Family country house

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In the log villa spread over the background of a blooming garden you can feel something French and patriarchal Russian at the same time. Especially, when according to the author of this project Julia Nerterova, there is no specific style here: this villa in the suburbs of Moscow is just a house – a simple and easy-going as childhood.

SALON: how did it start?

Julia Nesterova: the client saw my work in SALON-interior magazine and offered me to plan their family house in the country. I had to think through everything – starting from the countryside and finishing with the interior. On one hand, I could do what I wanted, on the other, it was a tough assignment because there was nothing to cling to, and only flower fields were surrounding the estate. From the beginning we decided to build a log house. Wood is live, warm material that is best suited for family relaxation in fresh air. The house wasn’t supposed to have looked like a wood farmhouse, be of Bavarian or Alpic style. I wanted the interior to be neutral, without recognisable style or building period. So using several tricks, I wanted to hide the farmstead feel of the house. Those spots were logs were seen I decided to pain in a very light colour, almost white. I did it so the wood would look like background. The building took several years so matching “moving” wood with more static materials (wallpapers, bricks, tiles) required difficult technological and structural knowledge. But it was all worth it.

The house is neither big nor small. When discussing the house size we stopped at a medium size – 800 square meters. This size is the most suitable for a comfortable non-permanent residence. The rooms are laid out in floors according to their function. The first floor is the representative one. It has the living room with a fireplace, a dining room, a guest rooms and parent block (a bedroom with a bathroom). The whole second floor is for the children. The basement is the recreational and fun zone. A pool table, house cinema, kitchen and additional rooms are situated here. There is also a small guest house where the bathhouse is. Both buildings are strategically placed in such a way that the territory isn’t visible from the outside.

S: Please tell us more about the interior

– The interior was influenced by my trip to Onfler city (Normandy). In the beginning we were supposed to build a house on water. Because of technical reasons it wasn’t possible to dig out a pond (the slope was wrong), so we had to leave this idea behind. But the sea motives stayed in the interior details – the architectural solutions, the accessories and line drawings. The concept kept changing during the building period, but associations to French and Dutch spirits stayed. That is why here are some Russian motives as well – I wanted the villa to resemble something from the beginning of the last century.

S: Grey colour is abundant here. Actually the whole colour scheme is a bit surprising…

– I like cold colours and think that they suit our climate better that the warm Italian colours. And the French grey is my favourite. Actually the colour scheme kept evolving form hortencia flower. I showed this flower to my customers and told them that this will be the interior colours: soft grey, dimmed pink, greyish greens and matt gold.

S: The garden of the villa isn’t a standard one in Moscow surrounding. It reminds a garden somewhere in Europe…

-Actually the garden design is based on European tradition: there was no thought whatsoever about having the ever-green pines and spruces around. It is very different from neighbouring gardens in its colours and forms. The colour variety of blooming plants is far more various and lush than we’re used to. When creating the garden we planted dwarf apple trees, flagging willows and the beautiful hotnecias.

S: What was most important in your work?

– The basic point of any living environment isn’t the style, the furniture or the colours. They are secondary things. For me most important is that the house provides happiness and the owners are satisfied in it even though it required huge effort and lots of work.

The author of the project Julia Nesterova:
„This is my favourite project. I was extremely lucky to have such a client: we understood each other from half of a word. Interior doesn’t have to prove something to somebody for me, it is my feeling and conception of a country house. Here I could implement the ideas I wanted, I didn’t have to do what’s in fashion or represents the social status of the owners. I believe I managed to create a cosy house where life is simple and full of joy.”