Historical Apartment Renovation in Kyiv, Ukraine

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Designed by Iya Turabelidze, Emil Dervish, and Katerina Bandura, this 175-square-meter apartment is located in the historical district of Lipki in Kyiv, Ukraine. It’s situated on the second floor of a house designed by the architect Verbytskyi in 1908, which tucks cozily amongst old linden trees. The renovated property belongs to a couple with two children, who wanted to see the place restored to its former glory. Over the course of two months, modern additions were peeled away to reveal wider doorways and a fireplace from 1941. Aged plaster and rotten beams were refreshed. The design team tracked down the original plan from 1908 to follow, while being mindful of the family’s modern needs.

Photographer: Yevhenii Avramenko  

The homeowners desired an authentic classic space that would complement their minimalist living style. They keep a pristine home, so a palette of fresh white was a clear choice for the backdrop of a clean white sofa. The living room was attached to the kitchen to make an open-plan living hub. An archway preserves the classical plan and the stucco ceiling contours. It also hides built-in kitchen cupboards and an air conditioning unit.


A wall of windows brings sunlight streaming into the 64-square-meter living space. A door leads out onto a beautiful balcony.


A Fiddle leaf fig drinks in the glorious sunshine. The flourishing indoor plant adds a burst of uplifting greenery to the plain white room.


The overhead light is a work of Italian mid-century art. Its brass finish complements the traditional surroundings, while matt black shades add modernity.


1960s wine red accent chairs are positioned at each side of the rediscovered fireplace from 1941. Small, modern wall sconces subtly flank a simple, wooden mirror above the mantelpiece.


A miniature decorative vase perches on the narrow ledge of the mantelshelf, along with a mini rattan basket and book.


A wooden bench extends the living room seating arrangement without blocking the view through the balcony doors.


One wall of the living room is dedicated to a home workspace. A system of adjustable shelving rails supports a floating desk and storage cabinets. A magazine shelf runs above the workspace, with bookshelves situated up top.


In the kitchen, modern appliances were hidden away to preserve the historical feel of the apartment. The dimensions of the wooden dining table were modified to fit perfectly with six vintage chairs from France.


Italian travertine builds a complementary beige backsplash between stark white kitchen cabinets and monochrome walls.


A ledge on top of the backsplash holds an array of vintage art and glass tumblers.


A brass kitchen faucet matches the warm tone of the travertine countertop.


The remaining apartment is divided into an adults’ block and a children’s block. In the master bedroom, two bedside table lamps stand on timeless wooden nightstands.


An original double doorway links the bedroom to the living space, opening up a 17-meter-long perspective.


Windows and doors were crafted to represent those depicted in the classic drawings of the building.


A pure white upholstered bed contrasts with the parquet checkerboard floor, which is typical of Art Nouveau buildings in Kyiv.


Four-meter high ceilings give the apartment a spacious feel.


Lightweight white drapes brush the floor. A vintage wooden chest stores bed linen.


Just like in the living room, the wall texture in the bedroom and hallway is raw and rough. The warm white stucco was custom-made to replicate the stucco style of the Art Nouveau period.


Rounded walls give the hallway a smooth, open flow.


In the children’s block, two bedrooms, a shared bathroom, and a vast walk-in wardrobe/storage space are joined by a separate hallway. The warm white, natural wood, and vintage brass decor palette continues here. Large paper bedroom pendant lights from HAY hang from the high ceilings.


The small guest bathroom design is playfully overblown with a theatrical red velvet curtain, which conceals laundry equipment. A modern hand soap holder accessorizes a traditional basin.


In the children’s bathroom, a unique shower space design was created with a recessed wall arch and mosaic tiles. The mosaic tile treatment expands outward beyond the shower enclosure to form a half-height border around the room.


The final minimalist bedroom design forgoes nightstands altogether. Instead, a simple wooden wall shelf holds just a couple of key pieces.


The bedroom furniture plan is dominated by a black oak desk design. The bespoke desk spans the full width of the bedroom, creating plenty of room for study and craft projects.


Linen curtains drop behind the desk to rest on the floor. Creating one continuous line of fabric from floor to ceiling highlights the impressive height of the room.


White mosaic tiles reappear inside the master bathroom. A ceramic robe hook is integrated into the wall treatment to maintain the classic look.


A vintage wooden bathroom vanity is topped with a luxe white marble countertop.


The brass bathroom faucet was chosen to acquire a natural patina over time.


A rare, pre-revolutionary Austrian bathtub was restored for this project. The bathtub features detailed claw feet and a roll-top profile, which adds a sense of romance to the bathroom scheme.


Wall-mounted toiletry holders keep bathroom surfaces free from clutter.


A natural wood bath shelf is matched by a wooden towel ladder. The white marble floor is made with differently shaped tiles, each set at different angles, to achieve an interesting finish.

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