July 15, 2021

Elena Rybalkina Designs a Vibrant Siberian Residence Complete With Art Studios

Rybalkina describes Art House as “comfortable, functional, and provocative at the same time.” Photography by Slava Fleor. 

A colorful explosion of shapes, textures, forms and mixed media art are not often top of mind when picturing Siberia, but local interior designer Elena Rybalkina’s recent Art House project uses these to highlight the creative spirit of a family of artists. Coming in at 1,615-square-feet, the home features three substantial studio galleries, each flowing into another, that highlight the owners’ paintings and photographs, and serve as a party venue, meeting place, or even a reading nook. “I chose interior items that are as comfortable as possible for relaxation, but are, at the same time, similar to art objects,” Rybalkina shares, noting that mobility and variability of all components became an important aspect of the overall design. 

The walls serve as a painting canvas in the home, featuring original artwork by the family’s children. Photography by Slava Fleor. 

The terrazzo flooring in the more traditional areas of the home—bedroom, kitchen, living room—includes a geometric design straight from Rybalkina’s sketchbook. In the small kitchen, matte black facades contrast the walnut backsplash. Across the living room, glossy self-leveling floors have had paint poured directly on top to emphasize the creative purpose of the space. The motif of free-spirited painting extends to the ceramics studio where, as Rybalkina puts it, “we just poured paint into bags and threw them at the wall, creating natural, whimsical color spots.” With graphite and ultramarine dominating the color palette, untouched concrete blocks and fragments of brickwork create a texturally rich background for furniture to really stand out. Says Rybalkina, “the rich range of the interiors contribute to liberation and creative activity, creating a cozy atmosphere of ‘one’s own world’.”

A Maison Dada carpet captures the dominant color palette of Art House. Photography by Slava Fleor.
The first step in Rybalkina’s process was to expand the windows to let in more light and air. Photography by Slava Fleor.
The bedroom takes on a more subdued anthracite tone that becomes enlivened with exaggerated forms. Photography by Slava Fleor.
Each staircase in the home is also designed to be a comfortable place to sit. Photography by Slava Fleor.
“I composed this neon slogan as motivation and instruction for the operation of the house,” Rybalkina shares, “impressions of the environment, creativity without templates and restrictions, personal perception of reality, and personalization—all this is embedded in the interior.” Photography by Slava Fleor.
The wildly colorful ceramic studio features abstract splatter-paints and Dedar wallpaper. Photography by Slava Fleor.

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