Black in ac­tion

The owner of this split-level stu­dio in Vladi­vos­tok, Rus­sia, knows the dec­o­rat­ing power of darker shades

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents - Words JAMES CUN­NING­HAM Pho­tog­ra­phy TA­TIANA SHISKINA

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. in­roomde­

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