Home & Design

The kitchen lines a wall in the open living area. Furniture made in Greece by Edrano includes a two-sided sofa and swivel chair.

A terrace overlooks Athens' Kerameikos area.

The apartment boasts original floors and concrete waffle ceilings, which the architect painted white.

Athens Pied-à-terre

Andreas Charalambous creates a personal escape in an ancient capital

DC architect Andreas Charalambous, who frequently visits family in Cyprus, hopes to live part-time near the Mediterranean when he retires. A step in that direction was his recent purchase of an Athens pied-à-terre.

A friend who’s a local developer discovered the 1,500-square-foot corner apartment and shared photos with Charalambous. Located in a 1979 mixed-use building, it was an empty shell boasting original terrazzo floors, concrete waffle ceilings and terraces on two sides. Intrigued, the architect eventually decided to make it his own.

Working remotely, Charalambous devised a plan to transform the former office into a two-bedroom, two-bath dwelling. “I celebrated the space,” he says, “by keeping the living/dining/kitchen area wide open. We brought the floors back to life and exposed the ceiling slabs, which we painted white.” Drop ceilings were added where overhead recessed lighting was needed; new doors, windows, plumbing and electrical systems were installed.

Mod furniture pays tribute to the building’s mid-20th-century provenance. “The floors, speckled with earthy shades and green and gold, inspired the color scheme,” Charalambous notes.

The architect loves the apartment’s neighborhood of Kerameikos, which is buzzing with cafés and restaurants and close to ancient monuments. “Athens is full of culture and life,” he remarks. “That made it easy to pull the trigger—and I’ve never looked back.”

Architecture & Interior Design: Andreas Charalambous, AIA, IIDA, Forma Design, Inc., Washington, DC. Developer & Contracting: Maher Akkam.


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