The story of GOLDFISH, a very special interior design project, has started long before the actual construction and engineering.
Owners of this wonderful apartment, avid travelers, had always dreamed of opening a guest house in Minsk. The young couple wanted to design a cozy and stylish place where travelers from all over the world would feel like home.
A lot of time did they spend searching for the perfect apartment, as requirements towards location and property style were very specific: the future housing had to be located in a Stalin-era building in the city center.
They say anyone who seeks will always find, so the apartment near a park in the very center of the capital was finally discovered. We got straight into it!
PROJECT YEAR: 2019
Our main task was to create a modern and stylish interior yet preserve the history and spirit of the past. Just as our clients, we wanted to implement an authentic cozy project rather than design a quality replica.
Selection of suitable finishing materials was the first step towards achieving the goal. After all, there is no other way to bring in a historic atmosphere to a new interior but to use original decoration elements. Despite the age of the building and the dilapidated wall construction, the stucco molding, classic for Stalinist apartments, remained almost untouched. On the walls, we opted for manual brush painting to give the finish that very special old-time feel. The finish of the plinth and cornices is carried out in the same technique, which makes the interior even more authentic and vivid.
Modular brushed parquet in the rooms brings the warmth and comfort to the living areas thanks to its beautiful texture. In the kitchen, in turn, we preferred to use concrete tiles laid in an ornamental pattern.
The color scheme of this interior is soft, calm and gentle. However, the bathroom, the highlight of the apartment, stands out from this pastel palette because of its warm, grassy green man-made tiles. These tiles are used in wet areas only so as to avoid the abundance of deep green in a small space. Other surfaces, including floor and ceiling, are painted white.
As for the furniture, we went for the Scandinavian style. Lightweight, minimalistic and modern, the chosen furniture pieces neatly balance classic decoration elements and make the interior look airy. However, antique furniture found its place in this project too. The Soviet chairs left from the previous owners were restored to give the space yet another touch of history. In addition to this vintage number, we selected a classic chester sofa of soft golden hue for the living room.
Generally, we used a minimal set of furniture and décor items that future guests might need for a comfortable short-term stay. A number of laconic open shelves have books on the Belarussian history, local artists and musicians, and landmarks on them, so that foreigners could learn more about the country and the city. Being huge vinyl lovers, the apartment owners wanted to share their passion with guests, so there is also a spot with a vinyl record player in the living room. The couple believes the sound of vinyl recordings has incredible power and energy that cannot be compared to digital audio. We couldn’t agree more!
The living room and the kitchen form one single space separated by an elegant glass door with wooden arched frames. This way the living room has become spacious and bright, yet the door to the kitchen can still be closed, if necessary. Not only has this layout visually increased the living room, but also allowed to expand the bathroom due to the redevelopment.
Keeping the interior lightweight and clean, we removed upper cabinets in the kitchen and put the lower storages along the two walls instead to ensure enough storage space. Thus, the kitchen features everything needed including a large two-compartment refrigerator, a dishwasher, a water filter and an oven. The original gas stove was replaced with an electric one (you can find out more about this process in our blog).
As for the cozy bedroom, it has a large comfortable bed, a spacious wardrobe and a drawer, as well as a small reading chair by the window.
The GOLDFISH project turned out to be delicate, atmospheric and homely. We believe that travelers will get the most wonderful first impression of the country if they decide to stay in such a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing housing.