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ight in the centre of Taormina, Sicily, this 25 sqm apartment was remodeled so four people can spend their holidays here: dad Renato Arrigo, the architect who supervised the refurbishment, mom and two teenage daughters. And the girls were instrumental in persuading Renato, who’d been looking for a holiday home in this Sicilian resort for years, that to have a tiny apartment was better than to have none at all. This is precisely how “Space is Luxury” was born: a tiny convertible minimalist apartment. 


A simple futon bed rests on the platform in natural birch.

The raised bed is lifted up with an electrical hoist built-in in the false ceiling. A simple futon bed rests on the platform in natural birch. The lower base has the project name printed on it in compressed characters: Space is Luxury. 


A double bed is in general the largest piece of furniture in a home, so it was the first thing to be taken out. And because we’re by the sea, the raised bed structure was inspired by dock cranes. The bed is hoisted-up with tie-rods housed in the 25 cm false ceiling; this lifts the bed up, freeing up necessary living room space. The apartment is furnished with two chair-beds, where the girls rest at night, and small multifunctional logs (Log by Gervasoni) which serve as stools or side tables. 


The breakfast area and kitchen are opposite the entrance/living room/sleeping quarters. In the tiny but extremely well-equipped kitchen (Pessina Cucine), the counter top extends, just like a breakfast bar, up to a sophisticated foldaway partition, which turns into an additional outdoor table.

Bottom left-hand corner, in dark-grey: the space with chair-beds and the raised bed. Kitchen in the top right-hand corner. The roof terrace is shown in light-grey. 

The tiny kitchen is fitted with dishwasher, washer-drier, oven, fridge freezer and ice maker

The tiny kitchen is fitted with dishwasher, washer-drier, oven, fridge freezer and ice maker. Right-hand side, the sliding door which leads to the terrace. 

Renato Arrigo as he folds out the partition, which extends onto the terrace. Cider wood indoor stools (Riva 1920), Pip-e outdoor chairs in polypropylene by Driade.


25 smq for 4. This was a real design challenge, made even more difficult by the restrictions imposed by the local historic preservation authority, next-door neighbours, and the limited vehicle access to one of the most famous tourist destinations around the world. Another dilemma was to fit four people without giving up on the necessary comfort befitting a family holiday. Renato successfully managed to juggle everything, to his wife and daughters’ delight.  But, let’s wait a see how he’ll cope when the girls’ friends want to come over!



Design project

Renovation of a tiny holiday apartment 

Taormina, Italy

Interior renovation and furniture sourcing:  
Architetto Renato Arrigo
171 Via La Farina, Messina, Italy
Tel: 0039 090 693312


Courtesy architetto Renato Arrigo
Copyright Maria Teresa Furnari

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