Moving to a new city often means missing family. To avoid this feeling of absence as much as possible, Alexandra Potapova’s client gave his parents a very special gift: He purchased them an apartment in Moscow—where he currently lives—to give them the opportunity to visit him whenever they want. “It was a big surprise,” says Alexandra, who was given complete freedom to express her creativity and implement her ideas and vision. “It was a key point for me.”
The flat is located in the Hodinskoje Pole district, famous for its constructivist buildings. The constructivist movement, which originated in Russia in the 1920s, clearly inspired Alexandra (who founded Workshop Studio in 2014). “When I started thinking about the design of this project, I was inspired by the surroundings,” the designer says. “I wanted to make a link between the architecture from outside and the space inside, and merge two styles: Soviet Constructivism and Scandinavian design.” Alexandra mixed cozy and brutalist details throughout the 750-square-foot space, which comprises a hallway, an open living room with a kitchen, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a laundry room.
“It is where my client’s parents can feel at home and relax,” she says. After two months of design and seven of construction, the space came to life. Although Alexandra had carte blanche, the project was not without its challenges. “The hardest thing was to break the marble slabs to create an ornament on the floor in the hallway. I did it on my own because it was crucial for reproducing the original method of breccia flooring.”
To create warmth and comfort, the designer used wooden floors throughout, added a burgundy touch in one of the door frames in the living room, and designed a beautiful circular door frame that leads to the main bedroom.
To reflect the Soviet influence in a contemporary way, Alexandra put silver handles on the kitchen cabinets. She also chose lace curtains, as well as chrome-finished vintage furniture. “My favorite room is the main living area since it combines different zones in a relatively limited space, making it cozy,” Alexandra says.
“I decided to use one color, light gray, for both the walls and the ceilings,” Alexandra adds. “The idea was to make the space even and smooth, and to put more emphasis on the design elements, the furniture, and the decor.”
Blending Scandinavian and constructivist references, the designer has created a unique identity for this timeless apartment. “It is a unique space that bridges the times from past to modern,” she concludes.
⚒ Do It Yourself
Pick one main neutral color to create a cohesive look. In this apartment, the founder of Workshop Studio chose light gray as the main theme, adding colorful accents with a few pieces of furniture such as the orange bed.
Add some curves to bring in warmth. Alexandra Potapova designed a circular door frame between the living area and the bedroom to soften the lines of the apartment. You could create the same effect in a simpler way using a round rug or seat, such as the Roly Poly armchair.
Freshen the space with plants. When living in an urban environment, introducing flowers and plants in your home is a way of bringing a little bit of nature inside for a more lively and energetic feel.
🛍 Shop It Out
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Bellevue floor lamp by Arne Jacobsen from &Tradition, $1,030, finnishdesignshop.com
Tufted Wall Deco Rug from Ferm Living, $359, fermliving.us
Roly Poly Armchair in Flesh by Faye Toogood for Driade, $658, 1stdibs.com
Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer, $2,893, knoll.com