A stunning apartment in Moscow draws on the family’s love of travel for inspiration. MIRANDA TAY finds out more.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

In the heart of Moscow, an apartment in the Barrikadnaya area takes the visitor on a design journey around the world. Each room is different, influenced by the culture of the country that inspired it.

The owners are a couple in their 40s, with two children – a boy and a girl – eight and four years old. The parents are business people and seasoned globetrotters.

“Their passion for travel was reflected in the interior design of this apartment which they recently purchased,” says interior designer Anna Kovalchenko. “The colour schemes were the key design element inspired by the travel.”

Each room is dedicated to their favourite destinations – Africa for the living room, Greece for the kitchen and balcony, tropical islands in the Indian Ocean for the kids’ room and the bathroom, and an urban hotel style for the bedroom.

Located on the 12th floor, all rooms in the apartment presented a challenge in terms of size, with relatively low ceilings and small dimensions.

“Every centimetre of space needed to be carefully thought about to make sure that all rooms are ergonomically friendly,” says Anna. “Since all the rooms are either east or north-facing, we decided to ‘warm them up’ with a strong rich and bright colour palette.” It suited the clients’ taste, as they perceived pale tones as wishy-washy, gloomy and lifeless.

The clients had a lot of belongings, and needed plenty of storage. Anna’s solution was to customise all the furniture. “The sofa has a large compartment for storing pillows and throws, the stairs in the kids’ room are also the drawers for storing toys, all rooms have large floor-to-ceiling wardrobes.”

Cupboards in the living room were made to order, as was a folding writing desk covered with natural wood veneer. In the bedroom, a large bespoke headboard, with panels upholstered in Italian Alcantara, is the focal point. 

The clients wanted their home to have predominantly natural materials – stone, wood, metal – to create a rustic feel, but without the home looking like a country house. Furniture is made of painted MDF and solid oak inserts. Natural oak floors were hand-treated for an authentic rustic look.

The interior’s global influences are apparent from the get-go. “The clients brought many paintings from their recent trip to Cyprus and we used them for decoration in the entryway and kitchen,” says Anna. Also at the entryway is a custom wardrobe and chest of drawers made with American walnut veneer with handmade brass handles.

As busy business people, the parents treasure their weekends when they take time off to spend with family and friends. “That was the reason they wanted a large chillout area in the living room with big corner sofa and fireplace, as well as a big dining table in the kitchen,” says Anna.

For the kids’ room – anchored by a spectacular feature wall featuring tropical leaves wallpaper found on Etsy – the clients wanted bunk beds on different levels. Anna took the idea further with a playground area on the second level with the built-in hammock.

“The clients really loved the idea,” shares Anna, “They also requested [the hammock] to be super durable and strong to withstand not only the weight of the children but also the weight of the adults.”

The hammock, like the beds, has a metallic frame fixed to the floor and ceiling. Made of strong yacht net that is usually used for catamarans, it can take a load of more than 200 kg. Anna explains, “Overall the idea was to create a Robinson Crusoe-style in this room – fun, adventurous and carefree.” 

The kitchen has modern lacquer cabinets, complemented by solid teak dining furniture. “This makes it look more relaxed and cosy, balancing the cold, ‘industrial’ feel of steel,” says Anna.

Bathroom walls are covered with composite material made of ground natural marble, the same material used for the washbasin. “The furniture here is also made of solid teak,” Anna says, pointing out, “This wood is not afraid of moisture.”

Out on the balcony, walls and ceiling are covered with artificially aged oak floorboards. Differing lengths and widths create an interesting three-dimensional effect. Since the furniture has a distinct colour and texture, the walls are simply painted white to create a neutral backdrop.
My Reading Room

The kitchen features leather and wood furniture paired with a blue-and-white colour scheme that is a tribute to Greece.

The living room features a warm material and colour palette inspired by the continent of Africa.
My Reading Room
My Reading Room

The entryway is adorned by accesories the owners collected during their trips around the world.


Paintings from Cyprus add visual interest to the otherwise plain wall.

A feast of texture in the bedroom comprises tropical wallpaper, knitted bedcover, plants and custom sideboard made with MDF and solid oak inserts.
My Reading Room
My Reading Room

The master bedroom boasts a custom panelled headboard upholstered with suede-like material Alcantara.


The bathroom features marble wall, marble washbasin and solid teak carpentry.

The children’s bedroom features a wall with bold tropical print and a second-level playground area with a built-in hammock.
My Reading Room