Interesting textures, pops of colour, and bold geometric silhouettes, come together to create a stunning family apartment in Minsk that exudes pared-back luxury.
Positioned along one of the oldest cobbled streets in Minsk, the enchanting capital of Belarus, this 1,292 square foot apartment’s gorgeous pared-back interiors were designed by Belarusian interior designer Anna Lazar.
Located within a house that was built in 1954, the apartment – which has been classified as a historical monument – has dramatic high ceilings, load-bearing columns, and large arched windows that look out to picturesque views of the city’s beloved Gorky Central Park and Svislach River.
Lazar only made subtle alterations to the interior architecture, dismantling some of the ceiling beams to free up more floor space. This allowed her to change the functional layout of the space
“I like to feel the space when I work with historical buildings. By getting a good sense of the space, inspiration comes naturally, and everything falls into place,” Lazar says.
During the renovation, her goal was to emphasise the lightness and airiness of the space by keeping the height of the ceilings as high as possible.
“The most challenging areas to remodel were the bathrooms. In addition to hiding the floor beams running across the bathroom ceilings, we also had to conceal a bulky ventilation unit. We managed to hide these features with richly veined natural marble and many mirrors,” she says.
The owners of the apartment are a husband, who is the CEO of an IT company, and his wife, a psychologist, and their young child. Their request was for a home that was equipped with all the technology they needed, but which would look and feel streamlined, cosy and comfortable.
“I was glad I managed to equip the apartment with plenum-and-exhaust ventilation and air conditioning, water purification and filtration systems without sacrificing the height of the ceilings or reducing the floor area,” she says.
“The new layout also enabled me to plan the most convenient and functional storage systems for the home.”
The interiors include an entrance hall; an open-plan communal space with a living lounge and dining area; a home office that can be closed off with glazed sliding partitions, or opened up to connect with the communal space; a kitchen with an adjoining utility and laundry room; a master bedroom; a child’s room; and two bathrooms.
To set the tone for her design concept, Lazar used exquisite parquet with a flower petal pattern by Italian brand Foglie d’Oro as flooring for the entire apartment.
“As the parquet was being laid, it became clear to us that this was the perfect flooring option for this project because the floral motif of the parquet complemented the strict geometric layout of the interiors wonderfully,” she says.
She chose a neutral colour scheme for most of the finishings and furniture. Through the large windows, the sunlight reflecting off the leaves of the trees gives the light entering the apartment a green tint. So for the walls, Lazar chose a cream-coloured Farrow & Ball paint with a subtle red undertone to correct the greenish hue of the natural light streaming in.
One of her favourite design techniques is painting the walls and the ceiling in the same colour as this creates an enveloping space that’s snug and inviting.
In the entrance hall, a chest of Ziggy drawers by Porada; a banquette Volpi; white, mushroom-cap, geometric Oluce table lamps; a full-length, bevel-edged mirror from Cattelan; and an icicle-shaped chandelier by Eichholtz work together to make a great first impression.
In the living room, seating with soft rounded shapes such as a Maxalto Apollo sofa, a Minotti armchair, and a Porada armchair, bring classical elegance to the space. Sculptural statement floor and ceilings lamps from Artemide, and Moooi, add artistic flair to the composition, while artwork by local artists Elena Korshak and Dan Zaretsky complete the composition.
The home office has been furnished with a Stylo desk, a Vitra Eames lounge chair, Porada shelving, a Volpi banquette, and bold-patterned Missoni carpet.
The kitchen includes floors with a “carpet” of patterned floor tiles from Portuguese ceramic tile brand Topcer; silk and hand embroidery Cole & Son hummingbird motif window blinds fabric; customised pistachio green kitchen cabinetry custom-made by Minsk kitchen cabinet makers Master Mebel; and a small coffee table and chair set from Dutch furniture brand Bold Monkey.
Layered, cream-coloured bedding; fabrics and curtains; a Jab carpet; Bosa T-table bedside tables; a bed from Sofa Club upholstered in a herringbone pattern fabric; a marble Dome ceiling lamp by MOR design; and lantern-shaped Nelson Cigar Wall sconces from Herman Miller were used to create a master bedroom that’s a relaxing and romantic oasis.
A nature theme was used for the child’s room with a round Biophillia Slate carpet from Moooi, and ring-tailed lemur fabric blinds from Sanderson.
“Everything about this home is interesting, from the materials to the accessories. Everything is also convenient and functional because nothing is superfluous or overly decorative,” says Lazar, who is proud of how well this project balances form, function, and understated luxury.