Loft Buro and their red. Sadolin: Careful, painted!
"Careful, painted!" — this is a project created in partnership with the Sadolin brand, which is part of the AkzoNobel concern and is the world's leading paint manufacturer naiof higher quality. For the first time, we have two heroes at once. With Olena Logvynets і With Oleg Volosovsky, we talked about reds.
Oleg creates interiors that are similar to a theatrical performance. Their visit is a unique emotional experience for the client. At the same time, Oleg considers commercial success to be the main indicator of a successful public project.
Olena works mainly with private interiors. She loves the Art Deco style, and also knows how to find unique artifacts from other centuries and cultures. Thanks to Elena, Loft Buro's projects include terracotta army warriors or massive Indonesian gates with spikes to deter elephants. The family has three red cars, a red boat and a red bicycle.
Embroidery and tomatoes
Oleg: My career path was determined from childhood. How can it be different when your grandfather is a lighting architect responsible for the gas discharge illumination of Khreschatyk, and your father is a jeweler. More precisely, at first the father was a radio-electronics engineer and soldered microcircuits for spaceships, and then gave up this business to engage in jewelry and sculpture. Elena wears jewelry made by my father based on my design.
The partitioned enamel on the mace, which is used during the inauguration of the President of Ukraine, is also the work of his father. But my grandfather and father were not involved in my upbringing, they were always busy. I was raised by women: my grandmother and my mother. At first glance, they had no relation to creativity, but they understood needlework. My mother taught me to collage, to think in terms of volumes, to embroider with plain and cross stitch, I could even easily knit socks.
After the Chernobyl accident, we went to Leningrad (that's what St. Petersburg was called then), and we went to museums there with my grandmother every day. I was obliged to keep a diary and record in it the names of artists, the names of paintings and my impressions. I was already sobbing from these museum tortures, but grandmother-lawyer seriously took up my upbringing.
Elena: My childhood was spent in Kherson, and the family also had an artistic background. My father is a carpet and weaving master by first education and a graphic artist by second. Great-grandmother on one line and grandfather on the other were professional tailors. At one point, I also wanted to become a fashion designer. But this dream was realized by our daughter Elizaveta.
While studying at school, I learned that there is a Republican Art School in Kyiv. There were seven such schools in the entire Soviet Union, and it was not easy to enter them. I succeeded, and at the age of 14 I came to Kyiv to study. This school was a meeting place for people who think out of the ordinary. Surprisingly, the teachers asked our opinions, and at that time in the Soviet Union it was difficult to even imagine such a thing.
After the RHS, my path lay only to the Academy of Arts, but the first time I did not enter and returned within a year. During this period between studies, I managed to work as a designer: I painted signs, visual propaganda. I was even entrusted to depict Lenin for the lobby of one organization, the interior of this lobby was a lot of red.
Oleg: I am a team player and I have always enjoyed interacting with people. During our studies at the academy, we had our first hacks. I came up with the concept and drew it, Elena drew a beautiful presentation with the sky and the rays of the sun reflected in the facade. That is, I gathered the first professional team at the age of 18. After graduation, I had several offers to work in architectural studios, but I decided to try it myself.
The concept of "interior design" did not exist then. But there was a request for it. We started with shop interiors. Together with a friend, they bought tools and did everything from start to finish: they came up with a design and implemented it with their own hands. Olena also worked with us, created window design, drew, painted. These were the interiors of Nike, Salomon, Speedo, and Mustang stores. I was the official designer of Adidas stores in Ukraine and in five years I visited all large and medium-sized cities where their offices were opened. Thanks to this experience, today I speak to furniture manufacturers in their language. And if necessary, I can also make a herringbone weld.
Together with a friend, we bought tools and did everything from the beginning to the end: coming up with a design and implementing it
Elena: We were the first course not to be distributed upon graduation. The country collapsed, the currency also collapsed - we stood on the edge of the abyss, everything was unclear and very interesting.
Applying what we were taught turned out to be nowhere, but we were open to new things and took on any work. I was a production designer in the center of advertising photography, and in another team I worked on the creation of commercials. She often dressed actors in clothes from her own wardrobe. A video for "New Radio" with Oleksandr Vertynskyi in the main role became a favorite.
Oleg: It is difficult to name a direction in design, no matter where I try myself. Moreover, each of these seeds germinated and influenced my work today. For example, a separate direction in the work of our studio was props and costumes for circus artists.
