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Oceanfront Elegance: A 100-Square-Meter Apartment with Timeless Views

Hello. I am @we.seesea. I am in my second year of marriage and am still very interested in home decoration. Before marriage, I was an ordinary office worker in the IT and advertising industries. Now, I am having a career as a freelance marketer in a foreign country while studying for exams.

Since I spend a lot of time at home, I have been trying to create a home for living and resting that excels at functionality and aesthetic appeal. As my articles and photos sporadically documenting my living space have caught the attention of the editor of Today’s House, I am thrilled to share them with a broader audience like this.

Before I make the formal introduction, I will first share with you the highlight of my house- a space that embraces the vastness of the sea. You can see the ever-changing view of the sea and sky from sunrise to sunset.

To ensure a clear view of the sea and sky, I have predominantly styled the house in muted tones, including most furniture, wallpaper, and curtains. To create a serene atmosphere where the gaze can naturally find solace in every corner, each part of the house has been thoughtfully decorated. Let’s start the calm and serene story of my quiet and peaceful daily life in this house, spent gazing at the sea!

1. Floor Plan

My home is a 5-year-old apartment, completed in 2019. It is the most popular size at 100 square meters and has an essentially expanded structure, except for the master bedroom. The layout is a very standard and convenient 4bay structure, featuring 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 pantries, 1 dressing room, and 2 balconies. The original construction materials and structure were of good quality.

I made improvements, including wallpapering, film installation in the kitchen, entrance, and doors, sink replacement, and elastic coating in the balcony, while preserving the overall framework as much as possible.

2. The Before and After of the Entrance

Although the entrance may seem ordinary, it featured a variety of colors, such as dark gray, gray, brown, and white, which required a bit of organization. I figured that addressing this issue could be achieved through light film installation.

I matched the shoe cabinet, door frame, and entrance door to one tone to create a more serene and clean first impression of the house. Since the entrance is not wide, I did not install a separate middle door to maintain an open feel.

3. Corridor

The transition space from the corridor to the living room features bright colors on the walls and floor. I placed plants and small objects on the floor to add a subtle sense of weight.

4. The Before and After of the Living Room

This picture was taken on the day when the house officially became mine. The dark gray, beige, and wooden finishes gave the house a somber and weighty feel. It was a little disheartening that the blue color faded with a great ocean view in this space. I thought it would be okay to brighten the overall tone in the areas that serve as the background without substantially altering the lighting or artwork, which don’t seem to pose significant issues.

Here is the living room after the tonal adjustments. I can undoubtedly sense that the view is captured more vividly. Visitors often comment on the exceptional cleanliness of the windows when they come to our house. Being a sea enthusiast, my husband uses a robot window cleaner once a year to maintain clarity.

The sea takes on a bluish hue as winter deepens, making itself attractive. At times, I slightly regret that it’s not a floor-to-ceiling window, but I find solace in the comfort of the horizontally split window. I’m not one to spend all my time lounging on the sofa, so I have a reclining massage chair where I can enjoy listening to music or reading a book. Fortunately, my husband shares the same preference, and I consider it a blessing.

Although the sea view is beautiful, the blue illumination gives the house a colder impression than I expected. So, I incorporated fabric materials on large furniture pieces like couches and rugs to create a cozier ambiance.

I prefer this mix-and-match approach because I believe the space becomes more stylish when utilizing various materials, such as fabric, leather, stainless steel, and acrylic, within the tone and color scheme of the house.

We decided to use cream, beige, and black as the primary colors for our house. Also, we applied a white silk wallpaper with a hint of cream to the walls. Despite being wallpaper, it boasts high quality, resembling a painted finish, and the walls look sleek, giving me great satisfaction.

I was also concerned about choosing a cream color for the curtains. However, not wanting to lose the subtle ambiance, I found that they have merits, especially in blocking the intense summer sunlight, even though the blackout function was not particularly strong. In the end, I believe it was a good decision.

Usually, many people have a TV storage cabinet, but we decided not to have it to maintain the focused view of the living room. Instead, the stand-type furniture on the right serves as the only storage space. Guests often mistake it for a speaker; when I clarify that it’s a storage box, they’re always surprised. I use it to store small items I need daily, such as car keys, AirPods, and wristwatches.

Since there wasn’t enough length to cover the wall outlet without a TV cabinet, I angled the frame and am pretty satisfied with this solution.

The stand-type storage box is also easy to move, so I often relocate it next to the sofa whenever I feel like it. Matching the overall tone and style of the house makes it effortless to rearrange furniture and objects because they blend well together, which is an advantage.

