Zagreb Apartment by Mirjana Mikulec Interiors

This spacious luxury apartment located in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, has been recently designed by Mirjana Mikulec Interiors.

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Project includes a complete restoration and conversion of a 172,60 m2 flat in the building constructed in 1928. Located in the heart of Croatia’s capital, the city of Zagreb, the building compliments its surrounding architectural structures emphasizing the values of Art Deco period. Presented residence is situated beneath the roof of a structure that has to this day saved its original appearance.
Clients, self employed couple with two female children, expressed a wish to maintain the original style signature the building offered whilst implementing modern, eclectic elements. The residence was to be envisioned as a calming environment, a contrast to the sterile office space – an oasis nurturing the mind.

While the original layout offered sufficient number of rooms it felt cluttered and unsuitable for a contemporary family and their busy lives. Children, age 10 and 15, expressed the need to be treated as young adults and be given personal space that would cater to their personalities and individual traits. Parents wanted the common living areas to be seen as inspirational yet modern place that would assimilate family values but feel luxurious and elegant. Therefore, the changes needed to be implemented and the layout had to be altered.

Former kitchen area is now expanded to the area of a small room next to it and is used as one of the children rooms. Similarly to that, former living room and storage room were now used as another child room and two bathrooms that allow each of the users their privacy. The room that was previously first on the entrance line is now used as a hallway separating two new cubicles that serve as bathrooms from the rest of the living area. Former work room is used as a living room area, while former master bedroom serves as a kitchen and dining room area giving the family opportunity to spend their time together while cooking and dining.

In order to achieve a sense of escapism from burdens of everyday life, interior design intertwines classical, luxurious atmosphere and modern functionality. As it is a family home it is necessary to create a sense of nurturing and growing ones roots as well as enhancing the feeling of warmth and individual personalities of family members. These elements are displayed in versatile use of seemingly contrasting materials, shapes, textures and colors.

Color scheme embraces neutral tones which are used as the foundation and are enriched with soft, pastel shades.

Metallic shine in brass and golden details are implemented throughout the residence while softened shades of black surfaces accentuate the space.

Clean and symmetrical lines contrast floral, feminine elements uniting the forces of life energies. Almost as if the female presence not only allows the structure of strict lines embodied within black and marble surfaces but softens it with wallpapers, velvet fabrics.
To even the yin and yang energies, green elements are introduced through carefully selected details, such as plants that welcome the life and nature or appliances that are green in a modern technological sense.


Upon entering the residence, a case of wonder takes over the visitor. A mirrored cube set in the center of a hallway marking the paths to common areas and private rooms hides two extra bathrooms and additional storage for household appliances.

Clean lines announce the presence of modern approach, yet patterns on one end of the hallway and stucco on the walls display the respect of the past. Oak parquet floor extends the invitation and continues to flow through the entire flat, only to be replaced with the tiles and marble in the hidden bathroom areas. Small collectables, memorabilia and art pieces serve as a display of different individualities residing the flat and complimenting each other no matter the uniqueness.

Kitchen and dining

To use the kitchen and dining room area as heart of the house, it needs to have a practical layout and be connected with the living room area. Still, allowing it to be its independent space, without the open area concept, allows the residents to use it in an intimate way as well.

This is a place where they can not only share the moments together but also entertain without bothering the ones who need time for solitude.

As kitchen is frequently used, de-cluttering of space was of most importance. All of the unnecessary objects needed to be hidden and the surfaces needed to be compartmentalized. Contemporary elegance was the key to achieving that.

The cooking area is deprived of any high cupboards. Instead, a laminam board of marble pattern is placed on the wall and cooking surfaces, as well as the kitchen island. To create enough storage, a side wall was used as a backdrop for cupboards – built by design dark green and light grey MDF.

Prevailing neutral, soft green shades such as the ones on the wall are disrupted by bold orange – brass layers.
Spacious rooms can often seem empty and cold. To avoid that, as well as secure enough chairs for welcomed guests, an up to 3m long table presides in dining room area. As balance to clean and simple lines of the kitchen space, two playful glass chandeliers are placed above the table.

