Combining two houses into one
Denis Sokolov, Svoya Studio
“More than an interior design project that combined two apartments to make a larger living space, this is really the story of a young couple and their desire to raise a large family.” Denis Sokolov, who together with Juliya Martynenko founded the emerging young Ukrainian architecture firm Svoya, smiles as he speaks. “We’re not just a design team,” he says. “We believe a home design project must reflect the personalities of the people who are going to live there. Our job is to understand our clients’ needs and to share their dreams and desires, just as we did in the case of this apartment.” Both the house and the practice are located in Ukraine’s third largest city Dnipro, a strategic river port built on the banks of the Dnieper River in the eastern part of the country about 400 kilometres from the capital Kiev. The architects christened the apartment ?Step-up House’, a name that reflects the lifestyle project of the young homeowners (“We like to give all our projects a name that sums up their goals,” confesses the architect).
The 196-square-metre new apartment, created by merging two separate housing units, offers a perfect combination of public and private spaces. The living area is organised around the fireplace, which becomes the central hub from which the kitchen, dining area and living room extend independently while remaining in visual contact. This distribution solution frees the interiors from rigid subdivisions while creating clear functional separations, making the spaces brighter and more liveable. The parents and children can easily interact and take part together in all domestic activities such as eating, cooking, relaxing and socialising.
The house also features more private areas. From the living room a gallery space leads to the most secluded part of the house where the parents’ and children’s bedrooms are located. This includes a playroom with a gallery that serves as a kind of diving board from where the children can launch themselves onto the large sofa below. But the parents also have a space that is entirely their own. From the living room, a secret door leads to a large multifunctional space consisting of a study, lounge bar and relaxation area that is off-limits to the children.
The shared feature of the day and night-time spaces is the choice of natural materials for the surface coverings. Wood and porcelain tiles (the Timeless collection from Cerim chosen in the Ceppo di Grè colour) alternate on the floor and walls in perfect harmony and with a skilful choice of colours. The warmth of the wood blends perfectly with the luminous grey of the marble-look porcelain to create a soft and relaxing overall effect. In the living room, wooden strips run seamlessly from the floor to the walls and create large sections of panelling that extend as far as the ceiling, while large-size porcelain tiles (60×120 cm) clad the entire fireplace volume, creating an architectural element with a strong personality. Porcelain tiles were also chosen for the kitchen and bathroom floors (in this case in a 60×60 cm square size) to guarantee greater durability and ease of cleaning, while wood is reprised as the dominant material in the bedrooms.
Apart from the more intense burgundy and turquoise tones chosen for the velvet curtains, a soft colour palette is used throughout the house. Last but not least, the interior design project reveals a strongly Nordic approach to the choice of shapes and materials, without sacrificing a hi-tech look in the kitchen created by the functional stainless steel inserts.
Cerim (Made in Florim), Timeless
60x60, 60x120 cm
Ceppo di Grè
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,08%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GA
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 52 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9 NATURALE, R11 GRIP
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant