limited space. Multi-level cupboards and a partially hidden bookshelf doubling as a bedside table on the opposite side provide additional storage.

The entrance opens up into an easily accessed mirrored side cabinet and large rattan cupboard, ideal for storing shoes and clothes. Light wood elements and rattan sourced from Nantou, Taiwan can be seen throughout the apartment, incorporating a sense of breathability and tradition into this modern space.

This is visually contrasted with striking dark blue and black, giving the apartment the illusion of being much larger. Unique rattan highlights are also showcased in Rattan in Concrete Jungle, a young family’s Hong Kong hideaway.

With golden lamps hanging from above, the terrazzo kitchen island takes centre stage, dividing the living area and enhancing the communal kitchen. An abundance of storage is provided with ample space underneath for kitchen appliances, along with a wooden cabinet above covered with fluted glass that helps reduce visual weight.

The adjoining living and dining areas merge smoothly with the kitchen, with the curved navy TV wall providing a contrasting focal point in the middle of concrete and rattan furnishings. Versatility is a hallmark of this thoughtfully designed home, as shown by the large desk on wheels and expandable coffee table, allowing effortless customisation to cater to the owner’s ever-changing needs.

A wooden grill sliding door gracefully establishes a subtle partition between the public and private spaces, leading into a wardrobe and bedroom connected by a minimalist iron staircase.

Hong played around with the use of multi-story spaces, with three rattan-finished cabinets making up a walk-in wardrobe, customised to the height of the owner. Above that is a loft-style bedroom where inspiration from Japan is prominent in the layout — a simple mattress is arranged neatly next to wooden built-in shelves.

Using the original bathroom space as a foundation, the ceiling was raised to make it more spacious and light-filled, along with an accessible shower seat being added.

The transition is seamless between the different living areas, with each space flowing effortlessly into the next, accentuated by the consistent Japanese-style raw concrete flooring.

One of Hong’s design philosophies is to ensure all spaces are practical and comfortable, no matter the size. With the need for small apartments rising due to land constraints, Hong emphasises that by figuring out “the design of multifunctional furniture, the proper use of storage space, the use of situation and colour, the planning of interior space…”, solutions can be found. The design of Navy Blue combines sophistication and practicality, showcasing the transformative potential of space and materials.

For more Japanese-inspired apartments, take a look at this Ryokan-inspired condo in Bangkok or for more brilliant hues of blue, check out the Sola House in Madrid.

Images by NeverTooSmall