Renovated just before the start of the Ukraine war, the apartment is located on the third floor of a five-storey residential building erected in 1912.
After its previous owners had completely ripped out all of the original stucco, doors and floorboards, Novikova wanted to restore the home’s historic charm – particularly in the living room.
“When I saw the large empty room with its four-metre-high ceiling and four big windows, I immediately came up with a picture of how it would look in the future,” she said.
“I wanted to make the walls, the floor, ceiling and windows like they were in the past and implement some modern furniture, light and art.”
The living room was freshened up with a lick of white paint while stucco was reinstated on its ceiling.
“I created a few sketches, then a Ukrainian craftsman sculpted them entirely in one-to-one scale out of plasticine,” explained Novikova. “After that, they made it from plaster.”
Elements of the stucco design are based on an ornate Napoleon II-era gilded mirror that’s mounted on a wall at the far end of the room, directly above a vintage Louis XV fireplace mantel.
Novikova included these decor features to bring a slightly Parisian feel to the apartment as the owners – a pair of artists – love visiting the French capital.
The living room is otherwise occupied by an L-shaped grey sofa, a selection of contemporary artworks by Ukrainian artists and an old piano that’s played at family parties.
The adjacent kitchen was fitted with jet-black cabinets and a matching breakfast island. From the centre of the island extends a white marble dining table, accompanied by chairs with olive-green velvet seats.
The apartment’s largely monochromatic colour scheme continues into the principal bedroom, where the walls, curtains and curved headboard are all a shade of putty grey.
Textural interest is added by a shiny brass pendant lamp that’s been suspended over one of the side tables and a cane-inlaid bench that sits at the foot of the bed.
The ensuite bathroom is housed inside a separate volume in the corner of the room, lined inside and out with panels of white veiny marble.
Brighter shades appear in the children’s bedrooms – one of which is finished in sage green while the other is blush pink with mustard-yellow accents.
Novikova connected the two rooms via a small mezzanine, where the kids can hide away to play, read and nap throughout the day.
The apartment is among a number of residential projects that were completed in the Ukrainian capital just before the start of the war and are now finally starting to be published.
Makhno Studio finished Mureli House, an all-beige dwelling with intricate ceramic walls on the city’s outskirts, while designer Yana Molodykh reconfigured an attic apartment to allow for more storage and natural light.
The photography is by Yevhenii Avramenko.