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name: Maria, Bogdan, Jozer the cat, Cooper the dog
Designer name: Dubrovska Studio / Natalie Dubrowska
position: Kyiv, Ukraine
size: 538 square feet
house type: Studio Apartment
Years lived: 2 years, owned
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Bogdan, who works for a consultant and audit firm, and his wife, Maria, a former ballerina and current ballerina coach, own this small Kyiv apartment in a house built in 1966. Popular name for apartment buildings built in the USSR from the late 1930s to his mid-60s. Previously owned by Bodgan’s family (Bodgan also lived here during his school days), this space looks very different and has an interesting past. “I know this apartment was owned by a couple of musicians a long time ago,” Bogdan said. I think it’s still very positive and welcoming.”
Bogdan and Maria worked with designers Natalie Dubrovskowner of Dubrovska StudioAnyway, it was the original plan to transform this small apartment into a minimalist and serene home. “But after demolition, we unexpectedly found stucco decoration over the plasterboard ceiling and beautiful red bricks on the walls,” explains Nathalie. “Without much consideration, we decided to change the whole project into a more natural and raw space. We decided not only to fill the space, but to display all the heritage of the last century. The idea was to evoke a sense of calm and harmony by creating a warm, textured and intimate space with dim, cozy lighting and the scent of cedarwood.”
The kitchen cabinet façade is made of unlacquered copper that ages naturally, adding even more texture to the space over time. The bathroom was separated from the rest of the studio apartment by a glass partition. Beautiful wood furnishings, including a Fritz Hansen table and Fredericia chairs, complement the stunning herringbone floors. This piano was purchased by Bogdan and Mariah at his vintage market in Berlin and adds a lot of character while complementing the modern shelving that contrasts with the brick wall. Also, artwork by Ukrainian artists “was meticulously selected to complete the space.”
Mariah and Bogdan lived in Berlin for some time after the war began, but are back in Kyiv working on a new project with London-based Natalie. cContinue her practice no matter what.photographer Evheny Abramenko is in Kyiv, doing interior photography in Kyiv and western Ukraine.And Nadia, the wonderful PR person I worked with on this tour of Ukrainian homes (just like the last one), is also in Kyiv, learning how to work effectively between electricity coming and going. says people looking for ways to continue helping Ukrainians can consider the Volunteer Foundation Focus on Ukraine“They raised money internationally, bought all their necessities in Holland, Ukrainian partner“They are really helpful and 100% reliable,” she explains.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Styles of homeowners Mariah and Bogdan: We like to keep things simple, but we also focus on quality and detail.
homeowner maria and Bogdan’s Inspiration: Apartments found in Germany, France and Nordic countries. It also draws particular inspiration from The Bird’s Nest, home of the Swiss filmmaker who currently lives in Kyiv.
Designer Natalie Dubrowska‘Inspiration: Aiming to bring mindfulness to interior design, we always focus on the personal needs of our clients. I also think about what the space itself can do. This project, Cedarwood, is a great example. Initially, the interior was to be minimal and sober. The owner has lived in this apartment for a long time and his personal request was to bring a sense of freedom and fresh air.
After dismantling the gypsum board ceiling and walls, we unexpectedly found about 20 cm of extra space, as well as stucco decorations and beautiful red bricks. Both the client and we were so excited about this discovery that we decided to follow the essentialist principle of clean up, restore and preserve. As you can see, the results are very exciting. Having common values with the client not only met the client’s needs, but also saved the architectural legacy of the 60’s (Stalinka) from his ruthless 2000’s designs. Couldn’t ask for more!
homeowner maria and Bogdan’s Favorite element: In fact the whole place is our favourite. Everything is carefully selected. We enjoy our dining table very much. There is always enough room for everything cooked or delivered. Our library has your favorite books and there is always something to discover.
Piano has a different story, and of course we love it too. I started taking lessons to get better, but I definitely need more practice. But in the end it’s all the details that make this apartment one whole. And I love how those details match each other.
Designer Natalie DubrowskaFavorite elements of: Dimly lit kitchen and dining area with plenty of different natural materials for furniture. We aimed to instill a sense of grounding in this small space, filling it with burning candles, delicious wine and the scent of cedarwood. To me, all these great things whisper about inner peace and contentment when the world is going crazy outside.
Designer Natalie Dubrowska‘s Biggest challenge: We worked on the layout for a very long time. The main goal was to create the most compact option for placing all the necessary household items. For a long time, we have been thinking about how to coordinate storage systems and how to maximize the impact of a space without creating complex structures.
homeowner maria and Bogdan’s Proud DIY: My most proud design idea is the rounded wall corner and the projector and screen that can be deployed right in front of the library.
homeowner maria and Bogdan’s Maximum Indulgence: I think it was a combination of dining table and chairs. I had to think about it 3 times.
is there something Individual Where do you live and how do you use it? Maria and Bogdan – It’s unique to have a hot bath and exchange thoughts and ideas with your wife right next to you in the bedroom. In the summer I also like to put my chairs out on the open balcony and enjoy the afternoon sun. The apartment is even better when the colors of the setting sun fill the room. During this time, we enjoy brewing tea (or choosing wine).
What are your home secrets and decorating advice? Designer Natalie Dubrowska – In order to create an ideal space, show its characteristics rather than just filling it with objects. Never forget the context you have: location, architectural elements, architecture, window views. Every detail counts and can inspire you for something special.
We always recommend checking out the flea markets in your town. There are real treasures there. Combining the new and the old under one roof always yields fruitful results.
Thanks Mariah, Bogdan and Natalie!