Presence of warmth is highlighted within the deep red shades of chair covers and elegant grey rug.

Living room

o achieve tranquility and sense of letting go of the daily obligations and creating a space for clearing ones thoughts, the living room area is immersed in neutral tones of grey and green.

As it is a community area for members to meet and interact its simplicity and clean lines are used to allow the flow of the conversation without any distractions and offer a sanctuary for expressing oneself.
Stucco walls represent the classical elements additionally complimented by the small yet functional table with minimalistic design. A pop of color and modernism is provided by a comfortable chair that allows a member of the family to dissociate themselves while reading a book and enjoying the company of others.

Minimalistic sofas are placed opposite one another triggering the conversation or providing a zone for relaxing.
Evoking the sense of long forgotten times and the way families used to talk by fire, a fireplace has been introduced to the room. Its decorative values are enhanced by an elegant brass mirror.

Master bedroom

Luxury can come from ideas and concepts. Creating the design for master bedroom it was not treated solely as such but as a luxurious hotel room -one many would love to escape to.

All of the elements including bed, closets, vanity and storage space; are custom made.

Bedrooms are not only retreats but often rooms that are used to place the wardrobe. Since bed itself is placed in the middle of the vast room, it was used as a hidden expansion for the storage area, allowing it to dominate the visual field of a resident. Wardrobes were not hidden but were used to separate the sleeping area from the practical – changing room part.

Glass door wardrobe covers the side of end wall, while the other wardrobe also serves as a headboard carrier. To keep things interesting the side of the wardrobe where the headboard is placed on is covered in floral wallpaper.
Color palette includes forest green, soft pink and grey.

Ceiling lamps continue the theme of golden, brass elements and darker tones from the kitchen area and living room thus connecting the spaces located on the same side of the residence.

Childrens room

Although both rooms have a strong sense of feminine expression and romanticism, it is clear that they do belong to two female children of different age groups. There are several common denominators in both rooms – such as playing with stronger tones of purple and brown, to grey color scheme, using wallpaper or adding mirrors on wardrobe to visually enhance the space. However, while one room seems to have more of a rebelling contrast the other seems to just simply toy with the idea of adding them.

Both rooms have been decorated following the same approach – creating the space for children who will soon grow into young adults who still need practical space for studying.

Younger child’s room uses the same wardrobe space separation as the master bedroom.

Older child’s room is more narrow so custom made furniture has been added to use as much space as possible for storage. To keep everything more interesting, special hangers in a form of a brass grid, have been designed as a decoration and a way for laying out clothes and jewelry.


While all four bathrooms required complete restoration, as two were not invested in since the building was erected and two were made as an addition it was of most importance to change all of the original installations. This includes the windows that were done as exact copy of the original design, thus preserving the look of buildings architecture. While three bathrooms are designed with the color pattern presented in the other parts of the residence, the biggest one (6m2) has been turned into a homage to the passing time and the style of the building.

Here, white tones prevail, as marble is covering the walls. A splash of unexpectedness is hinted on the floor with black and white tiles leading the elegant game of visual effects. To keep the touch of classicism, a stylized version of a vintage bathtub has been brought in and is complemented with a chandelier and silver washing stand. Candles and simple additional lighting bring in the feel of effortless charm.

To contrast the lightness of white, one of the bathrooms in a glass hallway cube is highlighted with the green tones scattered through the tile design. Large ceramic surfaces cover parts of the walls and spread on the floor. To down play the eccentric look of patterns, white tiles are introduced, creating a specter of clean lines. Continuing the lines of luxurious footprints, other cube bathroom is styled with gold elements and details.
Smallest bathroom next to the youngest child’s room and the white marble oasis gives the touch of minimal interference toning down the styles with monochromatic approach.

Photography courtesy of Mirjana Mikulec Interiors

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- by Matt Watts