Entries in Latvia (2)


A renovated Soviet-era home in Latvia

It has been quite some time since we shared a project by Latvian interior designer Natalja Radchenko. It was great to hear from her recently when she sent us photos of a new project of hers. It is a Soviet-era home outside Riga, Latvia. Icky brown painted floors, dingy wallpaper and ugly ceilings were once horrible features in these spaces...

But not anymore! Check it out post-renovation and decoration below. LOVE this transformation!!!

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Soviet era apartment makeover in Riga

After yesterday's amazing renovation I thought I'd share another. This time though it's teeny tiny and on a shoe string budget. Alexey emailed to share this soviet era apartment re-do by interior decorator Natalja Radchenko in the Latvian capital of Riga.

The apartment belongs to a middle aged Russian literature teacher who has inherited it from his parents and who had quite an utopian idea to transform a one bedroom 40 sq m living space located in a depressing soviet project building into something at least slightly resembling Riga old town last century apartments with high ceilings and wooden floors. Her main goals were to create (an illusion) of space and not to lose apartment’s functionality.

What she did:

- Eliminated all the doors, leaving only one – to the bathroom;
- Created wide openings;
- Optically expanded space with wide cornices and plinths;
- Chose neutral tones for walls and black varnish for the floor.

The result:

- Dining room/space with kitchen work space;
- Living room, semi-integrated into bedroom (owner’s requirement);
- Small dark corridor transformed into wide hall leading to dining/kitchen, where wall is turned into a kind of gallery of owner’s family relics;
- Tiny wardrobe between bedroom and entrance hall.
In addition to small size, another obstacle was that the owner had a very limited budget. Hence, not a single piece of furniture is just bought (except for kitchen appliances and bathroom); almost every item is redone and redesigned. For example, a sofa in a living room is bought in a second hand furniture store (and was originally disgustingly pink), bed - on the closing hotel auction, dinner table is inherited from owner’s parents, and almost all of the lamps are found on furniture dumps. Visual appearance of every item was changed via being repainted, overlayed with another fabric, accessorized. It was not a classical restoration, rather an ironical one – e.g. chair in the hall is overlayed with canvas bag fabric.

First time visitors claim that the effect of entering the apartment from a dark claustrophobic staircase is probably similar to entering Narnia chronicles wardrobe – the contrast is astonishing.

So much more after the jump! Definitely not what comes to mind when the words "soviet era" are used. Inspiring renovation. Natalja's website is under construction but I'm sure Alexey will let us know when it's live.

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