Yuriy Zimenko and his blue. Sadolin: Careful, painted!

/ Interior /

"Careful, painted!" is a project created in partnership with the Sadolin brand, which is part of the AkzoNobel concern and is the world's leading manufacturer of the highest quality paint. We talk about colors with designers and architects. We select a palette of life experiences, circle memories, events and thoughts with a conditional marker. One hero - one color. In the previous series there were white, beige and burgundy.

When we arranged an interview with the designer Yuriy Zimenko, he chose the dark blue color without hesitation. And already during the conversation it turned out that he does not like blue in the interior too much and uses it sparingly. Yuri's superpower is to build a balance. This is the key term in his coordinate system. Balance between interior and facade, between work and personal time, balance of colors, senses and textures in space.



I think that in my childhood I did not receive the aesthetic impressions that I needed so much. I grew up in the Soviet Union, where there was a dearth of good pictures. There was no beauty in architecture, in clothes, in magazines, or on TV. I liked expensive toys that my parents could not afford: airplanes, railways, houses that could be glued together. Even later, I realized that they attracted me with small details, perfection of forms and technical complexity.


Color Object by Design Studio of Yuriy Zimenko. Photo: Andriy Avdeyenko

People did not care about aesthetics, they evaluated things by the country of manufacture: "Italian boots", "Czech wall". And no one asked about the color or size - they bought them immediately. And it was even considered luck.

As a child, I liked toys with small details, perfection of forms and technical complexity

As a child, I attended a radio club at the House of Pioneers. Radio engineering was popular with boys then, and I went along with a friend. The circle turned out to be completely foreign to me. But it was an excuse for me to go to "Arsenalna", to walk through the beautiful streets of the center of Kyiv, to get to the building of the House of Pioneers. I remember its small stairs, carpets, windows with a stunning view of the Dnipro. And I also liked the Glory Monument and Horodetsky Street.


blue bird

I caught my blue bird when I started working in design. However, my life choice was foreseen, I just did not see it until a certain moment and did not take my hobby seriously.

I graduated from the medical institute and was going to work as a doctor. After eight years of hard training, it was a difficult step to simply take and change your mind.

At that time, I had already tried my hand at window dressing. This case pleased me much more than working at the reception with the patient. I felt that I can be a happy person doing what I love, or work in a specialty that was considered prestigious at the time, but did not bring me satisfaction. I realized that work without satisfaction will harm both my professional development and the people I will treat, and this is a big responsibility.

Color Object by Design Studio of Yuriy Zimenko. Photo: Andriy Avdeyenko

Everything was resolved within ten minutes. I sat in the corridor of the hospital, looked at the blue color with traces of fungus, at people in yellowish gowns with missing figures. There was no place in their lives for dreams, travel and everything that I needed. Many of these people had happy eyes - they liked where they were and what they were doing. And I felt that I did not like being there and that I was unhappy. On this emotion, I took a piece of paper and wrote a resignation letter.

At the time when I studied at the institute, there was not even a hint of the profession of a designer. There were no such educational institutions, courses or people who would deal with it. I did not know that such a way was possible, it did not exist as such in our country.

Now it is important for me to maintain interest and a sense of novelty in the profession. I want to realize my creative potential as much as possible, to achieve the level of success that gives more freedom.


Blue blood

I divide good taste into innate and acquired. Born allows you to enter a creative profession, develop in it and achieve better results. But the acquired one helps to dress well, enjoy traveling, good hotels, cuisine, communication with people, and form your own vision. Being impressed from childhood gives an acquired good taste.

Bad taste arises when there is no oversight and connection with cultural heritage

In the West, there are much more people involved in aesthetics than in our country. In Italy, for example, many people grew up in beautiful neighborhoods, visited beautiful parks and museums, lived in beautiful interiors and were saturated with cultural heritage. It is hard to imagine that such people will then build nine-story panel houses or paint a 20-story building in peach color. Those who are capable of such a thing are a minority, and they will not be allowed to build what they want. Bad taste arises when there is no oversight, continuity and cultural heritage, when there is a lack of upbringing.

Also, people in the West can create a pleasant and comfortable interior for themselves. They have a sufficient aesthetic basis for this. Designers also work there, but they are needed for more complex tasks. Design work requires fundamental knowledge, an in-depth approach and a bright creative individuality that cannot be duplicated. In many countries, there is a certain architectural elite that shapes cities, leads them, and provides guidelines. And we have only individual nuggets, exceptions to the rules.

Fashion apartments in Kyiv from Design Studio of Yuriy Zimenko. Photo: Andriy Avdeyenko

In Milan, you go out in the morning and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of people buying newspapers, drinking coffee, crunching croissants, smelling perfume, flowering plants, freshness, hearing the hum of the morning crowd. And it's a completely different story when you go out in the morning in a residential area of ​​Kyiv and see a huge turquoise sign of a beauty salon. And there is also a parade ground, a street, a porch, public transport, lawns along the road. In Kyiv, when you see some beauty that nourishes you, it is better to freeze. Because the slightest movement of the head - and your gaze already stumbles upon something that brings you back to reality.


