Olga Bogdanova and her green. 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 to designers and architects about the colors of their life palette. We are talking about memories and emotions that form the author's vision, the designer's handwriting.

The main value in Olga Bohdanova's coordinate system is energy. Olga has a lot of it, and the rich green color in the projects is one of the manifestations.

Olga Bogdanova, architect, founder of Bogdanova Bureau


My childhood was spent in Kyiv, and it was quite ordinary. Parents worked a lot, the soup was in the refrigerator, the key was hanging around his neck. I walked from school on concrete slabs, looked under my feet, found coins and was happy about it. She often tripped and fell, so her knees were always bruised.

My dad was an engineer at the Tupolev plant. I liked coming to the factory where parts were made. From there I brought home metal shavings of various shades and densities. I still love the smell of lubricant.

Dad taught me to draw and work with a soldering iron. I could take out the insides of the machine, insert a motor and solder it to the wheels. My cars drove.

When I was seven years old, my father passed away. He died in a train accident, and I didn't know about it for a long time. She felt that it was difficult for her mother, and did not bother her with questions.

Terrace on the slope of the Pivdenny Bug river. The Vin House project is a private house in the Vinnytsia region. Photo: Andriy Bezuglov

At school, we had a choice in labor lessons: we could learn to cook or draw. As the only girl, I chose drawing. We drew some details - screws and bolts. I liked the process, I felt organic in it. I still went to the art studio to paint and was a closed, silent child.

At the age of 14, I went to France and lived there with a family for a while. It was a shock - I got into another world. She lived in a large house with a swimming pool, marble floors, a modern kitchen, built-in appliances, a "smart" house, aluminum windows and sliding systems. Of course, at that time I thought that everyone in France lived like that.

Together with the family, we visited their friend, an architect, in Strasbourg. For the first time, I saw a two-level apartment, where the bedrooms and living areas are on the first level, and the hall with a large fireplace is upstairs. These impressions became a turning point for me, they switched from the ordinary to a completely new wave.



When I entered the University of Construction and Architecture, I found myself surrounded by talented people. In the magazine, my last name was listed alphabetically right after the last name of Balbek, and in general, the company was excellent, many of my classmates are known today as the best Ukrainian architects.

In the third year, I started working part-time. Around this time, a construction boom began in the country, and our profession became necessary. There was a demand not only for architects, but also for architect assistants and interns.

The bar in the men's area of ​​Studio 365 on the street. A. Akhmatova in Kyiv. Photo: Andriy Bezuglov

The second floor of the flagship 365 Studio on the street Tarasovskaya in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

Over the course of a year, I changed several companies, tried different things, was looking for myself: I drew dressing rooms, prepared working drawings for the Radisson Blu hotel. Then there was an order for the first apartment, it was located on Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Street. In the fourth year, I already had a team of a visualizer and two students who helped manage projects. I liked working, feeling needed and earning my own money.

Towards the end of my studies, one of the clients suggested that I create a studio in partnership. The plan was that she would find clients and manage the finances, and I would create the design. Then it seemed to me that it was an unequal partnership, where the main burden would be on me. Now I understand that having a partner with other competencies is a good thing.

Immediately after graduation, many classmates opened their own design studios. It was a logical step. I came to the talented Slava Balbek and offered him a partnership. It sounded something like this: “Hello, let's create a studio and work together. And there is one more nuance — I'm pregnant." Slava agreed, and we launched 2B.Group. After our first project, he confidently said that we are the best.


A hedge

At the institute, we were taught to create cool projects, but we were not taught to run a business at all. We did not think about such things and immediately went to work. None of the important points that should be discussed were discussed in advance: who has what responsibilities, how we will develop the company, and how to part if the need arises.

Everyone lived and developed at their own pace. While working at 2B.Group, I had three children. My needs changed, and the company required not only creativity, but also a business structure. I often felt like my partner was working harder and I had to run three times faster. And I had the energy to run like that. Much later, I realized that I was simply losing myself in this pursuit of the Slava locomotive.

At the institute, we were taught to create cool projects, but we were not taught to run a business at all

Manicure area with Nuez chairs (designed by Patricia Urquiola for Andreu World) at 365 Studio. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

Our separation process lasted about a year: we argued, looked for solutions, brought in consultants and lawyers, tried to glue the studio together, and at some point we talked about the fact that nothing terrible would happen if we started working separately. In the end, we left 2B.Group as a common brand and tribute to our history, signed a non-compete agreement, and created two separate companies: balbek bureau and Bogdanova Bureau. We have maintained a good relationship, and the only thing I feel about it now is gratitude for 12 years of working together.


Green papers

I am convinced that the main difficulties occur with us due to a lack of communication. The more you talk, comment on your actions, the easier it is to interact with people. Everyone is more comfortable playing a game with clear rules. This applies to work, partnership, and family. Once I realized this, I became completely transparent with employees in all areas, from discussing expectations to open finances.

