It’s no secret that we’re fans of interiors with aesthetic and pleasant atmospheres; where the colors, textures, furniture and objects create something that’s hard to replicate and can instantly influence the mood of the moment. However, when it comes to interiors, the focus is often on the project itself—here, we’d like to reverse this. We’ve rounded up some of the top-talented designers from the region who follow unique visions and are worth keeping on your radar for more than just a successful project.
In the fourth part of the series, we feature designers from Ukraine and Romania, together with a Hungarian duo.
Yevheniia Dubrovska | Ukrajna
“I got my architectural education in Simferopol in Crimea in Ukraine, then I tried to find a job as a designer in Kyiv, which was not easy at all. After working for a few small companies, I got hired to Balbek Bureau, which was a great experience. I started my own practice two years ago, and only now do I feel real confidence with designing new interiors. I begin each of my new interiors by trying to understand the proportions of the layout and each room individually as best I can. I love dynamic solutions, and I try to be brave even in small apartments and ‘paint with big strokes.’ Details are important everywhere, but a lot of vintages, high ceilings and a project budget alone will not guarantee a good result if you don’t keep track of project implementation and the overall psychological atmosphere at the construction site. I love to be at the construction site and try to keep a warm relationship with individual builders, so they feel ownership of our important mission, which is to bring beauty into spaces,” shared Yevheniia.
“Malopo is a very important project for me, it is an apartment for a young graphic designer, who had very clear preferences: a lot of tiles, classic elements and color accents. We talked a lot and the result became very cool.”
The collector’s apartment
“This apartment is very different from all my other projects as the client was not Ukrainian, and a lot of furniture was imported from Europe from his previous apartment. The fact that he didn’t correct my visuals at all, so I could do everything the way I wanted, was incredibly inspiring.”
“This apartment is not yet officially finished, so I can’t give you any details yet, let the pictures speak for themselves.”
Bogdan Ciocodeica | Romania
“I used to work as an architect for about 10 years when I realized that my real passion was interior design. The transition from architecture to the interior was quite smooth because I was already creating spaces; now, I just had the chance to focus more on the details that make up the specificity of a certain project. I started my own office and since then, I feel that even on my worst days, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. The professional approach of the studio could be labeled as eclectic minimalism, a mix of simple, clean lines and characterful elements. We work with a very personal and intimate approach that puts the end-user of the space at the center of the design. It is also important to bear in mind that every project is an ever-evolving organism that keeps morphing long after the architect has finished his work. We often draw inspiration from art, cinema and fashion.”
“Apartament BP is located in Budapest, and the client was an art collector. The aim was to create an airy and uncluttered space that could serve as a meeting place, but also as a guest accommodation and artist residence.”
Lunet Flagship Store
“The Lunet Flagship Store is the second retail space we designed for the eponymous eye ware brand in an 18th-century building. The store aims to infuse almost three hundred years of history with a contemporary aesthetic. The most important element was the eyewear stand, in which we’ve created a fitting station where multiple customers can try on glasses simultaneously. The silver walls act as a gradient surface between the off-white ceiling arches and the vivid blue floor. The blue is a homage to the Majorelle Blue and creates an oasis of positive emotions. The silvers and blues are balanced by the use of natural materials.”
“Situated on one of the oldest and most pivotal streets in Bucharest, the small bistro reminisces of the times when small businesses and slow pace lifestyles were at the very heart of this area. Designed as an intimate space where the experience of good food, specialty coffee and craft drinks intertwine with a home-like feeling. The original terrazzo floor, cement plaster walls, and dark shade wood make up the shell for the entire space. All complemented by soft materials, oversized, almost cloud-like lamps, swirling neon lights and design elements from around the world. From the dark Brazilian feel of the wood to the retro-chic, French-inspired floor, all the elements mix and match, adding to the cosmopolitan, urban feel of the bistro.”
Sodakollektiv | Bajor Kinga & Heinczinger Panka | Hungary
Kinga got her degree in London and, since graduating from the university, has worked on global projects for various interior design firms with different styles in London. A few years later, after gaining enough international experience, her heart drew her back home to Budapest. This was when they founded the Sodakollektiv with Panka. Panka came from the business sector, provides support primarily for the studio’s day-to-day economic operations, deals with project management, and identifies potential new projects. Thanks to her taste and approach, she was quickly able to integrate into the life of the creative studio. Their experiences coming from two different fields complement each other nicely and this kind of unique synergy is the main strength of their team. Besides quality, they favor practical solutions and mix classic elements with contemporary style in their essentially minimalist projects.
Caphe by HaiNam
“The clean Scandinavian style of Caphe by HaiNam on Bartók Béla Road is reminiscent of an airport lounge. We designed the café with a light color and material palette, ensuring that the warmth of the textured walls would also promote daytime traffic. Equally important was the versatility of the space, allowing large groups and business travelers alike to find what they’re looking for while experiencing the flavors, atmosphere and hospitality of Vietnamese cuisine.”
“The small apartment in District I was designed for a young couple. The challenge was to create a perfect layout for the apartment of just 40 m2, where everything would fit in without creating a cluttered effect.”
Photos: Zsófi Bodnár, Portrait: Laura Wilhelm