5. The Before and After of the Kitchen

This was how the kitchen looked before the renovation. I preferred a D-shaped layout, so I didn’t have a big worry there and decided to keep the tiles and countertops, which were relatively in good condition. However, I assessed that the ivory and white finishes applied to the upper and lower cabinets were susceptible to contamination and discoloration, prompting me to decide that renovation was required in this area.

I believe the choice of materials and hardware would significantly influence the final look of the kitchen and bathroom. Consequently, I decided to replace the square sink and goose-neck water faucet, both made of matte nickel material.

The laundry room and refrigerator compartment are placed next to the sink. After the film installation and wallpapering, I opted for another film installation at the end of the renovation, considering that the wood finish in this section would be the only one left to do. Despite the construction cost nearly doubling due to the turning door and storage structure, the satisfaction level was exceptionally high. I consoled my initial reservations by affirming that it was a worthwhile decision.

This is the kitchen after some partial renovations. The orange sunlight imparts a serene feeling when the sun sets outside the kitchen window around four or five in the afternoon. Achieving a harmonious color match between the upper and lower cabinet films and the built-in appliances was challenging. I took a color chip to the appliance store to select a color as close as possible for the renovation.

The harmony with the existing tiles and kitchen countertop was great, and I believe it was an excellent choice because I wanted a matte and calm mood for the kitchen.

I installed aluminum blinds on the kitchen window. Considering the numerous stainless steel items in the kitchen, such as the sink, induction, and small accessories, I chose a silver color without much hesitation to give a sense of unity. I love their sophisticated feel and their high sun-blocking capability.

Finding faucets and square sinks that fit the existing sink specifications was hard, but I eventually found them from a domestic manufacturer and installed them. Made of matte nickel material, they accumulate some water stains but clean up nicely with an occasional wipe using a cleaning cloth.

From daylight, until the sun ultimately sets, I keep the blinds open for natural lighting. I particularly enjoy the mountain view beyond the window during this time.

Let me take you through every corner of my kitchen. The kitchen space is also kept quite simple.

There isn’t much to bring out to use in the kitchen except for the coffee machine and mixer. My husband has been using this coffee machine since he lived alone, and we still use this old one because we like its small size. I wanted to conceal as many wall outlets as possible in the kitchen, so I have covered them with picture frames I like.

I put away large items in the storage and displayed cute accessories.

I fell in love with the acrylic desktop clock at the Living Fair, the stylish tissue case made of stainless steel and wood, the tools that need to be dried, etc. Cooking is still tricky, so I’m filling the kitchen with visually pleasing items rather than the joy of cooking.

Selecting plates is still a work in progress, but I’m trying to coordinate them with the overall tone and ambiance of the house.

The table lamp is a handy lighting fixture in our house. We deliberately chose a matte gray shade to ensure it blends seamlessly. As it’s wireless, it serves its purpose well, whether placed next to the bed or on the dining table, wherever needed in the house.

This is a space I briefly mentioned where, like in most homes, we positioned the dining table at the juncture of the living room and kitchen. Initially, I aimed to create a physical separation for the dining area, but it didn’t work out, resulting in it staying empty for over six months after our move.

After careful consideration, I finally selected a dining table and chairs that appealed to me. The design and shape of the dining table itself contributed to creating a space with a distinctive and commanding presence.

The simple and soft lines stand out at night, contributing to a sophisticated and calm ambiance.

This is the view from the living room hallway side. The kitchen area is relatively spacious, allowing a 6.5-foot-long dining table to be placed horizontally easily. The transformation of the wood-toned storage cabinet and doors behind the dining table with white film enhances the perception of spaciousness, making the house appear broader and taller.

Given that the overall tone of the house is monotonous, I fill the space with natural seasonal stuff to avoid a lack of liveliness. After nurturing and eventually parting ways with the thriving plants last winter, I’ve been introducing a touch of charm with flowers or dried blooms for replacements. This spring, I adorned the space with vibrant yellow freesias.

In the summer, I brought green eucalyptus branches. If you take good care of them, they can last for about three months so that you can be with them for a long time.

This recent addition is a curly willow with attractive twisted branches. Its low maintenance and perfect fit in the empty hallway make me inclined to bring it in regularly.

I fill the space in the middle of winter with items that evoke a Christmas vibe. I like it as it allows me to embrace a stylish atmosphere without incurring significant costs.

Isn’t the Christmas swag hung on the front door adorable?

6. Bedroom

Moving on to the bedroom, I intended to create a space dedicated to sleep, resulting in a minimalistic decor. To counter any perceived emptiness, I enhance the ambiance with a mobile. Affordably priced and available in a surprisingly diverse range of designs, hanging something that complements each space proves to have an excellent interior effect, making it a highly recommended addition.