Difficulties occur due to lack of communication. The more you talk, comment on your actions, the easier it is to work

Everyone in the bureau knows how much we receive and for which objects, where this money goes, where we are in the pluses, and where we are in the minuses, and how much I earn. We discussed with the team not only the bonuses, but also the percentage on "facaps". Many people have illusions about the role of a manager, and with open cards it became clear that being an entrepreneur and running your business is not so easy.

Every business has a bottleneck. You can go through it once or several times, but when you scale the company, there are more projects, and thin places make themselves felt. That's when the understanding comes that it is necessary to adjust processes and competently build a system.

The interior of the flagship 365 Studio on St. Tarasovskaya in Kyiv, design by Bogdanova Bureau. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

To young entrepreneurs, for whom I was a curator at the European Design Upgrade program this winter, I constantly asked the question: where is the money in the project? how will he earn? I know that at the first stage you can be inspired and work without giving up, but you won't win like that for a long time. You can't just give, something has to come back. If there is no profit, this is a signal. Maybe you're going the wrong way or doing something wrong. Business profitability is a valuable clue.


Blue + yellow

Green is in my ranking of colors right after my favorite color, white. They are both in my wardrobe and in my objects. I love the rich tone, it gives the space freshness. Green goes well with brown, straw and sand colors. Green is energy, lust for life, emotional elevation. It's like eating a bunch of arugula.

Green works well in commercial interiors. In my projects 365 Studio and the men's beauty salon Cabinet Barbiere, green was the customer's desire, which coincided with my desire. In residential interiors, green is appropriate in the form of decor or objects of art.

Green it is energy, lust for life, emotional uplift. It's like eating a bunch of arugula

In my opinion, living spaces should not be with an active saturated color. This is a place where a person rests and feels emotional comfort. My interiors are balanced, they have more natural shades: gray, beige, sand, terracotta. There are definitely clients who want active colors, but they probably won't come to me.

The main way to combine colors is to take shades from nature. Bright combinations - in the tropics, calm - in Scandinavian landscapes. As a rule, I focus on the nature of the area in which the object is located. I like when the interior matches the exterior, even partially mimics the environment.

Cabinet Barbiere men's beauty salon in Kyiv. Design by Bogdanova Bureau. Photo: Andriy Bezuglov

There is another way to find successful shades. Choose from those offered by expensive companies. Decent manufacturers of furniture, tiles, upholstery fabrics, paints or chipboard spend a lot of effort to create and offer the client the perfect shades. In addition, the color palette of high-level brands is designed in such a way that the shades in it are well combined with each other.


The Emerald City

After the Revolution of Dignity, we all experienced a change in consciousness. We began to proudly say where we are from, to value our cultural identity. Many people felt the responsibility not only to themselves, a completely new social responsibility appeared. It became clear that each of us can influence how Ukraine is perceived, what is known about it in the world.

I had a desire to show how cool and talented people are working around. Then we launched Prostir86 as a platform for the presentation of Ukrainian subject design. At first, we held local events, introduced colleagues to the works created by our designers.

Then there were several joint exhibitions with Anastasia Biletska. We supported her project in Bologna and together we made an exhibition as part of Paris Design Week. Then this movement flared up like a Bengal fire, and only recently it was extinguished by СОVID.

Cabinet Barbiere men's beauty salon in Kyiv. Design by Bogdanova Bureau. Photo: Andriy Bezuglov

Cabinet Barbiere men's beauty salon in Kyiv. Design by Bogdanova Bureau. Photo: Andriy Bezuglov

Together with Olena Oranska and Kateryna Sokolova, we organized three exhibitions of Ukrainian design in Eindhoven as part of Dutch Design Week and one at Milan Design Week. All these were image projects that brought moral satisfaction and created an international resonance. It was an opportunity to do something important, useful, to contribute to the global picture. The story is not at all about money and not even about fame. Now, when international exhibitions are on hiatus, it's time to think and rethink this direction. I would like that, in addition to drive and emotional return, there would also be a financial one.


Green light

I am a person who always wants something. I want to learn, try, manage, achieve. I absolutely do not like the saying: measure seven times, cut once. Sometimes it's better to cut twice and see what happens. I think that often something does not work out only because of our fears. It's normal when they are, but without overcoming our fears, we would all be stuck in place.

I have the book "Women Who Changed the World" lying in my dressing room. I would like to become the heroine of such a book


Cabinet Barbiere men's beauty salon in Kyiv. Design by Bogdanova Bureau. Photo: Andriy Bezuglov

I was disappointed in the power of the collective mind, but I sincerely believe in the power of individuals. Success comes when each member of the team makes an effort to realize their personal ambitions within the framework of a common cause. Landing people on Mars will also take place to satisfy someone's ambitions. For example, Elon Musk, in whom they are large-scale. It is the realization of personal goals that is a powerful motivation to create cool projects.

I have the book "Women Who Changed the World" lying in my dressing room. I would like to become the heroine of such a book. I want to influence important processes, change the reality that once shaped me. In addition to my family and my favorite work, it is important for me to do something special and create something new.


/The material is published on the pages #30 volume PRAGMATIKA.MEDIA/