Heirloom of Communal Past with Distinctive Layout, Furniture Found in the Street, Suitcases in Place of Closets, and Details Related to North American Indians and Typography

August 21, 2013
Posted in Apartments


The Hosts:
Valentine – a property man, a decorator
Julia, an artist-ceramist: juliajadukina.com
Anatoly, a letterpress printing specialist
Svetlana, a graphic designer and illustrator: lomakinasveta.com

Number of rooms: 2
Metric area: 80 m²
Ceiling height: 3.5 m
Floor number: 3

Four friends, artists and designers by professions, rented an ex-communal apartment on Lomonosov Street in 2008. They were not the first tenants indeed – before them the flat took in lodgers for many years. Besides, the building itself used to be tenement in pre-revolutionary times.

The re-make was done by the guys. Though their dwelling was more or less tailored to the needs of the occupants, its interior left much to be desired. Main works were finished within a month, while the rest of the operations were completed by little and little, after the move-in. The layout was kept as it was, as an heirloom of communal past. Such type of zoning is called “plough”. Its distinctive feature is a narrow sidewise corridor and numerous doors along one of the walls leading to rooms. In before-communal times this was a suite of passable rooms.

Walls were coated above the wallpaper with light-colored water-based paint – this way appeared the rough texture of old lift slabs. Massive doors were also made white. A white kitchenette was entrusted to artist Julia and decorator Valentine. Their efforts were concentrated on creating the interior, which would answer the tastes of all the roomers and would be comfortable for people of different kinds.

Almost the entire furniture in the lodging has a history, especially those items, which were found in the street. Among them are bent-wood chairs, a dressing table, an oak jam closet and a desk. All the above mentioned was carefully cleaned and re-painted by the guys. Traditional bulky closets were replaced with a rich collection of suitcases — found, presented or bought on flea markets.

Within a short period of time the flat got heaped up with a great number of details — pictures, flowers and ceramics. Since Valentine comes to grips with studying the culture of North American Indians – even translates books and articles on the topic – the space is regularly filled with the related stuff – feathers, Indian arm-chairs and parfleches.

Basic colors of the kitchen — turquoise and deep pink — were set by a Ukrainian carpet, which came to Valentine through his grandmother. Such carpets of lamb’s wool are always hand-made and their patterns never repeat. As a match to it gotten were a few homespun plaids.






The old flat is full of surprises, among which are a back stairs exit and a tight boxroom in the kitchen, which was re-designed as a small home studio.

21-old flat

22-old flat

The second room is occupied by Svetlana and Anatoly. The former is engaged in design and typography industry, the latter deals with letterpress printing. Their space was released from old furniture and supplemented with a loft level, desks and versatile details. Until recently there was also a printing machine, as Anatoly frequently works from home. The shelves feature many typographic things: versatile types of paper, paints, hand-made envelopes, and stamps. Frames on the walls and suitcases are flea market findings and gifts of friends. Russian dolls, postcards, pencrafts on posters and canvases are Svetlana’s creations.

31-The second room




Julia and Valentine’s task was to syncretize the working zone with the place for rest and sleep in the best possible way. The flooring, painted plank parquetry, was left untouched. Some things are absent out of principal reasons, such as a TV-set and plastic things.





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