Jazz-Inspired Apartment in Mixture of Classic and Retro Styles

September 20, 2013
Posted in Apartments

11-retro style apartment

The Hostess:
Ludmila, an interior designer

Number of rooms: 2
Metric area: 45 m²
Ceiling height: 3.7 m
Floor number: 2

The house, which Ludmila moved in 7 years ago, was built short before the October Socialist Revolution. With the coming of Soviet rule, all apartments of considerable dimensions were turned into communal dwellings, and following further layout changes were split into 2 parts. So, Ludmila’s present lodging is actually half-lodging, 45 m² in area and including a corridor, two rooms, a kitchen with a bay-window and a large bathroom. Renovation was started from re-planning: the kitchen was supplemented with the bay-window and the corridor. The latter was extended by means of narrowing the bathroom. The lounge was separated from the kitchen with an angled partition along with the arrangement of a small home office.

The interior design was developed by the hostess herself. According to her, the style she chose can be defined as a mixture of retro and classics with jazz inclusions. The entering wedges were old brick walls, wooden windows, parquetry and vintage furniture, which came from the ex-hosts. In an attempt to save and emphasize the spirit of old times Ludmila had the brick masonry un-plastered and painted, and restored the parquetry. Wooden window frames were released from a few layers of paint and thus recovered their original appearance.

Jazz motives were accentuated with black-and-white wallpaper glued on one of the kitchen walls. A dining table along with bent-wood chairs was placed in the bay window. Since the old radiator perfectly fitted into the style concept, it wasn’t replaced. The ex-hosts’ kitchen was equipped with a Dnieper refrigerator of 1960s, but due to its faulty condition the new owner exchanged it for a similar contemporary model of Smeg. Hanging over the dining table is a chandelier of 1950s, which has been here from post-war times.



Due to considerable ceiling height, many furniture items had to be custom-made − conventional models would look too undersized here. The recess conceals household appliances and a geyser. Traditional kitchen tiling was replaced with soft drink cans.


Arranged between the kitchen and the lounge zone is a home office. Both a table and bookstand were custom-designed. The adornment of this spot is a picture brought by Ludmila from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

31-home office

32-home office


The lounge adjoins the corridor and the bedroom. There are no doors between them, and Ludmila plans to install stained-glass windows in place of rounded window openings. A Spanish drawing-room suit came here from the previous dwelling, and in order to blend it with the new surrounding the owner had its frame painted dark color. A chest serving as a coffee table is a friend’s gift.

41-lounge zone



The bedhead background wall was decorated with photo wallpaper. The bed is custom-made, while vintage bedside tables and a wardrobe were left by previous hosts. Suitcases lying on the wardrobe were brought by the hostess’ Grandpa in 1960s. Besides their decorative function, they serve for their intended purpose – for storing things, which couldn’t find another place in the lodging.



The corridor wall was left with the authentic brickwork. A fireplace is inlaid with ceramic tiles removed from the fireplace in the house across the street, which was subject to demolition. White angel figurines were bought in a décor store. Hanging over the mantelpiece is a picture from Hong Kong. Big round clock − Sia, lamps − Laura Ashley. A vintage table under the clock belonged to the ex-hosts.

61-corridor wall

The bathroom was halved for the sake of a bigger corridor. Tile and sanitary porcelain was bought in a common building materials store.



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