Marina Filippova, one of the Russia top interior designers, designed a private residence, where one of the main characters of this story at its outset is Saint Petersburg landscape. From here she took home decorating ideas to another level.
“I met the customer at the exhibition of contemporary art in Paris, – says Marina Filippova. – We were talking, he asked me to pick a couple of paintings for his Paris apartment. And then, when he decided to buy an apartment in St. Petersburg, he invited me to do the design. ” The owner asked to make the design very authentic to the Saint Petersburg style and this was the only request he made, it was met accurately though not in full.
Instead of making a typical St. Petersburg environment, having antique furniture, bronze and palace parquet – Marina incorporated St. Petersburg into the interior – the cities reflection to be precise. «This idea occurred in the very beginning, the decorator recalls, -as soon as I came near the windows and looked the façade of the building on the other side, with its own characteristic rusticated classical architecture and bas-reliefs in the form of griffins on the windows. I realized that I need to make sure that the interior architecture has these elements. Therefore these element are present on the walls of the living room and reliefs with griffins over the door».
Colour decision were inspired by St. Petersburg landscape – the sky is low, grey clouds through which lurk the golden spiers of the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Admiralty.
The main colour in the interior is grey, the tones vary from pearl to light blue, splashes of colour and wooden details appear only in the living room – referring to summer garden greens with the Neva River in the background. «I wanted to convey the feeling of strength, the reflections on the water – says Marina – hence the mirrors and polished surfaces, and metal details that support the game of reflections».
Saint Petersburg is very vivid in the apartment, and Paris also – all together with the décor and art pieces. Each one can have a story told. The console and stools are made in polished metal – made by a French designer Hervé Van Der Straeten. He makes furniture pieces that are also art objects, as they are made with a jeweller’s precision, yet completely functional.
For instance the stools that the designer named “Capsules” can also be used as side tables. The floor lamp and table lamp in one of the bedrooms are also rare. Designed by Serge Mouille, who passed at the end of last century, and recently his widow decided to reissue the creation of her husband. Copies are being produced in limited series and each one is numbered. Original pieces are searched for by specialized design-art worldwide.
The paintings, sculptures and photographs were selected in galleries in Paris. The photograph on the wall of the living room is by Olivier Dassault a well know French politician, artist and composer. He has reached success in both areas, most people don’t know that the famous photographer and a member of parliament are the same person.
The apartment has a lot of built in storage.
For example, in one of the bedrooms the side wardrobes are hidden in a niche in the side cover of the headboard. The apartment is filled with mirrors. One of the walls in the hall is a full wall mirror that creates spatial illusion. In the living the wall gaps between the mirrors are also filled with mirrors. They also expand the space of the living room and favourably reflect the fire.
The master bedroom is decorated in pearl tones. Restrained stucco decoration in the form of mouldings and cornice unobtrusively “translates” the classic theme. The accents have been carefully chosen, even the closet knobs are part of the décor. The wall mirror is enclosed into a modest frame. A gold matte cross is engraved on the surface, it focuses the attention and draws the eyes inside through the looking glass extending the depth of the room.
The pair of armchairs on the metal legs – is a copy of Italian furniture from 1950s. It’s a Saint Petersburg apartment but with a French imprint. The apartment’s owner is a person who can afford not to part with either Saint Petersburg nor with Paris – realizing that these cities are so alike and worth each other.
Technical information about Marina Fillipova’s Karavannaya project:
Living room: The transformable bookcase was purchased in Paris in the Bon Marché store. Armchair from Tom Dixon. Above the fireplace you will see a vintage piece by Curtis Jere, the fireplace was brought from a building on Milionnaya Street. Lighting – design pieces by Serge Mouille.
Bathroom: bathtub Astra-Form, vintage lighting from the 1970s, France; stool by India Mahdavi; marble, EDM-Paris.
Dining area: Stainless steel Console, design inspired by Hervé Van Der Straeten. Candleholder, design by Arik Levy, French designer of Israeli origin. Sculpture on the wall is made of plaster from the drawings made by the decorator.
Bedroom: Fireplace made of marble and glass. Wall light above the fireplace, design inspired by Hervé Van Der Straeten; Candleholders Baker; armchairs, Italy, replica from the 1950s; Side table made from an antique Italian candleholder. Carpet – wool and silk, ICE Carpets.