Before and after: New life for an apartment in three months.

The interior of the apartment on Staro-Peterhofsky Avenue became a reflection of the inner world of the owner of the home. She is 65 years old, has a career as a university teacher and a large family: a loving husband, three children, three grandchildren. And a hospitable house, which, with the help of designer Sonya Kondrashina, became brighter and more comfortable.

“Walking through this apartment is like walking through the memory of the customer,” says the designer. — On the walls you can see embroideries that were made by her grandmother; paintings donated by friends during their student years; Mom’s service is in the window. We kept all our favorite things, deliberately focusing on them. But we worked on the volumes. We got rid of everything that had been stored for years and did not evoke feelings, was not in use and was not planned to be used.”

To save budget and time, the walls were not touched and the layout was not changed. The existing premises were transformed: the owner’s workshop appeared next to the main bedroom, and the customer’s office was organized in a separate room. We also increased the storage capacity, since the couple has a lot of things.

The customer wanted to create a bright interior. An important condition was to use the furniture that was already in the house. Partly it was white furniture: display cases, tables. Partially – objects in brown shades: bed, cabinets, chairs. The color scheme was chosen at the intersection of old and new: a brown stripe runs through the snow-white interior, leading to a more saturated color bedroom. The third main shade was gray-green, which was used when painting doorways, furniture facades and decorative elements.

“In a situation with a large number of available inputs, it is impossible to choose a color by pointing to the first one you liked,” says Sonya. — In order for the space to really play with the items that were supposed to remain in the apartment, thoughtful work was done with color schemes. The main color of the walls was chosen as a background color for the existing furniture to make it look more modern and harmonious. We chose a deep gray-green from the same palette to paint the doors, plus we selected similar fronts for the new pieces of furniture.”

The apartment is located on Staro-Peterhofsky Avenue, in an old housing stock. The ceiling with cornices, doorways and parquet were of adequate quality, so they were preserved. When remodeling, electricians used a lot of old terminals.

The problem was the large number of things that needed to be sorted and placed.

Before the renovation, a lot of preparatory work was done to declutter the space, preserving everything that was dear to the owners. Valuables were placed in display cases that fit the width of the wall in the living room. We finalized the framing of the paintings, and by hanging them, we gave the room an additional horizontal dimension. The suitcase under one of the windows belongs to the customer. He historically lives in the living room, keeping a photo archive.

The layout in the living room was changed, placing the sofa in the corner rather than in the center of the room. Customers watch TV exclusively while lying down, and the previous option in front of the TV was inconvenient for them. Additionally, the sofa is used if the grandchildren stay overnight.

Customers cook a lot and often, but the furniture in the kitchen was not ergonomic and not very practical. The dark set looked massive against the background of light walls.

The kitchen was completely redone. We increased the work surface and added a peninsula so that several people could cook at the same time.

The old refrigerator was hidden in a niche designed to match the thickness of the existing ventilation duct. A white freezer was built into the island. To level out its door, the bottom of the kitchen was chosen in white and lining painted in the same color was placed along the wall.

“I am inspired by people like the customer,” says the designer. “Cheerful, they continue to enjoy life, do not close themselves off in the already created world and are ready to try new things with an open heart.”

The dining area was in the same place and consisted of a heavy kitchen nook and a long table, above which there was dim lighting.

After the renovation, a folding table was installed in the kitchen, which seats up to six people, and when folded takes up little space. The old chairs were saved. By eliminating the massive kitchen corner, the dining area has become lighter.

Light was added using a pendant and two wall lamps. In the evening, wall sconces provide beautiful intimate light directed down and up along the wall. And the functional load for lighting the table is performed by the suspended model.

This apartment is one of the rare cases where high ceilings are a problem. The study room here is so wide that it is impossible to place the bed at the end. All rooms are narrow and create the feeling of a tunnel.

In order not to touch the ceilings and cornices, everything was reduced exclusively by visual means. Thus, the ceilings were lowered using complex painting, and the length of the corridor was visually shortened by laying out the flooring.

Most of the bedroom was occupied by a bed oriented towards the window. The passage next to her remained very narrow. All the furniture in this room was brown, and there was not enough convenient storage for things.

To make the room more comfortable and spacious, the zoning was changed. A separate space was allocated for the office, and the bedroom was made more separate. The customer is a math teacher and needlewoman. For her, a storage system was organized above the desktop, where everything necessary for her hobby is at hand. Grandma’s embroidery was placed above the bed, after first working on decorating it into a baguette.

What we saved on: instead of making an expensive custom-made storage system , we used a plywood frame on which budget Ikea cabinets were installed and hung.

The accent bronze-brown color of the bedroom walls was taken directly from the color of the existing furniture. He adjusted the proportions and combined the rooms with each other.

“It was planned that the ceiling in the bedroom would also be painted a light gray-green. This was supposed to visually lower it and create a chamber atmosphere in the sleeping area,” Sonya says about other ideas. “But the builders forgot to do this.” But we added dark lampshades for the lamps, which the customer knitted herself when the renovation was completed.”

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