A young family decided to change the densely populated residential area of Minsk to a new building in the suburbs, on the outskirts of the Republican Landscape Reserve. It was possible to create a feeling of natural freshness in the interiors: cool white and blue colors, strict lines, and cozy settings, designed in the spirit of Scandinavian aesthetics are perfect for the relaxation of temperamental apartment owners.
An open opening was left between the kitchen-dining room and living room to make the rooms seem more spacious.
Living next to a nature reserve promised frequent forest walks – cycling and walking in the summer, and skiing in the winter, which pleased the energetic and easy-going couple with their little daughter. The hostess is a translator from Swedish, both spouses travel a lot, and at home, they like to host small groups of guests. The natural environment, coupled with the desire of the owners to decorate the apartment in the Scandinavian spirit, but without detailed stylization, predetermined the image of the home: functionality and lightness, the absence of bulky furnishings, environmental friendliness, traditional layout, fairly simple furniture and decoration based on nuances, white-blue-blue colors, cozy accents.
How to achieve integrity in the interior
One of the most important tasks of a designer is to achieve the integrity of the interior. Therefore, all the rooms were kept in the same color scheme, using a well-known technique: a light neutral background is enlivened by splashes of saturated colors, and stripes (the most noticeable decorative motif) are present in every living space of the apartment. To avoid monotony, it was used on different planes of the rooms, and stripes of different colors and shades were chosen for each. For example, the wide stripes on the walls of the nursery were made up of snow-white and soft lilac colors – the latter became a compromise option between the traditional “girlish” pink and its “sugary” shades. In the sofa area of the living room, a wide striped grayish-turquoise carpet was laid on the floor – it gave structural clarity to the room. A bedspread in the bedroom and decorative pillow covers with patterns in calm colors set the mood for relaxation.
For the chair, we chose a cover of similar colors, only the main fabric is plain, and the lower part is bordered by a light stripe.
A three-room apartment with a loggia and a bay window is shaped like the letter P with a small protrusion in the hallway area. All interior partitions had already been provided by the developer, minimal changes were made to the structure of the home: the layout suited the owners, and they also wanted to avoid unnecessary expenses for alterations and approvals. Having connected the corridor to the bathroom, they installed a shower, which was located separately from the latter (this was the customer’s request); at the same time, they blocked a passage into the kitchen from the hallway.
The comfort and coziness of the interiors are by no means ostentatious; restrained colors, furniture of traditional shapes, as well as lovingly chosen details help to enjoy the peace
For reasons of economy, customers did not change the screed, windows, and window sills. The opening to the kitchen was blocked with bricks, and the wall in the living room was built up using plasterboard. The ceilings were leveled with plaster and painted, the floors were covered with laminate – as a result, the height of the walls remained practically unchanged (2.5 m). The owners decided to equip the loggia later. The walls were covered with paintable wallpaper or painted; For each room, we chose changeable shades of gray and white from the off-white palette: depending on the lighting, the surfaces become bluish, lilac, or greenish. For the hallway, we chose the color of unbleached linen (light gray-brown tone). The doors and portals were made to order from solid wood, the 12 cm high skirting boards were made from solid pine, and all wooden elements were painted. The shower compartment was placed on a 30 cm high podium. Air conditioning was not installed; heating was installed on the kitchen and bathroom floors.
The children’s room is designed so that there is room for games, and furniture and toys do not interfere with movement. A folding sofa will allow your grandmother or nanny to sleep comfortably for the night. A floor lamp and a sconce in the shape of a flower next to the bed create cozy local lighting
Figuratively speaking, this apartment has a “light breath” inherent in interiors in the Scandinavian spirit and all its derivatives: the predominantly white color creates an atmosphere of freedom, spaciousness, and cleanliness, full of light and air. The accompaniment of blue and blue completes the association with the sky and the sea coast, giving a feeling of coolness and freshness: the frame of the chest of drawers in the hallway is a rich cobalt color, in the kitchen there are facades in the color of old turquoise, in the living room there are several decorative pillows, trimmed curtains and lambrequins, in the bedroom – stripes on the bedspread. Restrained design, strict lines, painted wooden details (doors, skirting boards), simple furniture, and lamps are also reminiscent of American Cape Cod. Smoothly painted walls (only in the nursery they are painted with very wide stripes, the shades of which the designer took a long time to select together with the hostess, who tried to avoid cloying pink) create an unobtrusive “spacious” background for simple and practical furniture. Some of the furnishings are made to order: for example, wardrobes flanking the bed in the bedroom, the side walls of which are equipped with convenient shallow shelves. The interior design is varied with wood-look laminate and glazed brick tiles used to decorate the kitchen splashback and the lower part of the bathroom walls. The picture is complemented by accessories (mirrors, collages, photographs), custom textiles made from natural materials, as well as carpets. Many pieces of furniture and lighting fixtures were purchased from IKEA, which made it possible to significantly reduce furnishing costs and create stylistic unity.
The apartment is located on the top floor of a monolithic concrete nine-story new building. The windows of all rooms, except the children’s room, offer views of the pine forest. The windows face north, however, we settled on cool colors that did not make the interior monotonous. The customers’ desire to decorate the interiors in the Scandinavian style did not imply the use of any specific variety: neither Swedish Gustavian, nor Norwegian with dark wood trim, nor laconic modern interpretations. When decorating the interiors, we used not traditional “Scandinavian” colors, but their derivatives. When the renovation began, the customers’ daughter was about 2 years old, so we were guided by her mother’s wishes. It was planned to decorate the nursery in a girlish, flirtatious and playful way. To achieve the desired result, I wanted to use the color pink, which was unloved by the hostess. However, choosing the right tone turned out to be difficult, and in the end the walls were decorated with stripes of soft lilac and pure white. The aversion to pink was overcome, and we added shades of rose and mallow in the company of delicate mint – thanks to such color combinations, the room found inner calm, but did not become boring. The sofa in the living room folds out. The upholstery of the upholstered furniture is made of textured chenille and cotton velvet.
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