Black in action
The owner of this split-level studio in Vladivostok, Russia, knows the decorating power of darker shades
The owner of this studio in Vladivostok, Russia, knows the decorating power of darker shades
Above In the kitchen, two ‘DKW’ chairs by Charles and Ray Eames – available at The Conran Shop – designate a small dining area, ideal for a meal for two Opposite The seating area has a luxurious feel, containing a grey ‘Husk’ sofa by Patricia Urquiola and ‘Eileen’ coffee table by Antonio Citterio, both designed for B&B Italia. The chandelier is a creation by American lighting designer Lindsey Adelman Stockist details on p185 ➤
Open-plan living reaches new heights in this small apartment in Vladivostok, Russia, designed for its young owner by architect Tatiana Shiskina from INROOM consultancy. To make use of every last bit of the restrictive 24-square-metre space, she decided to fill it vertically, creating an ingenious split-level home.
That’s not the only bold design decision on display here, though. Conventional decorating wisdom would have advised a bright, light scheme for this studio, but here white is used sparingly, mainly on the floor and ceiling. In between, the walls are painted pitch black – for a similar shade, try Farrow & Ball’s ‘Railings’ emulsion. Instead of making the rooms appear snug, the dramatic shade contrasts with the white to visually stretch the space, making the ceiling seem loftier than its four metres. It’s a perfect example of why dark colours should never be ruled out when decorating smaller homes.
Across its ground floor and mezzanine level, the studio has zones for work, entertaining and sleep. Its considered layout allows for each living area to feel distinct, bright and open. During the day, natural light floods in through the luminous arched windows that frame the whole apartment. The main downstairs space is laid out with a comfortable seating area, dominated by a tactile grey sofa, as well as a surprisingly well-equipped kitchen – two people can dine comfortably at the island countertop. A small bathroom is located along a hallway beside the kitchen. The cooking and living spaces are cleverly divided by the black metal staircase that leads to the upper level. Here, designated nooks for sleeping, dressing and working are sectioned off by curtains and soft panels. These provide privacy, but can also be pulled back when not required. The study corner, which overlooks the lounge below, is defined by a mid-century desk with tapered legs, while a simple metal clothes rail and narrow cabinets are all the storage space allocated in the compact dressing area (a capsule wardrobe is essential here) which separates the workstation from the bedroom. The bed itself is dressed in dusky grey linens and, in a touch that inspires a feeling of harmony, the same fabric is used on the headboard.
Calm and adaptable, this innovative apartment embraces the design challenges that its miniature stature presents, and the result is an exercise in smart, ‘upwards’ living. inroomdesign.com