4 posts tagged


Interior. Spacious home

  1. Don’t do it
  2. Lowered furniture
  3. Hanging furniture
  4. Shelves from floor to ceiling
  5. Light color of a floor
  6. Floor countering is the same all over the floor
  7. Wide mirrors from the floor to ceiling
  8. Total minimalism
  9. Optimisation of a storage
  10. Use transparent furniture
  11. Transparent zoning
  12. Elements
  13. Panoramic Windows
  14. Lights out from a ceiling

Don’t do it

We want to live in a spacious house. To make a home larger, we can do two things: (obviously) make more square meters or improve any interior. To make more square meters, we spend more money on construction or save money on some details.

I lived in Russia, where everyone wanted more space with a lower price per square meter. So people don’t hire an architect; instead, they buy the readymade blueprints for 500-2000$. They save money on materials, make cheaper windows and doors, and save money on an interior. Many houses in Russia look like a square (because you get more space and spend less money on walls) with small windows and a thin metallic door with a height of 2 meters.
Most of the time, there are a lot of rooms that you don’t need to use. Inside of a house, the furniture will be cheap.

Usually, people argue: ‚Äúin¬†the¬†future, we will make a¬†good interior design, buy new furniture, etc.‚ÄĚ Most of¬†the¬†time, everything will stay the¬†same until the¬†cheap furniture is not¬†destroyed.

Is it your dream house? No. If you want to make a dream house, you should understand what you need inside a home what functions you do there. You don’t follow the will of making more square meters. Instead, you spend more money on suitable materials that will last longer and be nice to touch or look at. You spend money on an architect who plans the house for your family’s needs and builders who do the high-quality job.

To compensate for the lost square meters, we may expand an interior using 14 methods:

Lowered furniture

The most comfortable furniture is a small one, making the room look spacious.

Use the¬†good furniture‚ÄĒfor¬†example, the¬†chair of¬†Charles Eames. The¬†designer spent eight years finding the¬†correct form and¬†size of¬†an¬†armchair. I am sure that you have seen his chairs. It costs 8k$ for¬†the¬†original version and¬†1k$ for¬†a¬†replica. This chair is also low.

Use white or one-color furniture to expand the room. Your eyes slide around the house so that you will feel calm. The low contrasting furniture (e. g., black with white) also will expand the room, but not as good as one-color furniture.

Hanging furniture

The more floor you see, the more space you feel. If you place a wardrobe, dresser, bedside table, toilet, sink on a floor, it will feel like a wall, like the end of space. When the furniture is hung on a wall and is hovered by 25-40 cm, you may see the real end of a room and feel more spacious.

Shelves from floor to ceiling

In a previous tip, I said that the furniture should hang on the wall without being attached to the floor. There is another variant with wardrobes and a kitchen. The closet is a huge element, and the closet will focus a lot of attention on it. We should make this element less attentive. Therefore, we make a wardrobe look like a part of a wall.

Light color of a floor

Use wooden floor made of ash, whitened ash, or whitened oak (but not the oak with natural color, it is too yellow). Don’t use the parquet (wooden floor) with many knots, and it clogs (litter) the view and makes space look smaller.
Use a¬†wide parquet with a¬†chamfer¬†‚Äď it is costly but¬†looks excellent.

Floor countering is the same all over the floor

You should use the same wood in every room, without any separators between rooms.
If you use a different kitchen material, choose the light porcelain stoneware that does not have high contrast with the wooden floor. Don’t use any separators between the different materials. The floor should be on one level, without elevation (height difference).

Dont use a skirting board. Usually, it is a signal of a bad job of a builder. Professionals make the wooden floor so close to the wall that you don’t see the ending of a wood. (rephrase)
Skirting boards make ceilings look lower.

The walls should be done out of white color or whitened ash, and white expands the space.

Wide mirrors from the floor to ceiling

Never use glossy floors and¬†ceilings¬†‚Äď they will also mirror every object, but¬†they will overwhelm the¬†space so that gloss will always stress your eyes.

Total minimalism

Hide everything: wires, toys, clothes, photos, and even books.
All the gadgets: acoustics, projectors, TVs should have a minimalistic design.
It would be best if you always kept everything clean, and¬†this is a¬†massive problem if you are not¬†decent. In¬†Sweden and¬†other Nordic countries, people live with one principle¬†‚Äď if you pass out now, the¬†house should look new. All the¬†minimalistic design lives on¬†this principle.

Optimisation of a storage

The storage in any interior should be everywhere: under the bed, in the walls, under the stairs, etc. There is always insufficient space to store things. One of the ways to increase storage without losing space is to use a cabinet (shelves) instead of interior partitions (walls). It will not make your sound isolation lower.

