Modern apartment for a modern family
It took me and my clients several years to get to this project. The work began with the search for an apartment to buy. At the same time we tried on the planning solutions for the options under consideration. When the object was bought and the layout found, work on the stylistic concept began.
The clients' brief is "neoclassical" — classic forms (plaster moldings, moldings, elaborate chandeliers, wallpaper), but in a modern interpretation. The previous project we worked on with them was about minimalism and the clean shape of the space. Here it seemed that we should go deeper into details and color, to make a "status" interior. But it didn't turn out that easy. The solutions from the classic style did not fit into this space, they caused internal dissonance in the clients.
When the concept work is difficult to solve the space, when the clients realize that they do not know what they want, that they were wrong in their desires, I make hand sketches. I sketch the space that was formed by the planning decision, I bring into it the shapes and volumes that this decision dictates. In this kind of work I can feel with my hand the plasticity of the interior, its lines and composition, how forms interact with one another, which dominates — movement or statics. That way I begin to understand the space, whether it is self-sufficient in these forms or whether something needs to be added, what kind of movement to emphasize. Then I select furniture and details, lighting, and color to set accents, add stylization, and enhance the desired effect of the interior.
Here the verticals and the local planes of the walls were clearly readable. I highlighted the shapes and volumes of the rooms, which were originally in this space and were formed during the planning: radius bay windows in the living room and bedroom — they are not covered by curtains and participate in the formation of space, protruding from the plane of the walls concrete pylons, niches, pylons in the bay window of the living room, the volumes formed by engineering systems — ceiling boxes for the ventilation system. All of this I used in the architecture of the interior.
Thus, the pylons in the living room, formed by the supporting structures, set the rhythm of the verticals in the living room. In the niches are integrated paintings with Japanese cats, on the opposite wall is an insertion of clinker brick, as if part of the untreated surface of the wall.
In the work came the understanding that this space does not need to be "embellished" with details, it must be opened, to show the air, the purity of the lines, by enhancing the existing volumes. My clients and I immersed ourselves in thoughtful work. An artist takes a step back to see the whole picture, and so did we. The interior was created in the following way: the idea — sketch, check it in reality — see the texture, color and shape in combination of one with the other, go to the object and try the solution on the space, the answer to the question — is this the solution?
Total grey in the interior is a deliberate choice. Planes flooded with a single color is an architectural solution, it emphasizes the volume, the eye is not distracted by details. An additional color works to enhance the effect — it either "grounds" the volume, or "raises" it, makes it lighter, more airy, and shades it. There is a lot of grey here, it is different in every room, but the similarity between its shades is that each one is ideal for a particular space — it depends on the shape of the room, how the sunlight falls, what task the color has in each room. Likewise, the companions to grey — rusty ochre, honey oak, brass, and red fulfill their function.
The kitchen-living room is a spacious, bright space. According to the interior scenario, this is where family gatherings, breakfasts and dinners will be held, and it is also a music room. The owner is a music lover. This is the reason for the interior planning. The kitchen and living room are combined so that the volume of the room is sufficient for the "movement" of sound. The kitchen, as part of the overall interior, the details are minimized, the domestic "details" are hidden from view. The play of planes is due to the combination of different textures of a single color. Zone of kitchen peninsulas levelled with the color of the plane of the wall, and the kitchen area with a working surface intentionally darkened color, only the horizontal countertop creates dissonance, resonates with the handles of cabinets and lighting system of brass.
The dining area is located in a niche formed by the kitchen and the pylons of the walls, it is derived horizontally, so it balances the verticals of the interior and creates an atmosphere for relaxation, we wanted to get away from the parade of the dining area. In front of the dining table is a free space, where there are only two armchairs on swivel legs. Sitting in them you can listen to music, turn in the direction of the sound, or you can, turning around, join the dining area. The cats in the living room, like the cat in the hallway, are images of werewolf cats from Japanese mythology. They dance — bringing dynamics and color to this measured, calibrated space, complementing the grey gamut of the interior. They add grotesqueness and self-irony to the interior. They seem unexpected here, but at the same time absolutely appropriate. In the relationship between the planes and volumes, the understated forms of the furniture, and the local surfaces, I see a reference to Japanese aesthetics in the interior. And the murals slightly detail the minimalism of this project.
A hallway leads to the living room and other rooms. The balance of grey, rusty ochre, dark doors and volumes is a long work in finding harmony in the elongated hallway. Such spaces are usually tried to be avoided in interior design. But in our case it was impossible. So we had to solve the problem of how to make this space advantageous.
The children's rooms are also elongated, due to the location of the supporting structures and the rhythm of the window openings. But by forming our and protruding volumes from one space to another, we managed to solve these rooms so that functionally and aesthetically they turned out to be self-sufficient and in harmony with the overall concept.
The private area of the apartment — the cabinet, the master bathroom and the bedroom — is a single volume of color. The colors flow from one room to another. Deep red in the study as the dominant color in the interior, it sets up for concentrated work. Not as distracting as it might seem. It deepens this transitional space, grounding it. Red goes into the bedroom as well, flooding the wall at the head of the bed.
The guest and master bathrooms are made with porcelain stoneware from the same collection, but in different shades. The well-defined composition of an elongated horizontal cabinet and a round mirror against the background of the vertical cannelures of the wall tiles is set off by the single color of the rest of the walls of the room.