Cheap and Cheerful Apartment with Extraordinary Interior Items: a Plywood Table, a Chandelier of Spoons, a Stand of Bolted Books, a Stool of Nails and a Concrete Desk Organizer

August 15, 2013
Posted in Apartments


The Hosts:
Sergey and Nastya, architects of Le Atelier

Number of rooms: 1
Metric area: 35 m²
Ceiling height: 2.7 m
Floor number: 6

Sergey and Nastya are professional architects, who presently live in the north of Moscow. Their accommodation actually belongs to their client, who suggested the guys to put the lodging in order and sojourn there until she puts it up for sale.

The architects were up against a complicated task: a balanced interior + a small budget + a tight schedule. But everything shaped well: the temporary hosts invested a small amount of their own money and made renovation within a few months, having moved in here last December.

In the process of refurbishment the couple had a nice chance to experimentalize and accumulate valuable for an architect experience of repair job. Everything, with the exception of bathroom tiling, was done by themselves: puttying and painting of walls, making of furniture items and interior stuff.

The hosts examined the economy line of “Leroy Merlin” and were surprised to find rather noteworthy items in the segment. For instance, oak-like laminate flooring, the most durable of a kind, perfectly matches the picked wall color and looks quite worthy coupled with the interior items. A curtain boxes off a walk-in closet.


The layout was left untouched, except for the wall with a door leading to the kitchen. Thus, just an empty aperture was left in the corridor.


A shoe stand was painted by two Sergey’s nephews.

31-shoe stand

Since the hosts work much from home, the central piece of the room is a desk, which is one more product of functional testing. Thanks to an extra geometrical support, a configuration of 9 mm thick plywood sheets proved to be light and reliable.


Though the walls are painted in multiple hues, in the daylight the color looks smooth and homogenous.


One of Mark Rothko’s color compositions was printed on a canvas – its warm tints perfectly blend with the walls.

61-color compositions

In the room the guys had a bash on a peculiar lighting principle, which is based on a few chandeliers hung in different corners of the room. The result exceeded expectations: one can switch on just a few lamps or, vice versa, all of them, thus creating a relaxing atmosphere of balanced illumination. Chandeliers made of aluminum trays and spoons are one more invention of Sergey. He says it’s a prison-style reply to a famous chandelier by Verner Panton.


Books are a mutual passion of the spouses. A merger of their personal libraries once signalized a new stage of their relationship. The books were arranged on two stands: a smaller one is aimed for fiction, a bigger one (wall-length and handmade) — for professional literature.


A stand of bolted books is one more incarnated fancy of Sergey. For its sake he collected about three hundred ownerless volumes from different libraries, which were unable to include them into official funds due to red-tape. The author believes that there is no blasphemy towards books in that: used were only those samples, for which such destiny is the best possible. The total weight of the construction amounts to approximately 1.5 tones. But Sergey believes in its indestructibleness, and when it lurches he says its “lively”.

91-stand of bolted books

On their wedding day the newly-married urged their parents to do without any bride-price and bread-and-salt ceremonies. The ingenious parents found a truly designer solution – thus traditions were observed and kids were not upset. A collage of press clippings is Sergey’s work of old times.

101-collage of press

A clock, creating a suprematic composition with its hands, a comfortable stool with a seat of nails, a concrete desk organizer, a sculpture made of a clockwork device and an IKEA-man with a prosthesis — are all fruits of Sergey’s procrastinations in different periods of time.


The hosts are keen on modern art. Sergey even entered Institution for Modern Art Problems after hearing a course of lections in Central Artist’s House and State Modern Art Centre. After a year of studying there, he realized that architecture is far more attractive to him than contemporary art. However, he exhibited his work on “Cartography of Possible” show. Earlier each alarm-clock was timed to go off every 13 minutes. Now the watches are confused.


The bathroom can boast two types of lighting: a cold own — for fresh morning showers, and a warm one — for evening bathing. A suspended lamp was hand-made by Sergey from an IKEA cache-pot.


A rectangular sink, which proved to be very functional in practice, was shifted to give way to a washing machine of future dwellers.

141-rectangular sink

In their job the hosts spend a big deal of time mixing colors and textures. Tired of their diversity, the guys selected smooth colors for their own walls. Besides, Nastya and Sergey decided to give up the standard scheme, according to which floors and doors must be darker than walls. In this instance flooring was made of oak, which perfectly goes together with grey.


At the same time there was a desire to experimentalize. All the walls are painted in different tints of one color, with the exception of one pink wall.


A poster with Magritte’s picture was bought in Brussels. According to the hosts, it’s exceptionally interesting to watch the reaction of guests, who don’t know art: they never see what is wrong with the picture at first glance.

171-poster with Magritte’s

A budget-priced solution was found for the kitchen as well. True, an oven had to be sacrificed for the sake of a washing machine. Curtains were sewed by Nastya from IKEA textile.


An ordinary IKEA table was refreshed by painting the top white.


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