St. Petersburg, emb. Smolenki, 35
glass cube on top of a magical mountain
Apartment for a Scandinavian in love on Vasilyevsky Island
The Aino residential complex, built by the Finnish developer Lemminkainen, has an incredibly beautiful legend. It was named after the girl with whom the hero fell in love, the sage Väinemöinen, the main character of the Karelian-Finnish epic "Kalevala". We couldn't help but be inspired by this legend while creating a project for our client, a Finn who has been in love with St. Petersburg for many years.
111.85 m²

Apartment area
4 months

From signing the contract to completion of work
4 million rub

Turnkey budget
RUB 35,762

Turnkey cost per m²
The highlight of the residential complex is glass cube-terraces on the roof of all apartments located on the top floors.
The layout of the apartment itself, in our opinion, is not very convenient: you need to go through the entire apartment to the kitchen-living room. That is, there is no classic division into public and private zones here. But the developer provided the apartment with a separate dressing room, a guest and master bathroom, and also a fairly spacious kitchen-living room (almost 35 square meters). And, of course, all the flaws in the layout are forgotten immediately as soon as you get from the kitchen-living room into the glass cube on the roof. But that's a separate conversation!

Design project and renovation
Breathe, feel and enjoy
When we combined in one chemical test tube the temperament of our client, the legend of the beautiful hero and the gentle girl Aino, and a glass cube overlooking Vasilievsky Island, we had no choice but to use the full power of the colors and textures of Scandinavian nature in our project. The project turned out to be strong, simple and calm, like a true Finnish epic hero.

Although, we won't hide it: we spent a long time seducing the customer into adding bright spots to the interior. But the client is a minimalist in life who adheres to the concept of reasonable consumption. His favorite colors are white and gray, and details and little things are completely not for him. Since we had already done more than one project for this customer, we also knew that he is a kinesthetic learner. And here we just let our imagination run wild and focused on experimenting with textures.

We didn't do any redevelopment, and we didn't even have to destroy almost anything. At the customer's request, we only made minor changes to one of the bathrooms. According to the classic Russian tradition, a bathtub from the developer was installed in it, and we removed it and converted it into a shower room. Therefore, the tiles in this part of the bathroom are slightly different from the rest of the space. Less destruction means faster repairs!

Uliana Skaptsova
Owner of US studio
Minimalism with an emphasis on different textures - this was exactly the request from our client. An apartment in which you can focus on the main thing, without being distracted by unnecessary details.

Texture, texture, quality and convenience, and texture again
Sea and stone
The color setter in the entrance area was... the shield! It hung too defiantly in the most visible place, and we decided to calm it down a little by splashing the colors of the cold sea. The same color spread in slats across the adjacent walls: this is how we got hangers for clothes and accessories. The "Idea" console stood modestly but with dignity in the corner. And this is not the first time that an IKEA ottoman, like an old friend of our customer, has moved with him.

The kitchen in the apartment was made by the developer. But our client did not like the facades, countertops and apron at all. He thought he would have to change everything, but we came up with a more interesting solution. We suggested replacing the splashback and countertop, but leaving the facades and simply repainting them. We have a wonderful partner - artist Tatyana Dubinets. She is very meticulous, and repainted all the facades white and gray in three days using a special technology. The facades are ideally matched with tiles in the color of gray stone, which monumentally complements the chairs and refrigerator of the same color.
Autumn leaves
As a true Finn, the customer chose to opt for Finnish quality. Therefore, the interior contains quite a lot of parts from Finnish manufacturers.
For example, the main characters in the living room were the Pohjanmaan sofa and the Isku armchair. There was no doubt about the sofa - this manufacturer is known for its excellent quality. And with the help of a wooden tray, the ottoman turns into another convenient addition to the coffee table and helps to gather guests around it.
The customer took quite a long time to choose the chair. He usually works from home and prefers to sit in a chair rather than at a desk. Therefore, it was important to choose an ergonomic option that would not let your back and neck get tired. We ordered the chair specifically from Finland, because this model was not sold in Russia.

The only color accent in the living room was a painting with autumn leaves on the wall, which the customer chose himself. The client asked not to add any more flowers to the interior: we were upset, but there was nothing to do. Then we had to use a little trick: when we were doing a photo shoot, our stylist suggested choosing pillows and a carpet to match the picture. We were incredibly interested to see the customer's reaction to this transformation of his living room. And what do you think? He left all the items from this photo shoot in his living room! This is how we "revitalized" our project without expecting it.

We had a separate story with the shelf that hangs in the living room. We made it for three weeks because we couldn't find a veneer that would fit perfectly with the table. It seemed to us that it turned yellow, then green, then red. The carpenters probably still remember us! But we completed the task. Now there are candles on it in traditional Finnish glass candlesticks from Iittala. Interesting fact: instead of chocolates, Finns often give each other these candlesticks as souvenirs. It is believed that this is a gift for centuries. You always need them, you can collect a whole collection of different shades and combine them.
Riot of color in the bedroom
The only place where we got color at the request of the customer was the bedroom. He liked the combination of terracotta and blue. We chose the curtains for a long time and carefully - they had to fit perfectly into our client's hand, so that every evening and every morning he would be pleased to feel their texture. We settled on a Turkish fabric manufacturer.

And we decided to play a little with color: each wall is a little lighter in shade than the other. This creates the illusion of light refraction. For a second it may even seem like you are floating on the waves of the Baltic Sea!

The bed, as a true bastion of constancy and devotion, was ordered from IKEA because our customer likes the Malm series. And the chest of drawers and bedside tables are from "Idea".

The second bedroom is still empty, the client uses it for yoga, so we left everything in it as it was.
Glass cube - a place of power
They promised a separate conversation about the glass cube. A place of power – you can't call it anything else! The developer did what few people do: effectively and cleverly used the space on the roof.

You can get into the cube via a spiral staircase, which immediately sets the tone and feeling that you will now find yourself in a fairy tale. The view from there is already beautiful. We needed to make sure that everyone who comes here could forget about the hustle and bustle and feel peace of mind. So we found evergreen thujas - a symbol of permanence and harmony - and planted them in large pots. They also winter in a cube. The owner also ordered a hammock all the way from Cuba, in addition to it we chose a rattan sofa and added poufs. Instead of a lamp, we installed a heater lamp to slightly extend the warm evenings in the company of friends for our customer.
By the way, the customer invited us to a housewarming party, and we checked for sure that we managed to create a place where you can gain strength, inspiration and feel like a real hero, albeit not of an epic, but at least of your own secluded world.

How to rent out such an apartment? Now I want to live in it! Perhaps our editor has already settled there. It seems as if the apartment is connected to the city: the river outside the window, the river at home. There were also difficulties - the rapid implementation of the project with a rather limited budget. Ulyana Skaptsova found a way out and brought DIY crafts into the interior. Now the house has a soul. The sketch "Seventh Heaven" by composer Ulyana Skaptsova is completed.
Anna Lukanina,
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