In pop art style: apartment interior with low ceilings

Properly arranged furniture, carefully selected wallpaper patterns, and other design techniques helped visually enlarge a small apartment and hide such a disadvantage as low ceilings.

The couple, living in the center of the capital’s metropolis, is surrounded by the creative and cheerful atmosphere of the seventies, permeated with memories of the music of that time. The aesthetics of pop art helped to overcome obstacles to realizing the owners’ desires and, despite the modest area and low ceilings, to create a bright apartment to “live happily ever after.”

A stunning panorama of the city opens from the large windows of the apartment in a panel high-rise building built in the 70s. last century. It was this, as well as the age of the house, that served as the “starting point” in the search for suitable shapes and colors. The most breathtaking view is in the evening, you can look at it without stopping, so the interior design should not have competed with the richness of the living paintings outside the windows, but only complemented them.

The aura of musical improvisation, which the author of the project proposed to create, did not require expensive investments, but needed precise color chords and space, which should have been ensured by the studio layout of the public area, laconic details in the bedroom, and small office. The desire to create a spacious bathroom in place of a separate bathtub and toilet corresponded to the owners’ ideas about modern comfort.


An elongated rectangle of an apartment without load-bearing internal walls is convenient for rational planning: along one long side of it there is a ribbon of four windows, on the opposite side there is an entrance to the apartment and small protrusions. The partition between the current living room and kitchen was removed, and the entrance was left alone and was not separated from the hallway by a door – it turned out to be a studio.

The partition between the hallway and the living room was slightly shifted towards the latter, which made it possible to equip a wardrobe for outerwear in the entrance area. The niche in the office was reduced by the width of the ventilation shaft, now there is no “aggressive” corner in the interior, and the area of ​​the entrance area to three rooms has increased. The bathroom has been combined.


In the apartment, we had to replace all the dilapidated partitions, build new ones from foam blocks, remove the screed and make a new one, and plaster the walls and ceilings. The flooring was made of laminate and porcelain tiles, the walls were painted light gray, which created an excellent background for sonorous color accents. The protrusions of the beams, in order not to reduce the height of the ceilings behind the sheathed structures, were played up in the corridor using color, painting the higher areas in a dark tone.

The kitchen and bedroom were equipped with air conditioners, and the external units were placed on a technical balcony. The windows were left the same, only the mechanisms were adjusted; the window sills were made of plastic, and in the office and kitchen – from MDF, increasing their width so that they formed part of the worktops. The walls and floor of the bathroom were decorated in an achromatic palette, using asymmetrical composition techniques to obscure the scale.


Although there are few bright details in the apartment, it gives the impression of a very cheerful, multi-colored space. It’s all about the choice of accent details and their skillful arrangement, thoughtful combinations of colors on a neutral gray background, which in other conditions could create dissonance.

Gray optically expanded the boundaries, shaded the transitions from one part of the interior to another, and “raised” the ceilings. The same purpose is served by a narrow partition covered with unusual photo wallpapers, separating the kitchen from the living room and, with its proportions, creating the effect of a column that optically elongates the interior in height.

At a shortened distance separating functional zones, every detail requires perfect alignment with the chosen aesthetics, especially something as unusual as pop art. Therefore, most of the small pieces of furniture, which gave the interiors a special taste of retro – not so old, but very emotional and liberated – were made to order according to the sketches of the author of the project.

In the living room, there is a coffee table-case that looks like a case for storing musical instruments, a chest of drawers with a radio from the mid-fifties painted on one of the doors, another chest of drawers with inscriptions on the drawers (specifying what they are intended for storing), the same one is in the bedroom. In the office, there is a bedside table with a black and white photographic landscape painted on one of the doors and a defiant red shelf inside a black case.

Photo wallpaper in small rooms

In a small room, photo wallpapers, as we know, can create the illusion of optical depth without extra costs, and also add originality to the sound of the interior ensemble. All images for custom-made photo wallpapers for this apartment were found on the Internet. At the same time, the black and white palette allowed us to avoid the decorative overload that would arise in small rooms.

The office wall became a “window” into the urban American landscape, the projection of the studio partition and part of the corridor were filled with the brutal energy of a sparkling Cadillac, “rolled in” from the era of The Beatles. The only exception is the photo panel in the bedroom.

When designing interiors, it is very important to take into account the time context – when the house was built, what the surrounding space looks like. In modern conditions, attention is rarely paid to this, and it’s a pity – the potential of aesthetic possibilities is far from being exploited. In the sketches that I offered to the owners, I wanted to create an image of a breakthrough in the music of the seventies (The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, etc.), which was inspired by the spirit of the place, because New Arbat was being built at that time. The owners enthusiastically voted with literally four hands, the renovation was completed quickly, and the result still pleases the owners. Since one of the conditions was a very limited budget, we had to find domestic manufacturers who made most of the furniture to order and cheaper than purchased furniture; The main flooring is laminate, heated floors are installed in the bathroom, kitchen and hallway. 

Elena Shmakova 

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