Architect Lukáš Kordík decided to renovate his apartment in Bratislava. The budget was nearly as tight as the space  of a 516-square-foot flat. The place was quite said at the beginning but he had a feeling that it could be easily turned into a cozy and open space. And by removing a few walls and emphasizing the 1930s flat’s existing charm—exposed brick walls and a ceiling of undulating concrete vaults—he’s done just that. I love the kitchen and the dining room. The sharp, boxy geometry of a modified Ikea cabinet system sets the aesthetic tone, with a wall of black shelving separating the bathroom from the rest of the house. Yet for all the low-cost splash of the dining room, Kordík’s aim was ultimately more about improving his home life than sparing his bank account. “It was not about saving money,” he says, “but about saving the space.”