An Eclectic Space by Design Aid

Multi-disciplinary agency DESIGN AID, founded by Serdar Yanikov and Tatiana Kharchenko, presents a new urban refuge in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, designed for a private client whose eclectic tastes dictate an interior of intrigue.  By Debrina Aliyah

Constructed to incorporate the personality and interests of the client in mind, the 135 sq.m space in the almost Haussmannian building (1899) strikingly resembles Collette, the now-defunct Parisian cult store for all things trendy.

“The client, who prefers to remain anonymous, is a suit-donning professional executive by day and a fan of radical streetwear out of office. An unexpected and interesting personality that we wanted to channel into the design of the home,” says the duo with more than fifteen years of experience in design.

The result, an interior space that fluidly blends the unexpected expressing the multi-faceted personality of the owner. While living and service areas partitions were partly pre-determined by building structure and permit restrictions, the design was incepted from a blank page creative license. Original plaster and woodworks were meticulously preserved and radically repainted, neo-classical rooms decorated with counterculture objects, the likes of BE@BRICK Bears, neon signs, and street culture paraphernalia. An enthusiastic sneakerhead who is passionate about noir fashion and an avid collector of contemporary street art, he is also the founder of the sought-after FROGSKIN perfume.


A recent addition to his niche collection is a piece by SEBASTIAN IN TRAUM in collaboration with the ecstatic conductor Teodor Curretzis. An obsession with the works of the late Alexander McQueen also manifests in the presence of skulls across the space, in his choice of accessories, and on his full-back tattoo. On the sewed and dyed Virgil Abloh carpet for IKEA sits a brutally elegant hand-carved coffin by design-mouzhik Denis Milovanov that serves not only as a constant reminder of impending death but as a practical coffee table cum storage for green tea and ritual incense.

World-renowned design icons, including the neon sign CHAOS/Balance by Undercover, Jun Takahashi, and the ever-omnipresent IKEA elements were curated by DESIGN AID across the space in a mix and match of philosophical principles and creative methods that work in sync.

The apartment became not only the place to be but also something that maps its owner’s inner world. “After experiencing quarantine for a prolonged period, the uncertainty of the pandemic has given a new meaning to the concept of the home. It is now increasingly more important to create not just a space to rest and live, but a place of possible refuge should there ever be another global catastrophe,” the designers explain.