Mureli House by Makhno Studio. Living space as a work of modern Ukrainian art

Makhno Studio
A type
private house
561 m2

"...Small orange with a red gradient, sweet or sometimes sour. Mureli means apricots. We gave this name to the project of a family house near Kyiv, because the construction was finished just in the summer, and stylistically the interior reminds us of a warm July morning, when your eyes are still half-closed, but you are already looking for the way to the kitchen barefoot, where yesterday's mureli are waiting in a vase." This is how poetically the team of the Makhno Studio architectural bureau describes the interior concept of Mureli House.

The tactile and artistic interior from Serhiy Makhn's studio can be called absolutely self-sufficient. There is nothing about the overall context in the project description. Why? This is the rare case where context is…not important. PRAGMATIKA.MEDIA studio explained: "This interior is really unique and expressive. We are not talking about the exterior or the landscape, because we did not design it. The house is located in a cottage town with the same type of architecture. There is also an interesting point in this, because behind the classic family house from the outside, we created an art interior."

Tone of voice sets the hall with high textured walls and a panel of 600 ceramic tetrapods. The tactile roughness of the surfaces is emphasized by the directed light from five rounded "Cloud" lamps levitating under the ceiling. A staircase with curved handrails leads to the second floor, where the living spaces are located.

"Handrails made of bent wood were a difficult task for craftsmen. But Ukrainian hands are capable of anything, so the railings in Mureli House are made precisely according to the wishes of the designers, the angle of inclination of each wave is preserved," the studio said.

The peculiarity of this architectural framework was the irregular, radiused walls: "The walls and ceilings in Mureli's house are rounded, like the sides of apricots. This became a challenge for our architects and general contractors. But they created as many junctions as needed for a perfect shape. We also found a way to make shadow seams on the floor and ceiling. For the final result, we needed patterns, according to which the masters cut out the plasterboard and mounted it. And it was possible to perfectly fit all cabinet furniture into these radius walls. Such drawings, which were during the work on this project, are in a frame on the wall."

The spacious dining room is ready to receive guests, ensuring maximum comfort. Upholstered semi-chairs "Elephant" lined up along a wide polished tabletop made of oak slab. The three-dimensional ceiling "Cloud" promises an atmosphere of privacy, which is the best fit for a friendly conversation.

The highlight of the cinema-living room with a fireplace and a sofa is, of course, the copper lampshades of "Makivka" lamps. Their naturalistic shape and volume attract the eye.

Behind the transparent, airtight door is the kitchen, a true culinary workshop that encourages experimentation. However, the design is not inferior to the functionality. “The 4 monumental porcelain stoneware cubes are a great way to recreate the texture of stone without the actual natural stone, which would be less functional and a pain in the ass. And under the ceiling - "Volcanoes", original Makhno lamps," explained the idea in the studio.

Another iconic space is a covered terrace with a wood-burning fireplace behind reliable glass. Above the fireplace is a decor from the studio's ceramic workshop. "Very soon, this figure will appear next to the new collection of the Makhno Product brand," they promise.

It should be noted that the Mureli House project, probably since the time of another project of the studio — Shkrub House — used the largest amount of author's subject design of Serhiy Makhn's workshop. "In addition, 90% of all furniture and materials are Ukrainian. "It's in the style of Makhna," as our customers say, or, as we explain, it's a modern Ukrainian style," the designers say.

Even the wash basins in all the bathrooms are a separate work of art by Serhiy Makhn. This is a relatively new branch of the studio's product design development. For now, these are custom versions, but later there are plans to release a collection for individual sales.

Despite the high concentration of accented author's objects, they do not conflict with each other and do not even compete. The lack of color contrasts is not accidental - the general palette equalizes the actors, bringing them to solo parts at the request of the viewer. The name of the project subconsciously makes you look for apricot notes, but Serhiy Makhno does not follow the temptation of direct associations, but colors the spaces with shades of a transparent summer dawn.

"Beige was chosen as the general color according to the wishes of the customers. It carries with it a visually clean interior, at the same time it arouses interest in small details. We managed to create a rather minimalistic space in this accent color. Other colors appear only in two rooms."

The exception to the rules in question is the personal spaces of the housewife: "From the bedroom, dressing room and bathroom of the housewife, you can easily deduce what her favorite color is. While working on these areas of the project, our artists were drowning in pink glaze. After all, there are designer tiles, and light in each zone, and even a washbasin — all of our own design and production. The corrugated glass of the shower cabin was chosen until the gradient became perfect. Every detail is important."

The interior of Mureli House was completed back in the summer of 2021, a few months before the full-scale invasion, when the air was not heavy with grief and anxiety. Today, Mureli House "sounds" like a prediction of light and strength, the powerful creative potential of the Ukrainian soul.


Author of the project: Makhno Studio, Sergey Makhno, Marina Grechko, Oleksandr Makhno, Bohdan Agafonov, Anastasia Tolchynska, Olena Stepura, Viktor Zakharchenko.

Light, ceramic decor, gossip, washbasins: Makhno Studio.

Photo: Evgenia Avramenko.

Text: Iryna Isachenko.