Russian Studio Monoloko Design has filled this tiny apartment in Moscow with natural light and custom-built storage.
Russian interior studio Monoloko Design has made the most of this small home in Moscow. By filling the apartment, which measures just 60 square metres, with custom built-ins, they’ve incorporated more storage than you’d find in most homes twice its size.
The apartment is positioned on the building’s top floor and overlooks the Moskova River, a series of canals, and a greenery-filled park. Lead designer Maxim Kashin explains that his main goal in the space was to take advantage of the unit’s beautiful views, drawing the eye outside to provide a feeling of openness, and flooding the interior with natural light and airiness.
With only four windows on one wall, breaking up the modest footprint into five separate rooms may have seemed counter intuitive. And while storage often involves bulky, space-shrinking cabinets that one might also expect to counteract the goals of this design, Kashin has used storage as a tool to give the windows maximum impact.
In the sunny entrance foyer (a generous and unexpected luxury in a space this size), zig-zagging walls of light wood cabinets angle towards the kitchen, and the first window. A pale marble floor extends from the foyer into the kitchen, where it’s also used on the backsplash and countertop.
The floor shifts to a pale wood in the open dining area, where a curvy-legged custom dining table – designed by Monoloko and made by local artisans – is paired with mismatched white chairs.
A glass screen lets the light from both the kitchen and adjacent living room flow together. Like all the furniture in the apartment, the living room furniture was designed specifically for the project. The minimal space is again perfectly oriented to enjoy the views and the soft grey sofa can easily be used to accommodate an overnight guest. Behind the sofa, a white millwork wall is packed with storage; the upper cabinets are accessed from this side above the sofa, while the lower ones are opened from the hallway. The wall also includes a series of cutaways to let the light wash through to the hall.
The marble from the entry and kitchen reappears in the bathroom, where it wraps the floors, bathtub and walls. Creating the illusion of a much larger space, a floor-to-ceiling mirror extends behind the double-sink vanity. While this move might be expected to create a distracting area of visual clutter, Monoloko used minimal and mirror-polished pin legs and plumbing to keep the aesthetic surprisingly clean. Another pale wood storage wall offers plenty of hidden storage to maintain the minimalism.
The final two windows are found in the bedroom, at the end of the hallway. Another angular wall filled with storage does double duty here, demarcating half the room as an office space. An asymmetrical desk is built into the wall and angles towards one window, so that the view is accessible, but not distracting.
The rest of the room is stark white, and dominated by a bed that features a massive white headboard, framed in pale wood to match the minimal bedside tables. The headboard’s scale makes the room feel more generous and the bed is of course positioned directly in front of the second window in the room.