400-Square-Foot Apartment From The 80’s Gets a Fresh Makeover

Set in Caminha, Portugal, this property forms part of an apartment block originally built in the 80’s. The apartment hasn’t been updated since its inception, and both its infrastructure and interior design were in need of major upheaval.


The owner enlisted the help of a local architecture firm by the name of Tiago do Vale Arquitectos. Together they created a contemporary home that’s free from the old decor and dodgy electrics.



The property is composed of just over 400-square-feet (40-square-meters). The original layout was split up into a number of small separate rooms, finished with dark materials that soaked up the light. The refurbished pad takes advantage of large openings between rooms, and plenty of light finishes.



The result is a space that’s pretty minimalist in finish, free from distraction and clutter. From the architects: “The practice’s strategy was to enhance the perception of the apartment’s light and space by utilizing both a very minimal approach and the repetition of the white color.”


But not every wall is finished in white; they’ve opted for a bright blue in the kitchen, adding some playfulness to an otherwise serious home. The apartment is split up into four spaces: the living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Three of these spaces – the living room, kitchen and bedroom – maintain an open connection with one another.


However, the bedroom can be closed off from the living room through a series of sliding doors. Hints of the apartment’s past can be found in the ceiling details and light shades. From the architects: “While this design is clearly contemporary there was always a willingness to keep textured surfaces and detailing that would still give a humanized scale to the spaces.”


For more apartments check out this futuristic apartment renovation by Studio Razavi. Or, this small London flat that gets converted into a comfortable home for a family of three. See all apartments.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Joao Morgado

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment
  1. Wall hung toilets seem more sanitary. I would like to know more about the long tube light in the bathroom. Is this an apartment for a ‘throuple’? My idealized version would have the entrance to the bath through an exterior door.