Tiny 40 sq.m. apartment

A small apartment in an old house designed by Vladimir Berezin. On an area of ​​40 sq. meters, the architect combined historical decor with modern design, within a modest budget.

The house is located at the intersection of Gorokhovaya and Malaya Morskaya streets. A monument of history and architecture, it is known as the Guilherme apartment building. Built in 1773, the building originally had two floors, but was subsequently added to and rebuilt several times. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Vienna restaurant was located here, known throughout creative Russia: the most famous writers, actors and artists of the then capital gathered there for dinner. Memorial plaques indicate that Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Galina Ulanova lived in the house – the small apartment in which Vladimir Berezin worked is part of the apartment of the great ballerina.

The customers needed an apartment for short-term visits to the city. Nevertheless, they wanted to see their pied-à-terre comfortable and beautiful. An important condition was to preserve historical elements and also use warm colors in the interior. The budget was limited, but this fact did not become an obstacle to good design. “We looked for compromises, used items and finishes from different price segments. Thus, we got a result that satisfied both the architect and the customer,” explains Vladimir.

The original design had undoubted advantages: the stucco molding was well preserved, the windows were almost from floor to ceiling, which is very rare for the old buildings. The absence of internal load-bearing walls can also be considered a success. However, the apartment was in a deplorable state: outdated renovation, poor layout. “When you entered the apartment, you found yourself in a narrow, dark corridor. On the right was the entrance to the bathroom, on the left was an inconvenient small kitchen. Opposite the entrance is the door to the living room,” recalls the architect.

Vladimir decided to dismantle the partition that separated the living room and the corridor. Now from the entrance you immediately enter a large, bright room that unites the entrance hall, kitchen and living room; a large window offers views of the historical surroundings. Having united the rooms, the architect retained the zoning: the entrance hall is separated from the kitchen and living room by a built-in wardrobe with mirror panels – the mirrors dissolved a tall, massive wardrobe in the space, adding light and lightness to a small room that combines several functions.

The small apartment is divided into two parts: a living room-kitchen-hallway and a private half, including a bedroom and a bathroom with a shower. The “border” between the parts was determined by a load-bearing ceiling beam. On the side of the bedroom, it was decorated with a molded cornice and a warm eaves light was built between the beam and the wall. “I did not overload the compact space with a large number of light sources, including ceiling ones. In the bedroom, in addition to the curtain lighting, there is a pendant lamp above the bedside table, neat sconces for reading, and a small table lamp on the desktop. In the living room there are several spots in the hallway area and a pendant lamp above the dining table.

The decoration and design of the small apartment used the most classic materials: French herringbone parquet and Carrara marble – its texture is convincingly imitated by high-tech porcelain stoneware. The upper kitchen cabinets are finished in oak veneer to support the texture of the floor. In the bedroom, one of the walls was accented with wallpaper from the Wall & Deco brand: their pattern reproduces boiserie panels, which is ideal for an apartment located in an old house. The furniture is mainly from Russian manufacturers, mass market, but there are also things from European brands: chairs from the Italian design brand Qeeboo, a Foscarini table lamp, a built-in Delta Light, a Roca sink. The real “star” of the interior is the ball pendant lamp designed by Michael Anastasiades for Flos. Contemporary art adds chic to the interior: a painting by Stefan Speicher in the bedroom and a painting by Vera Trofimova in the living room.

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