Eugenia Mikulina gives us a tour of her Moscow apartment, a collaboration with interior designer and friend Elena Pritula

AUG 14, 2020 | By Eugenia Mikulina
(L-R) The living room features a Dantone Home dining table and vintage bowls and vases; Behind it is an antique 19th century cabinet that belonged to the previous owners. The chairs are a mix of British 19th century antique from Berso Antique gallery and 1950s Italian from NG Gallery. The artwork is by Mikulina; A clear view of the antique cabinet; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov
(L-R ) A 19th century Russian antique buffet takes pride of place in the kitchen and is illuminated by a light from Arteriors Home; The floor uses pieces from Original Tiles; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov
Another view of the kitchen; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov
(L-R) The master bedroom features a Capitol Collection bed, tables from Le Home Interiors, a Wedgwood vase and wardrobe designed by Pritula. On the wall is a 1920s carpet from Tehran that belonged to Mikulina's ancestors and was restored by textile artist Elena Olenchenko, who also designed all the pillows for this home; An antique armchair, 18th century table and a sideboard from Le Home Interiors share space. Accessories include a mirror by Savio Firmino, a vintage table lamp and Mikulina's artworks; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov

“My apartment in Moscow is a labour of love—that for my hometown and my family. Both my husband and I grew up in communal flats in central Moscow. During Soviet times, several families had to live in one large apartment in old buildings, sharing the bathroom and kitchen.

“The mouldings on the ceilings, the oak floors, beautifully proportioned rooms hinted at the magnificence these apartments possessed before the revolution. For us, these hard times are cherished memories of childhood and we wanted to bring to life the image that the seemingly shabby spaces of those cherished times reflected—‘to create the perfect old Moscow apartment’.

A restored, 1905 entrance door opens into the foyer, where an antique, 17th century hanger is in use. The oak floors contrast against the walls that use Little Green paints and inner doors that are designed by Elena Pritula; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov

“We found just the right one, an approximately 1,520 sq ft, five-room apartment in the heart of Moscow. It had high ceilings and oak floors but was in a sorry state. Serious reconstruction was needed. Despite being an architect by education, I spent 20 years as a design writer and lacked practice. So, I invited my close friend, interior designer Elena Pritula, to work on my place. We worked us a team, where she supervised all architectural and construction work, based on the design decisions we made together.

Under the restored plasterwork of the ceiling are a Timothy Oulton sofa, Le Home Interiors console and Dantone Home dining table. Near the restored, antique 19th century cabinet are chairs from 1950s Italy, bought from NG Gallery. The watercolours on the wall are by Mikulina; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov

“The apartment had the perfect layout, so the only change was the addition of a guest toilet near the foyer. To the left is my husband’s study, decorated with an art nouveau chandelier, antique desk and custom made bookshelves.

The dining setup in living room connects to the study. In the foreground are British antique 19th century chairs sourced from BersoAntik Gallery in Moscow, and vintage vases and bowls; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov

“Next comes a living-cum-dining area with a comfy Chesterfield sofa and a round dining table with antique 19th century English chairs. Here, an antique cabinet that we bought with the apartment, which, in fact, stands in the same place! There is a connecting door between this lounge and the study.

Designer’s Guild wall paints and flooring from Original Tiles encase the kitchen, which is spruced with a modular set from Hacker, an oven from Neff, toaster from Bork, and table from Le Home Interiors. The 1950s Italian chairs are from NG Gallery; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov

“The main passageway runs across the apartment and is lined with bookshelves. On the right is a large kitchen with an antique buffet and round breakfast table. Beyond lie the children’s rooms. The bathroom is at the end of this corridor, adjacent to the master suite.

The study features a mix of antique and vintage pieces—from the tables, chairs, chandelier and carpet. Modern additions include the Timothy Oulton sofa and curtains made from Galleria Arben’s fabric; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov

“A significant amount of construction work was undertaken. We had to recreate plaster mouldings, make new wooden floors, repeating old patterns. And Elena created an amazing pattern of tiles for the kitchen floor. We also made new windows with a historical pattern of frames and wide marble window sills. All doors and bookshelves are wooden and custom made.

The table and the chair in the study area are antique, while the painting is a 17th century Dutch portrait by Justus Sustermans; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov

“The main decor feature of this home is colour, which is different in every room. The plaster walls are painted olive in the master bedroom, navy blue in my teenage daughter’s room, sky blue in the other daughter’s boudoir, ochre in the living room, custard in the kitchen, etc.

Another view of the study; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov

“Colourful walls are a Russian interior tradition and they make the space warmer. Also, the home has a lot of antique furniture, for which we hunted in different shops and restored later. We also restored the entrance door, which dates back to 1905—when the house was built. Other furniture in the apartment is traditional, except for our eldest daughter’s room, which she wanted to be more ‘midcentury’.

The master bedroom is bathed in olive tones; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov

“The family feel is imbibed into the interior by personal items—antique carpets, which are family heirlooms, books, comic book posters, my husband’s collection of fossils, and my watercolours decorate the walls. In just over a year, we created the “true Moscow home” that looks as if the horrors of the 20th century never happened. Yet it is nothing like a museum because every colour, furniture piece or decor item was chosen for personal reasons, not for its ‘design’ value, and that is why they blend into a harmonious whole and make everyone feel truly at home.”

Scroll to see more images from Eugenia Mikulina’s Moscow apartment…

Near the copy of Traditional British Cooking, is a 19th century Russian ‘Kuznetsov’ porcelain plate that holds berries, Soviet vintage crystal bowls from the 1950s, 19th century silver spoons—all flea market finds; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov


The living room is decorated with a Maxalto armchair, a Russian 18th century antique armchair, Timothy Oulton couch and a coffee table from Halo Est 1976. The artwork is by Alexander Shevchenko; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov


Under a framed photograph taken by Mikhail Stepanov is a 20th century antique chair. The marbled window sill holds a vintage silver coffee pot and Royal Albert cup; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov


This view of the study showcases a mix of antique, vintage and modern pieces; Photographs by Mikhail Stepanov