3 Creative Design Lessons to Steal from This 786-Square-Foot, Maximalist Home in Serbia

published Sep 3, 2021
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While Sanja Stojilkovic‘s small home offers pretty views of the Danube River and the tiny, historic town of Sremski Karlovci, the 786-square-foot home was in need of a massive renovation. The hillside home, which Stojilkovic shares with her boyfriend, was built in the 1950s and like many rural houses it was constructed from natural materials, such as clay bricks and straw.

“We spent more than two years figuring out how to accomplish keeping it eco-friendly,” Stojilkovic says of her South Bačka District home. “Initially, the house had no bathroom, the sunroom was built from scratch, and we connected the living room and the kitchen area by knocking down the wall and adding a peninsula between the two rooms.”

The result is now a beautiful, modern house full of eye-catching elements. We took the tour and found three design lessons worth stealing. Ready? Let’s take a look!

1. Get bold and creative with tile.

One of the most striking design elements in Stojilkovic’s home is her bold use of hexagon-shaped tile in her kitchen’s backsplash. The backsplash is a great place to show off the personality of your kitchen, as long as whatever you choose complements the rest of the space. Stojilkovic went with black, gray, and white tile on her backsplash, and it matches the geometric pattern used as her flooring.

If you’re having a tough time choosing the right backsplash, experiment by temporarily sticking on a few tiles for a week to imagine what the space would look like. “Try to feel the atmosphere of the space and trust your gut,” Stojilkovic, a visual artist, says. “Your home doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be a reflection of you and a place that inspires you.”

2. Don’t be afraid to mix and match materials.

Veering from the conventional, Stojilkovic uses two different materials (both wood and vinyl) in her flooring choice. She created a geometric kitchen runner framing the counter area. The effect is modern and fun! “Both of us love a mix of traditional and modern, as we feel it balances the space perfectly, giving it a unique atmosphere,” Stojilkovic explains. Bonus: It’s super easy to clean.

3. Always add art and extra lighting.

Sconces in the kitchen? Yes! Art? Also yes! You don’t often see either in the kitchen, but they certainly have their place, as this kitchen proves. “We are surrounded by different artworks and plants for inspiration,” Stojilkovic says. “And we always feel like this space reflects somewhat of a gallery vibe.”

Are you inspired by these tiny kitchen design tips? Tell us in the comments below.