Blue balance

At the beginning of my work as a designer, I created several restrained beige-brown interiors. I did not perceive color, and the brightest thing in the wardrobe was a gray knitted sweater. But you can't go that far in creativity, I understood that.

I needed to let color into me, and impressionist artists helped me with that. Their painting attracted me, in one moment broke and changed something inside. Immediately after that, a client appeared, ready for a variety of colors. At that time, I had just returned from Thailand to our colorless city, it was winter. This is how the Color Object interior with blue walls was born. Apparently, I was one of the first among my colleagues to make such a brightly colored interior.

Blue in the interior is like gold. Requires moderation and is more suited to details

I love complex multi-component colors. Sometimes factories give them unusual names, because such colors are difficult to define, describe or name unambiguously. Like, say, a color that has shades of gray, beige, pink. Ten or even fifteen pigments can be mixed in it. If you look at such a color for a long time, you can read them all.

There are no colored objects on a flat and plain background. Simple colors do not give elegance, they have no development. Complex shades look different at different times of the day.

However, the difficulties begin when you start choosing furniture that will be a profitable tandem with the background in a complex color. The fact is that not all factories work at such a deep level. Expensive factories work with such colors in textiles, and those that are not so expensive simply cannot afford such complex technologies.

Navy blue is my favorite color in clothes. Especially complex blue, as in Ralph Lauren fabrics. The color of the sky in which turquoise is reflected. I'm interested in shades with a degree of complexity that goes well with many other colors. In the fashion industry, they are used for bags so that they can be worn with a wide variety of clothes.

Apartment "American Classic in Kyiv" by Design Studio of Yuriy Zimenko. Photo: Andriy Avdeyenko

In the interior, blue is like gold: it requires moderation and is more suitable for details. Solid blue as a background is too much for me. Moreover, blue in its pure form is sad, it must be balanced.

Blue looks good in an interior where there is a lot of wood. They soothe and complement each other. After all, the horizon pleases us when there is a balance between the sandy shore and the blue sky. And it is also beautiful when the gray color of the mountains and the greenery on these mountains appear in this landscape.

I can work with any palette - from black and white to the Thai riot of colors. It is interesting to me to be different at the same time and to maintain parallel objects in which there is a request for color and for monochrome. Then I realize myself in several planes.

The level and amount of color in each project depends on the specific client. The interior is his world, his values ​​and feelings. The client may allow me to add something if we feel the same way and agree on certain items. But first of all, as a professional, I create comfort for the client, not for myself.



The world of fashion endlessly inspires me. Recently, I have been re-watching documentaries about Yves Saint Laurent and I am still amazed by the enormous capacity of this fashion designer. It's hard to imagine what effort it takes to create five collections a year, when you need to produce such a volume of creativity and withstand this crazy rhythm.

Among my favorite fashion designers are those whose work I relate to myself. My favorite piece at the moment is the black Dior coat, it's an understated silhouette, but absolutely not overpowering. It is important for me that a person does not disappear in clothes. After all, it happens that a person is walking, and you see primarily glasses, a bag or even a mask.

We are inspired by designers whose collections are complex, multi-colored and rich in textures

Apartment in Kyiv by Design Studio of Yuriy Zimenko. Photo: Andriy Avdeyenko

Apartment in Kyiv by Design Studio of Yuriy Zimenko. Photo: Andriy Avdeyenko

There are designers whose works inspire me as a professional. It's McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Balenciaga fashion house. Their collections are full of complexity, multi-color and rich textures. They are integral, meaningful, aesthetic. It is also impressive what kind of emotional fervor they manage to achieve during the shows. Such emotions can be evoked in me by a deep and professionally performed vocal piece. This is art, you can't call it otherwise. I would like to create exactly such projects, but in design it is hardly possible. A sufficient budget and a customer who will not interfere are needed.


Blue carbuncle

I have a peculiarity - even in a completely ordinary store, I unconsciously choose the most expensive thing. Maybe it's a sense of luxury, or it's the fact that I'm attracted to complex things, expensive in production and materials.

I would like to create an interior similar to art

For each person, luxury consists in something of its own. For some, it is a stunning view outside the window of a house with an ascetic interior. For me personally, luxury is natural materials. Marble, onyx, solid wood, complex fabrics with interweaving of many threads, multi-component colors. It has always been a reference to nature, whose beauty we transfer and reproduce in the interior. For example, a pattern of natural stone on a carpet. It has shiny and matte threads, a variety of shades, complex technology and painstaking work.

Fashion apartments in Kyiv from Design Studio of Yuriy Zimenko. Photo: Andriy Avdeyenko

Luxury is an opportunity for professional self-improvement. I would like to create an interior similar to art. With a minimum number of objects, each of which is inscribed in the space in such a way that it cannot be rearranged or removed. This is aerobatics in aesthetics, visual luxury in which function takes a back seat. I would like to hone this skill in practice and develop it in myself.


Text: Nadia Sheykina