Inside a modern apartment where white walls are the backdrop to original antiques and sculptural modern designs

We’re constantly researching, writing, and experimenting with how to make white walls less … bland. Despite the fact that we all love a crisp white wall, there seems to be this inherent need to cover them up in a gallery wall, paint them in a bold, on-trend hue, or stick them with wallpaper. But, as this beautiful apartment proves, white walls can be just as eye-catching as any pattern or color. The lack of color itself is a statement. And besides ensuring that a space is always light and airy, a blank white wall really allows furniture and decor to be the center of attention. Against a white wall you see every line, every shape, every color, nothing is lost and it creates such clean and elegant spaces. White walls were therefore the obvious choice, and indeed a starting point, for the interior design of this modern house.

The apartment has been renovated by the Moscow design studio Molbo Buro. It was a total overhaul of the space – new walls, new floors, new doors and those awesome new patio doors. A new floor has also been added, to make room for an additional bedroom, bathroom and office. Let’s take a tour …

Open concept living room

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Unusually, the staircase sits at the center of the main living space, creating a striking yet beautiful focal point in the room. The design of the staircase, like many interiors, was inspired by French architecture and is the perfect balance between form and function. The railings are detailed enough for you to notice, with their elegant shape and unique circular carvings at the base, but they aren’t so ornate that the stairs have totally overwhelmed the room. They act almost like a sculpture in the living room, complementing the shapes and style of the rest of the furniture.

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Along the wall on the other side is a small bookcase, adding another area to this open plan space. It’s different here, there is still the elegance of the main seating area but it is more comfortable and more dated almost with the dark antique furniture. The books and the vibrant rug add deeper, richer colors to this part of the room, reinforcing that cozy feeling.

This space is actually the perfect example of how rugs can be used to divide an open space. The larger, minimalist neutral rugs melt all the furniture in the center of the room, the edges of the rug almost act like walls inside which the furniture is arranged. Then in this corner you have the small rug, a second “room” within a room. This makes it more obvious that this is a separate space with separate functions and style.

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Just before the open door frame in the kitchen is the dining area. The blue of the leather table legs reflects the vibrant teal blue of the sofa, connecting the space and giving that cohesion you always want in an open plan space. However, its positioning so close to the kitchen and the way the strategically placed chandelier sits perfectly above the dining table makes this space feel separate from the comfortable and tactile materials of the living room.

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Food

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

In the kitchen, an all-white scheme is found with the deep oak flooring, with those darker, natural tones and textures melting this crisp white space. It is indeed the texture that gives this room all its interest. In addition to the floor, the walls are clad in painted white brick, adding just a touch of pattern and differentiating the walls from the minimalist and shiny countertops.

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

The wall cabinets also introduce more texture and material mix with glass fronts and sleek mirrored doors. There might not be a lot of colors here, but far from flat because of the monochrome scheme, this mix of wood and brick and glass and metal really gives the room depth. And note the mirrored bounce, such a small detail but it really enlarges the space and creates the hint of a much larger floor space.

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Corridor

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Even to call it a hallway this space definitely underestimates this space, rather it is a second living room designed as a more relaxed and laid back space with a more intimate feel than the formal open plan living room below. It’s also a place where the owner displays her impressive collection of modern art, so the room instantly has a slightly different and more contemporary feel to the main living space, though those beautiful solid oak floors and Classic moldings connect the rooms.

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Master bedroom

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

There is a much softer color scheme in the master bedroom than in the other rooms. The walls, covered with Andrew Martin wallpaper, have a soft pinkish apricot undertone, giving the space instant warmth that counterbalances the gray and silver accents. Layers of textiles also add to the softness, with gauzy fabric bands surrounding the bed and floor-to-floor curtains in matching grays and pinks adding to the romantic feel.

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

A made-to-measure dressing room is hidden behind retractable sliding doors.

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Family bathroom

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

The spacious family bathroom has chic black and white decor. There is a mix of contemporary and traditional in the design, the floor tiles are quirky as are the panels, and even the fixtures fall more on the traditional side. And yet, the simple colors and small touches of modern furniture create that quirky blend of old and new.

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Children’s room

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

The attic has been completely renovated. The roof was removed and rebuilt to create a larger, lighter and more airy space. The children’s bedrooms are located here, along with an office and the family bathroom. There is a more contemporary, almost industrial feel to the children’s spaces, finished with the ornate shapes and French-inspired decor that can be found throughout the rest of the house, instead, here you will find clean lines, no-fuss designs, and strong light colors.

The bed, a Poltrona Frau design, is chic and simple, but this bright blue upholstery gives it a fun, modern touch that’s perfect for creating a child’s room with a long lifespan.

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Rather than opting for built-in eaves storage which would have enclosed the room and made it feel smaller, the open square shelving adds a cool focal point to the room, a place to add personality and decoration, as well as use for additional storage.

To study

Modern Russian French Style Apartment by Studio Molbo

(Image credit: Sergey Krasyuk)

Although it is part of the new loft conversion, the study has a much older feel. It’s like it’s an original part of the building with its detailed cornice, reclaimed wood flooring and of course that beautiful circular window.

As in all rooms, the crisp white walls provide the perfect backdrop for the bold lines of the contemporary furniture, the clean black shapes really stand out and create a nice contrast to the more traditional space in which they are found. . Add among these lines there are also curves that reflect the unique window – the Poltrona Frau armchair, the stool, even the original vintage lamp add to the mix of shapes.


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