Another method is to use cabinets (wardrobe) all over the wall but make them thin (40cm in width). You may hang the coats shirts in parallel with a wall. To do it, you should turn the pipe for hangers perpendicularly to a wall.

Use transparent furniture

It is hard to find nice transparent furniture. However, the space looks bigger with the transparent table or chair, and your eye does not focus on such furniture. But in the long run, the transparent furniture will gain scratches and look bad. That is why the idea of working or dining table is not the best one.

Transparent zoning

If you have a toilet in a  bedroom, you don’t need the opaque (non-transparent) walls because only you or your spouse will use it, but the room size will increase significantly. For privacy reasons, you may use roller blinds (curtains).
The walls made of glass cancel the noise only if the glass is well attached to the normal wall. Otherwise, the sound and the smell will go through small holes on the edges. That is why you should not save money on specialists.

You may make the transparent glass on the higher part of a wall, which will make the place more spacious without losing privacy.

If your house is too small, you may combine some rooms without making a wall. You may combine a living room, dining room, and a bedroom. Just think about ventilation and keep your room clean. Your house will look much more spacious, and you can invite many friends.


You may also make wide double doors (from floor to ceiling).
You may use only tulle or tulle with grey curtains.
Use transparent wardrobe rooms.

Panoramic Windows

Panoramic windows make nature the part of your house, increasing the space significantly. Your windows should be made from floor to ceiling. Also, it is important to hire professionals to make the right isolation, or your windows will become wet every winter, the mold will appear, and you will have to reinstall the new windows, which can cost thousands of dollars.

But don’t forget: the location is essential. Choose the picturesque places close to infrastructure. Don’t build such a house in a village with awful houses, and don’t have high fences on your territory. You will destroy harmony.
The¬†good thing is to¬†place a¬†house close to¬†a¬†picturesque place, but¬†outside of¬†it¬†‚Äď in¬†a¬†moderate place¬†‚Äď you will make the¬†average place beautiful, and¬†the¬†home would not¬†touch the¬†scenic landscape.

Lights out from a ceiling

Have you ever thought, why do we need light in our house? Of course, to move around a house, cook, and take a shower. But what exactly do we need to light? Imagine you are in a living room. You are sitting on the sofa and, e. g., read a book or watch tv. What should be lighted? When you read a book, the only thing you want to see is the text in a book. You don’t want to see a sofa or walls, a floor to be lighted because it will distract you. Imagine coming to a fashionable restaurant for dinner. The lights are usually dimmed so that you see your partner and food. Does anyone light the sofa or a floor? not really.

Our eyes don‚Äôt like direct light, which comes from one point. In¬†old times people used the¬†chandelier in¬†the¬†middle of¬†a¬†room. The¬†problem with this method is that you can‚Äôt control the¬†light¬†‚Äď the¬†closer to¬†center elements get more light than the¬†further elements. Later, people decided to¬†place lights in¬†different parts of¬†the¬†room to¬†control the¬†lighting zones. Now, we got to¬†a¬†new level.

The indirect lights have become popular. The lights can be hidden anywhere so that you don’t see the origin of light. Light is scattered over the surface: mostly over the ceiling and walls. In the new minimalist architecture, you will not see any light sources, and there will be nothing on the ceiling. In the further articles, I will tell more about each aspect I told here.

I hope these tips have helped you. The recommendations were told by Sergei Domogatsky, a Russian architect who produces efficient fachwerk houses for the mass market.


If you plan a house or change the interior, a second opinion is essential. I explain the disadvantages of a home and give tips on improvements. I don’t just say that something is terrible. I give broad explanations based on hundred books that I have read about architecture, urban planning, design. I do it for free. Just write me an email: daniil@koveh.com.

2022   Architecture   english   interior

Ornament and crime, Adolf Loos, 1908

The main thoughts:

Make the walls around the living space, not otherwise. The planning of a house must start with understanding what people will do inside, how they will use each place. Some architects first do the house planning, and only then do they decide how people will live inside the house. After panning the outer walls, they decide where and how the bedroom, bath, living room, and kitchen will be located. An example is when a person wants to have three floors, or 600 square meter area, and he thinks afterward how to fill the place.

For me, that was a crucial thought. Did you think an architect should plan walls, windows, stairs only after planning the people’s behavior inside the house? I guess it is tough to imagine. Most of us buy or rent an apartment, and we initially have the plan of an apartment, and based on this plan, we make the walls between rooms and place the tables, sofas, beds, and other furniture. But when you build your own house, you must think conversely! Remember!