In the house, the bedroom offers a view of the sea. However, I’ve put on slightly dark curtains due to the intense morning sunlight.

I place a rug next to the bed as the season gets colder. It adds a cozy look, and the feel against my feet when I wake up evokes a comforting sensation. Before bedtime, I always use a sleep mask and pillow mist placed on the bedside table.

I have a sideboard across from the bed, a piece of furniture I’ve used since before getting married. I brought it to our newlywed home because I found it pretty. On top of it, I’ve placed air fresheners, room sprays, small ornaments, and other eye-catching items.

I sometimes place a table lamp on the sideboard, adding an extra layer of mood to the room. However, turning it off before bed is a bit of a hassle, so I only occasionally place it there.

The bedroom has a vanity, a dressing room, and a bathroom. I also installed a film on the vanity and matched its color with the kitchen’s. There’s more hidden storage space than expected, like behind the mirror, in the drawers, and under the vanity, so I keep out only the items I use daily.

7. Study Room

The room adjacent to the living room serves as a study. Since we primarily work and study at home, we’ve put a lot of thought into creating the optimal work environment, 80% of which involves a comfortable chair and good lighting. Drawing from a positive experience with the chair I used at work, I decided to invest in a good one for our home. It undeniably provides excellent comfort for my back, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone contemplating a work chair.

The ceiling light is an Artemide Tolomeo. I replaced the original light with this one so that its head could be directed toward the desk. While it requires professional help, it creates a pleasant space from late afternoon to night.

The chair comes in a carbon color, and to complement it, I selected a mouse pad that closely matches. Beyond its appealing design, it stands out because of its eco-friendly nature—crafted from scrap leather, which I find particularly attractive.

In this study room with extra space, I decided to maximize functionality by adding additional built-in cabinets at the back. Given my extensive clothing collection and the limited size of the dressing room, it became a necessary addition. After careful consideration, I discovered a company that could seamlessly install floor-to-ceiling cabinets in a moldingless style, and I am delighted with the outcome.

8. Multi-function Room

My husband primarily uses a multi-function room at the end of the hallway as a game room. It’s also the most colorful space in our home.

I only had a film installed on the existing cabinet for the built-in cabinets. I used the same color as the kitchen and vanity. I’m currently using the lemon-colored trolley for cosmetic storage, and it’s handy.

I’ve displayed a bunch of cute trinkets on the side of the built-in cabinet.

With its ample storage capacity, I highly recommend it. Given our shared love for Lego, we adorned the top of the cabinet with our Lego collection.

The chair my husband uses for gaming is more comfortable than it looks, and its transparent design doesn’t obstruct the ocean view, which I love. We’re almost done with the house tour. Now, I’ll introduce you to our hidden haven.

9. A Study in the Pantry

This is a small pantry behind the kitchen.

I removed the existing pantry shelves and turned the space into a small study. The space is somewhat narrow, limiting what I can showcase in pictures. On one side, I have a narrow desk and chair; on the other, there is a 5-tier bookshelf approximately 47 inches wide. Given our shared love for books and the amount of time we spend sitting, we indulged a bit, and the result turned out to be cozier and more delightful than anticipated, making it our favorite space.

10. Laundry Room

It might be a bit mundane, but let me briefly introduce the laundry room. The laundry room seemed a bit small, so there were a lot of difficulties with storage. An emergency evacuation space inside the laundry room limits the available space for organizing laundry and detergent.

After extensive online research and visits to large markets, I found a foldable laundry basket and a narrow shelf that doesn’t occupy much space. I’ve organized laundry nets by size to ensure convenience, hanging them on the door for easy access.

11. Bedroom’s Bathroom

The bedrooms and living room bathrooms had decent finishes and materials, so I made no significant changes. My primary focus remains on maintaining cleanliness and ensuring a pleasant scent.

12. Living Room’s Bathroom

Guests mainly use the bathroom in the living room, so I’ve placed a diffuser with a strong scent and etiquette products to prevent any awkward situations. Although it’s a year-round event, I always keep a surplus of disposable items and amenities for those who occasionally stay overnight. I hope they appreciate the meticulousness of the homeowner.

In Conclusion

Decorating a house is enjoyable but inevitably involves stress due to the time, cost, and patience required. Especially since it’s a task where the outcome can’t be precisely measured or a point of completion may be elusive, there were days when I felt that way.

However, as I contemplated the creation of a home that goes beyond mere aesthetics, one that provides comfort and small joys for both my husband and me, a home that resonates with the vastness of the ocean before us, I found a sense of peace.

It’s already time to wrap up 2023. I hope sharing the story of our home has brought a gentle joy to everyone who reads it. Wherever you are, have a warm end of the year.

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