A neutral interior that never gets boring

The designer visually expanded the space of a small apartment, creating an integral modern interior


The client is a young woman who works from home. Therefore, it was important to create a full-fledged workplace in the apartment with storage systems for books and papers. The layout of the apartment consisted of separate small rooms – even the entrance hall with the corridor was separated by a partition with a door, although their total area was already small. Designer Veronika Marfina had the task of uniting the space and making it more solid and visually spacious.

A neutral interior that never gets boring


“Initially, the customer wanted to move some of the furniture from the old apartment, but after discussing the design, we decided that it would be better to make a fresh and modern interior without being tied to old furniture,” says Veronika Marfina. – The previous apartment was designed in the early 2000s, and the furniture did not fit into modern realities. As a result, some of the old furniture was sold, and the other part was given away – nothing went to the landfill. Only one chandelier, a refrigerator, and a washing machine moved to the new apartment.”

So the task arose from scratch to create a modern interior that will last a long time and not get bored. It was decided to abandon supertrends in favor of proven durable solutions: Scandinavian style, classic techniques, and neutral shades in the finish.

A neutral interior that never gets boring

Due to the load-bearing walls, the redevelopment was minimal: the partitions between the hallway, kitchen, and corridor were removed, and the wall between the corridor and the bathroom was slightly moved. The space has become more solid and geometrically correct. All major areas remained in place. The apartment has two isolated rooms, one has become a bedroom and a wardrobe, and the other has a living room and an office.

A neutral interior that never gets boring

“It turned out to be a difficult task to provide the spacious storage areas: there was no place for a full-fledged built-in wardrobe in the hallway, and the original layout could not be radically changed, since almost all the walls in the apartment are load-bearing,” says Veronika. As a result, the main storage systems are located in the bedroom and living room. In the bedroom, preference was given to the built-in version. So it turned out to create a spacious dressing area, which balanced the elongated space of the room.

The living room has a full-wall wardrobe with an open unit in the middle – a fully enclosed wardrobe would look too bulky in such a small room. I had to sacrifice one section of the cabinet, since the table is located so that it partially overlaps it. “We decided that things that are rarely needed will be stored there, and the table can be easily moved away,” says the designer. Except for the closet in the hallway, all storage systems, including the kitchen, were made to order in Europe.

In the beginning, we planned to follow the Scandinavian trend in the interior and considered light finishes for the entire apartment so as not to overload an already small space. In the process of searching for a color palette, the designer decided to try a rich gray, and the decision turned out to be very successful.

Despite the small areas of the premises and the presence of a narrow corridor, the gray color gave depth to the space, making it more expressive and spacious. “Not everyone is ready for the gray color of the walls, but my client immediately approved this decision,” says Veronica. “Classic cornices perfectly emphasized the chosen shade and visually expanded the space even more.” 

A neutral interior that never gets boring

Although the interior turned out to be solid, it does not have a clearly defined style. The Scandinavian solutions that inspired the designer from the beginning can be called the closest: a feeling of air and open space, neutral wall colors, light furniture, color accents in the decor, and a focus on durability and natural materials.

The overall color palette of the interior is gray, white, natural wood color, and color accents in the form of decor and a sofa in the living room. Gray-blue colors were used to decorate the bedroom and cold gray was used for the kitchen and corridor. Against such a background, white furniture looks beautiful, and together with the tree, a very harmonious combination is obtained. Light solutions were chosen for the living room and bathroom, which balanced the gray color of other areas, and the apartment as a whole turned out to be quite bright.

A neutral interior that never gets boring

At the request of the customer, wallpaper was pasted on the walls. For the floor, they chose a parquet board coated with natural oil. “Despite the fact that such a board needs more attention during operation than a laminate, the feeling of real wood overshadowed this. It is very pleasant to walk on such a floor, it adds warmth and naturalness to the whole interior,” explains Veronika.

No matter how you choose plain wallpaper in daylight, in an apartment with artificial light, they will still look different. In this regard, painting allows you to more accurately select the desired shade using paint on the object. The gray wallpaper after gluing turned out to be much darker than it was on the samples. “At first we were upset,” Veronica says, “but when we started to arrange the furniture, we decided that this was even a plus, since the interior as a whole looks even more beautiful, and white furniture is more accentuated.”

The bathroom used ceramic tiles. Porcelain stoneware was chosen for the floor, imitating wood and close in size to the parquet board in the rest of the apartment, so the designer visually united the entire space of the apartment.

A neutral interior that never gets boring

Furniture tried to select durable, if possible from environmentally friendly materials. Preference was given to natural wood and metal. Built-in furniture was ordered from MDF and chipboard with a low level of emission of harmful substances. To do this, you need to check which manufacturer’s chipboard and MDF are purchased by the company that manufactures furniture.

“In this regard, I trust IKEA, where the furniture is produced taking into account all European standards for the level of harmful substances. Most of the furniture was ordered from domestic manufacturers. We have worthy companies that produce high-quality furniture, so it is becoming less and less important to bring it from other countries. Local furniture is also more environmentally friendly because it does not need to travel thousands of kilometers to us, emitting tons of CO2 into the atmosphere,” says the designer.

“Initially, they wanted to put a shallow built-in wardrobe in the hallway. But in the process of calculating the cost of custom-made furniture for the whole apartment, we realized that we were going beyond the budget, so we ended up choosing IKEA furniture for the hallway,” says Veronika Marfina.

A neutral interior that never gets boring
A neutral interior that never gets boring

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