Vienna is a Potemkin village. Potemkin village is the name of fake houses, where only a façade is made. Potemkin villages were built in Russian Empire when the emperor traveled around different regions. Mayor Potemkin did not want the emperor to see poor villages, and he decided to build fake houses on the main streets so that the emperor would see the flourishing city. The homes had only one wall and were constructed out of wood, were colored, and had ornaments made of gypsum.

Vienna has a similar thing. Houses in Vienna look gorgeous; however, most of the façade is just a cheap decoration made of gypsum instead of stone, which doesn’t have any functions.

Without the Façade, the house of the 15th and 17th centuries will look the same as that of the 19th century. For a long time, the only difference in homes was the Façade style: baroque, classicism, modern, neo-gothic, etc.

You can’t fake one material for a more expensive one. The fake will always be seen. In Vienna, architects usually make hardwood out of a soft one or paint the normal wood to the red transparent color to look like the teak wood (red hardwood, very expensive).

There were no prohibitions of fake architecture because no one was faking before. If there are no robbers, you don’t need any punishment for robbery. Nobody was faking the architecture styles before. Only when the new cheap luxury-imitating materials became popular, the process of faking start to flourish.

Ornament is terrible, and once we will eliminate it. The Ornament is just the time spent for nothing. People of baroque times (when people discovered purple color, just a fact) spent money on needless luxury things, and people became poorer. Still, people in the new era are conscious about our needs, and we understand that some wills are stupid. That is why we became richer.

Let’s take two persons having the same income and living simultaneously. One is a baroque person, and one is a modern person. The baroque person will eat the peacocks, pheasant, lobsters with silver spoons on a table made of teak wood with the picturesque ornaments. He will probably wear clothes made of silk, covered with gold, purple color. He will have diamond rings and other stuff. The modern person (of the 20th century) will not have any ornament in his house, neither on the clothes, boots, or furniture. He will wear a black suit to not stand out from the crowd. His power is in his mind. Without spending money on luxury and Ornament, the modern person will save money and grow his capital not need to work in the future.

The modern person will work less. Workers of the previous era spent most of the time on decorations so that they had to work 20 hours per day to have the same production as a person of the modern age (20th century). Now people in America work 8 hours per day, and soon people will work 4 hours a day if they forget about all unnecessary details.

Some architects kill harmony with nature. A¬†peasant in¬†a¬†small village will build a¬†house without an¬†architect. If there is clay nearby, he will buy bricks; if not¬†‚Äď he will use wood and¬†stones from the¬†lake nearby. The¬†Peasant will ask the¬†carpenter (woodworker) to¬†make a¬†roof, and¬†he does not¬†know if the¬†roof will be beautiful or¬†ugly until it is built. Will the¬†house be beautiful? The¬†house will be as¬†beautiful as¬†a¬†lake, a¬†tree, or¬†a¬†horse. It will be a¬†part of¬†nature.

photos are taken from google and added to have a feeling of harmony with nature.

Architects can come to a place and draw the house as he or the customer imagines. He may use materials or technologies that are not usual for these places. The house may be great but may also kill nature. The house will take all the attention to itself. A peasant (subconsciously) understands that the house is a part of nature, and he will try to live in harmony as his ancestors lived.

Сity dwellers (urban citizens) don’t have a history. They have no sense of beauty and are not attached to one style. They live in a mix of everything.

The good architecture does not look nice in pictures. The architecture is not 2-dimensional, and a house is not built by pen. The architecture of Adolf Loos looks too simple on paper and photos but is great in real life. And you know why it is better? Look at other buildings built that time, look at the cafes of modern style with ornaments, that, of course, look great on paper, and where are they? Most of them are closed or have a new design because such architecture becomes not pretty even for the creator. In 3 years, the architect starts to hate his Ornament.

Someone may say that regular change of style, furniture, etc., is suitable for an economy because factories will produce more and more people will have jobs. Such logic exists. When the house is on fire, people are happy because a new, better building will be constructed in that place. But it is not ok, because it is just a capital loss for nothing.

Architecture is not art, except for monuments and gravestones. Everyone should like a House. But art is how an artist sees the world; you may like it or not. Art does not have a function (except for evoking emotions). However, the house satisfies the specific need. The picture should lead out of the usual comfort. The house should serve this comfort. The art is revolutionary; the house is conservative. Art opens new ways and thinks about the future. The house thinks about presents. A person likes everything that serves comfort and hates everything that leads out of it. So, he likes a house and hates art. And yes, architecture is not art. Unfortunately, today (20th century), most houses are liked by two people: the architect and a developer (a private home customer).