It all started with decorations for posters and booklets of the "Modern" circus. We have worked with Cirque du Soleil stars, many of whom also perform there. They created hatches into which the actor falls during the magic show, wire structures inside the clothes that allow you to perform tricks. I don't want to reveal all the secrets, we are talking about magic. Then the whole circus school came to us for props.
I created the costumes as follows: first, I sewed a swimsuit from biflex, and then, at the fitting, I drew with a felt-tip pen where to sew a skirt or some detail, just according to the model. Since I didn't have the knowledge of a cutter, I worked with layout methods: applied, marked, cut. I recently learned from my daughter that professional fashion designers also use this method.
An important stage was the work as a production designer in the theater of Roman Viktyuk. At all rehearsals I sat in a dark hall. At any moment, the director could call, and you had to react instantly — change the scenery, invent something new.
Theater, and especially touring, taught me to create large-scale projects in a very short time. When a container of scenery arrives two hours before the show starts, you have to work fast. That's why I came up with decorations that can be easily assembled and assembled.
For example, we are on tour, and suddenly we turned off the light. Ada Mykolaivna Rogovtseva says: "I will not go on stage, there is no light." Then you cut tin cans, remember the theater of medieval England and put candles in the cans. Because the performance will take place under any circumstances.
I had to hear comments about the theatricality of our interiors. People don't know what they are talking about. Creating an atmosphere in which the viewer will believe is an incredibly difficult task. Therefore, "theatricality" for me is not a criticism, but a praise.
Cousteau's red cap
Elena: The history of love for vintage cars in our lives began back in the 90s. Oleg bought "Moskvich-401" and undertook its reconstruction. We lived quite poorly, and all the money we earned went to repair the car. Oleg painted it pink and crimson, made ultramarine and mother-of-pearl wings and drove it safely for three years without numbers.
Later, when I began to visit Italy often, I accidentally met the president of the MG Car Club d'Italia, the Morris Garages fan club.
This is an English brand that has been producing sports cars since 1920. We got fired up and soon enough we bought our first Morris Garages in Sussex, England. The car has a name - Mr. Harold, it is more than 60 years old. English collectors were biting their elbows after learning that the model had left the country. Before the pandemic, we regularly traveled to meetings of the MG club in Italy and Europe. Retro car enthusiasts from all over the world gather there. These races have one themed day where participants dress up in the style of the year their cars were produced. It's very beautiful: hats, suitcases, glasses, checked pants.
We had to hear comments about the theatricality of our interiors. People don't know what they are talking about. Creating an atmosphere in which the viewer will believe is an incredibly difficult task. Therefore, "theatricality" is not criticism, but praise
Oleg: My other hobby appeared recently. When the lockdown happened and we were closed off from our beloved Mr. Harold, who is parked in a garage in Italy. Tried yachting a few times, and then together with my captain friend we went to Montenegro to study. And recently there was a tour where I spent 70% of the time behind the wheel. I am now getting my International Coastal Skipper License and plan to grow further. This is a good reboot, and in our work it is simply necessary.
He painted a young couple on the yachting trip he recently returned from. Under the law of the sea, I had such a right. A 1906 second-rank captain's suit was made especially for this event. Sixty people present at the event did not understand until the end whether everything was happening for real or if it was a theatrical production. But we ourselves believed in this production - my voice was shaking, my fiance and I had tears in our eyes.
Recently, I photographed a young couple on a yachting trip. Those present did not understand until the end whether everything was happening for real or if it was a theatrical production
Oleg: Red is one of the most difficult colors. It has two opposing emotions. You have to be careful because the emotion of red can be changed by halftone. In addition, red is a historical color. It was used in ribbons, flags, and royal clothing. It excites and loves, but at the same time it is the color of hatred and a symbol of decadence.
Red tends to dominate and works well as an accent. A red dot in a picture or a red bedside table in a room is enough to change the general mood.
Red can be combined with any color, if they match in tone. It works perfectly with black because both of these colors are equally strong. Any other color red can overwhelm. It is better to choose two partner colors for it.
Balance is important when working with color. For red, the key points are its quantity and volume. A completely red interior has the right to exist if its purpose is to cause an emotional explosion.
In the interior of the restaurant "The Last Barricade", red has grown from an accent to a symbol. The red poppy became the business card of the establishment. Because for me, Ukraine is a poppy flower. There are enough red accents in our own Hayloft house. This is a place in the style of a colonial loft, where there are elements of China, Indonesia, and Japan.
