by Vladimir BelogolovskyJun 23, 2023
You wouldn't ordinarily picture a ram's head or mannequins with animal skulls as elements in a modern home. However, this large 10,000-square-feet home, designed by Russian interior designer Anna Erman, is anything but ordinary. Located on the outskirts of Moscow, the two-storey bungalow is designed for a couple and their two children. The homeowners are art lovers with a diverse collection, where contemporary art and antiques co-exist. The brief was simple—the home had to be a unique space and functional at the same time. The bungalow’s eclectic design aesthetic focuses on the quirky use of animal prints and quaint motifs while still maintaining an overall sophisticated, minimalist approach. It showcases their love for unusual objects and resembles a painstakingly curated art gallery. Erman has designed a one-of-a-kind home with high-end furniture, an unexpected decor and unique accessories.
The decor pieces are a mix of quirky contemporary pieces and atavistic animal art. The idea of featuring a sculpture with horns came to Erman as soon as she saw the layout of the house. When the client asked her to do something unusual and original, she came up with the idea of placing animal skulls on mannequins. The theme of horns impressed everyone, and she continued to furnish the house in the same spirit. The end result was a home with decor pieces of roosters, wild boars and other horned objects. The mannequins were selected because of their large proportions. "I really like to see how old architecture fits in and lives a modern life. It is not difficult to combine objects that are different in style and subject matter when there is a large space. The main thing is to take into account the proportions. If the house is large, then the items can be big. And, of course, we are looking at colour combinations. In this case, since the space was white, we could afford to add bright colours and accents," remarks Erman.
"This is our second home for this client. We designed their first home eight years ago. They lived in it for several years and decided that they needed more space. The home fully reflects the lifestyle of the clients. The living room can be called an art gallery. It is a really large space with a collection of art, and the owners feel very comfortable in it. This home was a wonderful playground, it was planned to be luxurious, with extensive glazing, with a large number of rooms, a garden, an indoor pool, and the clients' unusual art collection. The idea is for the artworks and unique decor pieces to constantly change,” Erman added.
The ground floor of the bungalow is dedicated to public spaces, while the first floor comprises the family lounge and bedrooms. The centrally located living room with a double-height ceiling and sliding glass doors takes centre stage in the home. The well-lit living area is connected to the dining area and kitchen in an open layout, making it an ideal space for hosting. The highlight of the living room is undoubtedly its arresting decor pieces. Some of the pieces were from the clients' private collection, acquired during their travels abroad, and others were recommended by Erman. For instance, a large sculpture with a ram's head titled Uno by Imperfettolab, which the designer saw at Maison&Objet, found a spot above the fireplace.
"I joined the project when there was already a layout of the house. While the house was being built, we already knew all the different spaces and started collecting items for the interiors. The clients' first purchase was two designer chandeliers, black and white, found in Paris. At first, it was unclear where they would be, but we finally placed them in the living room. Then, in one of the shops in Moscow, I found a concrete Belgian portal for a fireplace and the idea came up that the entire wall behind the fireplace would be made of concrete. Moreover, I made some of the decor accessories with my own hands, such as a cabinet made of perforated metal, a sculpture of a girl in skates, mirrors and floor lamps made of bicycle wheels, musical instruments and old lamps," adds Erman.
The bungalow’s dining area features a 10-person, wooden dining table with distinctive white and black chairs and two stylish chandeliers. The chic kitchen houses a large island and black marble countertops. While the living room’s material palette comprises white marble and concrete, the kitchen is made using back marble and concrete. Furthermore, the kitchen has ample storage and state-of-the-art appliances. A standout piece in the kitchen is a vintage Baccarat chandelier. “A lot of things were bought spontaneously and emotionally during the customers' travels. There was a Baccarat chandelier that the clients wanted to hang in the bedroom. I didn't really want it to be there. By placing it in all the rooms, we found another place for it—the kitchen next to the extractor hood," mentions Erman.
An imposing staircase provides an inviting ascension to the bedrooms on the upper floor. The concrete staircase showcases the form of a spectacular, suspended sculptural ribbon. The hallway area under the staircase features a black chaise longue from Alias, a chandelier from an old Soviet boarding house and the bow of a boat the owners brought from Africa. At the bottom of the staircase is a brown chair from Riva 1920 along with three white mannequins with animal skulls.
The bedrooms and bathrooms exhibit a similar design aesthetic as the rest of the home. They feature sleek and minimal furniture and eye-catching decor pieces. The spaces are eclectic, with a white colour palette and bold pops of colour. The master bedroom has a bed from B&B Italia, a carpet from Moooi, an armchair from Roche Bobois and a vintage chandelier from Paris. The kids' room has a table with built-in floor lamp from Moooi, an armchair from Andrew Martin and an antique lighting fixture.
"While decorating this home, we acted as gatherers and hunters. Items such as the sofa or bed were not given much attention. We chose them from well-known Italian manufacturers, focusing on the size and quality. Also, along with chandeliers as art objects, a basic technical light is installed everywhere in the house. For me, this project turned out to be amazing, because for three years, from the moment of construction to its completion, we were hunters of unique items, no matter what era and style. The task was to find something interesting, close in spirit, and find a place for it. For almost three months, we sorted and arranged everything we bought,” concludes Erman.