May 20, 2020

Two Taiwanese Residences by Degree Design Balance Elegance and Comfort

In the Yilan residence, flooring defines zones of the open plan, with tile across the entry and bath, and wooden planks beneath the custom media cabinet in the living area. Photography courtesy of Degree Design.

When it comes to apartments, simplicity is often the key to creating a home. But simplicity doesn’t always look the same. Two Taiwanese residences created by Degree Design, for example, take different paths toward the goal of removing complication and achieving elegant comfort.

To reach their 450-square-foot vacation home on the northern coast of Yilan County, Degree Design’s Han Tseng says, its city-based owners move “through the country, passing through layers and layers of mountains and tunnels,” landing between the Snow Mountain and the Pacific beaches. “I set up an arch in the entrance to symbolize an invisible ceremony that can cleanse the soul, to escape from the hustle and bustle of life.” Its dark palette, Tseng says, “creates the feeling of a total cave, because this makes people relax and feel safe. There’s no need to use complicated decoration between the areas.”

A private, tiled terrace offers views of Yilan and the azure Pacific ocean beyond. Photography courtesy of Degree Design.
Glazing creates a semi-private bathroom in the Yilan residence, with custom cabinetry and Bettor fixtures. Photography courtesy of Degree Design.
Yilan’s residents can relax on roll-out mattresses and cushions in a sleeping area, then repair to the living area for refreshment on the custom coffee table. Photography courtesy of Degree Design.

For an 800-square-foot apartment in the Wenshan District of Taipei City, however, a little complication was necessary to achieve true ease. “We rotated the original axis and redesigned the structure,” Tseng, “integrated the main entrances of five rooms into one hallway. There was originally only one single side of light in the space, but after the rearrangement, there are three.” Along the flow line, the team used spray painting, wallpaper, secret doors, and sliding doors, noted Tseng, “to hide its appearance but also maintain its function.” The result is proof that, sometimes, the key to simplicity hides in plain sight.

In the Wenshan District apartment, wallpaper creates a desert-themed mural in the living and dining spaces. Photography courtesy of Degree Design.
Wallpaper also creates a scenic vista in the Wenshan apartment’s master bedroom. Photography courtesy of Degree Design.
A custom wardrobe in the Wenshan master bedroom incorporates storage for clothing and glass-fronted display shelves for their collections of books and objet. Photography courtesy of Degree Design.
The bathroom in the Wenshan apartment includes a custom vanity for the Innoci sink and Bettor faucet. Photography courtesy of Degree Design.

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