A completely red interior has the right to exist if its purpose is to cause an emotional explosion
My friends asked me: how do you drive a red car, everyone can see you? For some reason, it is believed that only young girls should drive red cars. It's not like that at all for me. First, I am an architect and I can afford a certain eccentricity. Secondly, the tone of red is important to me, and I do not like every tone. Although my cars differ in shades, they have exactly the right tone. Although I understand that you have to learn to live with red. Wearing red clothes is difficult for me, but I will learn. I'll start with the red shirt.
Elena: For me, the use of red in the interior means only one thing: brave people live here. Red things always attract attention, they are noticeable. These are irritants, and they work differently for different people. And I'm wary of red, because it's associated with tragedy and revolution that we've had in the past, and with the war that's going on now.
In our Hayloft, Oleg convinced me to use red on a fairly large scale. It is interesting to read reviews about the project, how it is perceived in different countries. Someone writes that it is too bright, someone on the contrary - that there is little color in the interior. Many foreigners are not ready for color at all, for them our red accents almost cause panic.
It is interesting that people normally perceive, for example, a Chinese red chest of drawers. For them, this is an understandable thing - a symbol of a person's highly artistic nature. But the picture with the Pope playing the piano evokes a storm of emotions, not everyone understands red in it.
Red is perceived much more correctly in person than in a photo. In the interior, you see it from different angles, at different distances - it's completely different than looking at the same interior, captured in a photo.
Oleg: Almost everything can be combined in the design. Do not use woolen fabric together with plastic. Because there will be an electric discharge or the hair will be electrified, and this is uncomfortable. I would advise not to forget about the laws of physics, and everything else is possible.
It is easy to combine objects from different cultures if you understand their common symbolic system. All cultures based on a symbolic system have a common root. That is, they can be combined. It is important for a designer to learn this alphabet in order to learn to write his own words with it. It consists of ancient symbols such as the sun, water, fish, and in all cultures they were depicted similarly. Previously, religion worked on the creation of signs, but new symbols appear even today.
The concept of forms and volumes is also common to all. No one taught us this, but we perceive a sphere, a square or a pyramid equally.
There is no rule as to what can or cannot be combined. You need to be a designer-alchemist and find unique extracts. The only way not to overdo it is to cultivate your own culture.
Elena: The boundaries are expanded by experiments. Education and a rich cultural background help to stage these experiments.
My love for eclecticism began with trips to Sweden back in the 90s. A friend who lived in Stockholm changed apartments every year. It was in these apartments that I saw sideboards with drawers that could barely slide out from old age, slanted benches, incredible prints on bed linen, huge paintings on the entire wall. There, I felt how it is possible to mix and fuse other people's culture into my own.
Oleg: "In order to stand, one must hold on to the roots," said Boris Grebenshchikov. For me, traditions are what keep us grounded. If countries have not created, preserved and nurtured their traditions, they become clones of neighboring states. We definitely don't want to be clones.
Elena: Eclecticism in our interiors is partly the result of lost own traditions. We bring artifacts from other countries because we cannot find similar things in our culture. These items have not survived.
It is important to know one's own culture in order to competently interpret it and create new ones based on ancient traditions. A rich background allows you not to overcome the path of cultural development step by step, but to make a leap.
It is important for me to pass on something valuable as a legacy. But there were no relics or family values left in my family, everything was taken from us. The only thing left were my grandfather's tailor's scissors. Father solemnly presented these scissors to our daughter Elizaveta when she decided to become a fashion designer. Now this is her legacy.
Succession and intergenerational connection are important to all of us. That is why the jewelry created by Oleg's father is so valuable to me. Especially since Oleg came up with the design for them. I wear them and keep them carefully like family jewels that we can pass down.
Oleg: My dream is to create a museum of modern art. A large space where there would be not only paintings and sculptures, but also cars, lamps and design objects. The content of this museum will not be the objects themselves, but our emotions from interacting with them. Because a picture in an interior and a picture in a gallery are completely different emotions. In the first case, it is design, and in the second case, it is art. Everything changes depending on whether the interior is created for the painting, or the painting is inscribed in the interior. In different volumes, the same work evokes different emotions. This is what is valuable to me - an emotional experience and the opportunity to turn a visit to a museum into a certain action.
When you come to a restaurant in Stockholm that has been carrying on its tradition since the XNUMXth century, you understand that this is the point
Elena: I would like to create interiors that can be handed down as a legacy. So that they do not need to be reworked, following fashion. Of course, you can repaint the walls and bring into this space the soul of the person who lives in it now, leaving the base unchanged.
I admire countries that have a story that can be told century after century, and more recently decade after decade. When you come to a restaurant in Stockholm that has been carrying on its tradition since the XNUMXth century, you understand that this is the point! In understanding your identity and telling others about it.