Armano Linta home and studio

Interior Design

Instead of a living room, bedroom, office etc., we have a big lively room and a small quiet room. Two complementary atmospheres, instead of predetermined uses – that’s what we created during the renovation of our flat. Scroll down for some surprise photos of our reality.

We happily use those spaces to live and work, as if they were two superposed layers, each requiring a big lively space and small quiet one. No wonder the requirements are similar: Truth be told, “living” and “working” are artifical categories. Life is one and whole. What matters is whether or not what you do makes sense to you.

Sometimes you want to do something with a lot of action or people. In the crowd, in a big space, with the sound of people talking, with music, kitchen smells, hundreds of colourful post-its, on the dance floor. And sometimes you need to focus, or relax, or talk privately, or get immersed, or just sleep in peace.

Sometimes, though, two people need opposite atmospheres at the same time. Sometimes one person needs to change the atmosphere during the same day, or even the same hour. And so we created two rooms, a big and lively one, and a small and quiet one.

The big room has so far been a living room, a photo studio, a workshop/play space for up to 20 people, a co-working space, a handcrafts space, a party space, a bedroom for 10 people, and more.

The small room has been a bedroom, a wood-working workshop, a space for silent work, a telephone room, a meditation space, an interview room, and more.

All these transformations are possible because our furniture is light and/or on wheels and/or easy to (dis)assemble. Furthermore, the disposition of rooms and their relationship with the exterior (view, sunlight in different parts of the day) supports their atmospheres.

In addition to that, the ceiling lights (recessed LEDs) are equally spaced so that the desks can be anywhere. The electrical and network sockets are in the ceiling, with flexible “umbillical cords” leading cables to the desks via many hooks on the ceiling, so that we can move the desks while the computers are plugged in.

When, instead of the intense, white ceiling light good for desk work, we need some relaxing ambience, we can turn on the indirect lighting: LED strips around the three “boxes”: the archive/pantry, bathroom and balcony. All three “boxes” are clad in natural materials (coconut, cork, fir wood), which give a nice hue to the reflected light, but also feel good when touched, and absorb sound.

That is why we can happily live-work (architecture, design, handcrafts, facilitation, regenerative design) in 58 square meteres, even though one would think one needs bigger, separate spaces for that.

But the “secret” does not lie in the furniture or, even less, the style of the space. It’s all about the fact that we managed to deconstruct, in our minds, the notions of bedrooms, living rooms and offices. We managed to sense our deeper needs: How we want to feel and what we want to do.

All “rooms” should be the result of finding good ways to satisfy those needs. Sometimes it’s good to follow the custom or the standards. And sometimes it isn’t. Nothing should be presumed to be self-explanatory. Even when you don’t have a lot of time, it’s good to use some deep questions to reassess the “normal.”

For example: “Do I really need this?, Is there a better way to achieve it?, Do I feel good with this?, Is this the leftover of some old wish that doesn’t reflect who I am anymore?, Did I get stuck to a magazine photo?, What kinds of life situations am I imagining here?, Am I trying to impress someone with this?, Which part of me wants this?, Who do I want to share this with?”

Like it or not, our spaces shape our behaviour, thoughts, feelings and relationships every day. We wouldn’t have gotten used to dividing our living space and living in a certain type of rooms had we not been thus conditioned over several generations. We designed our flat by trying to choose which of those “traditions” we would keep for their usefulness, and which we would discard. Which is why we had to find creative solutions that were fit for our needs.

That process is different for every person. Architecture is a tool that shapes life in accordance with who we really our. Each and every one of us. But it’s important to remember that we all change, and a good space should support our changes, ranging from small and frequent changes of activities and feelings to big changes in lifestyle and personality.

The big-and-small-room duo is a design, and a way of thinking, that currently fits us and enables us to grow. And, considering our need for change, we wonder what is next :)