Adolf Loos is Austria‚Äôs most known architect of¬†the¬†early 20th century. His two masterpieces are the¬†Loos Haus and¬†Caf√© ‚ÄúMuseum.‚ÄĚ

Loos Haus, now here is the Raiffeisenbank.
Café Museum (I took photos from google)

Adolf Loos has written two best-seller books: ‚ÄúOrnament and¬†crime‚ÄĚ and¬†‚ÄúWhy A¬†Man Should Be Well-dressed.‚ÄĚ

In this article, I summarized the thoughts of Adolf loos and the thoughts that I experienced reading this book. If you liked this format, I would continue writing such articles. I have great books in my home library that I will be happy to talk about, and I also know tens of great books about architecture and urban planning. Just write a comment or write a private message. I will be very grateful.

2022   Architecture   Austria   Books

COR-TEN¬ģ Steel

Ziedlejas welness resort

COR-TEN¬ģ steel became popular among architects. There are three reasons for¬†that:

  • Corten needs zero maintenance.
  • Corten changes colors and¬†becomes more beautiful year after year.
  • Corten is a¬†sustainable material

COR-TEN¬ģ was invented for¬†building coal carriages in¬†1930s America. Corten steel plate might look like it‚Äôs rusty. Still, thanks to¬†clever manipulation in¬†its processing, the¬†outer oxidization protects the¬†steel from further corrosion, as¬†well as¬†making it look excellent indeed. There‚Äôs no¬†need to¬†paint Corten, and¬†it changes the¬†color itself over time. Last century Corten was the¬†metal of¬†choice for¬†containers and¬†other shipping elements. More recently, though, it‚Äôs become the¬†material of¬†choice for¬†many artists, architects, and¬†interior designers. Corten steel cladding is popular and¬†often used for¬†buildings, giving it a¬†tough coating against the¬†elements and¬†an¬†industrial-looking edge.

How is it made

Weathering steel is an alloy, which is what makes it so resistant to the elements. The addition of nickel, copper, and chromium at the production stage means that a protective patina will develop on the surface of the metal over time.

Patina Formation Process

Under the influence of the wet and dry cycles, the rusting process of this steel initially proceeds in the same way as with ordinary metal. However, over time, the rust develops into a layer of patina, and its color changes from orange-brown to light or dark brown.
The¬†rate of¬†change and¬†the¬†final color depends on¬†the¬†ambient atmospheric conditions and¬†contaminants in¬†the¬†air¬†‚Äď sulfur will accelerate the¬†oxidation process and¬†give the¬†patina a¬†darker color. Frequent changes in¬†dry and¬†wet conditions will also accelerate oxidation.

types of¬†COR-TEN¬ģ

There are 5 types of¬†corten: cold-rolled COR-TEN¬ģ A, hot-rolled COR-TEN¬ģ A, COR-TEN¬ģ B, C, and¬†D. You can find more on¬†ssab website

With which materials to use

Wood, glass, concrete, and bricks are the perfect combinations for corten steel. As always in architecture, you are allowed to use up to 3 different materials for the façade. The most popular combination is: concrete, glass, and corten steel.

WU, glass, corten steel with a small amount of metal on the other side


Corten steel Sheet is also excellent for¬†a¬†variety of¬†punching styles. Round, square or¬†rectangular holes, texts, logos, images¬†‚Äď the¬†possibilities are practically unlimited. The¬†backlighting of¬†the¬†panels will highlight the¬†selected design.


I have found two types of¬†corten steel¬†‚Äď the¬†normal one and¬†the¬†weathered corten steel. I guess the¬†weathered steel has higher protection from rain etc.

The corten weathered steel sheet costs from 41£ (55$) per m2 with 1.5mm width to 200£ (250$) with a width of 6 mm.

The corten weathered steel sheet costs from 120£ (150$) per m2 with 1.5mm width to 350£ (450$) with a width of 6 mm.
However, this is a retail price; the wholesale price will be lower. The company that I used to get the price is located in the UK; their prices for labor are high. Therefore, in Russia, this technology costs less.

note: the dollar prices are not precise, and the price excludes VAT

Why not to give a Bus Stop the second function

Rintala Eggertsson Architects

This is the bus stop Kressbad in the Austrian town. this building also has a spectator room. Instead of just staying at a bus stop, people may watch the game from above.

The exterior is made out of sliced light wood. it looks gorgeous and it is also easy to change the broken or spoiled slices of wood.
The interior is made out of black-colored wood with a glass panel. I guess, the panel is used to recline yourself (to lean on it) in case if you wanna stay, and as a protection from falling

I like this picture¬†‚Äď there is the¬†Russian car on¬†the¬†background
2021   Architecture   Austria   –ź–≤—Ā—ā—Ä–ł—Ź