Header: Robert Majkut Design
Sometimes an interior designer is met by a client whose personal style is something completely out of the ordinary. In the case of At Barbara’s, a project recently recognized by the prestigious BLT Built Design Awards, the words of the day were Italian postmodernism and pop-art aesthetics from the 60s and 70s. Working with kitsch elements that seem to be the perfect background for an Almodovar movie can be difficult, but once the work is complete the result is a unique space that screams the client’s personality.
Unapologetically Kitsch, Modern, and Artistic
The project started with the need to neutralize some elements of the apartment that didn’t seem to fit in with the client’s vision. The creative process allowed the design studio, Robert Majkut Design, to get completely immersed in the world that was the client’s taste.
The entire design is a blend of Italian postmodernism, with the spotlight on Memphis Milano, and on the colourful Pop-Art style of the 1960s and 70s. The result is an intense space full of colours, textures, patterns, and details, with most of the furniture being a show on its own.
The apartment’s base was graphite and some beige structures, which didn’t really appeal to Barbara, the client. The studio counteracted these elements by adding Barbara’s favourite colours to the recipe: navy blue, green, purple, and carmine. The intense mixture of patterns and colours gave way to a space so unique that it ended up scraping on kitsch – which isn’t a bad thing in our opinion.
We can see the design’s boldness in how blue and green mirrors contrast with silk and velvet wallpapers, how hairy gradient fabrics are mixed with nubuck and matte leather, and how ethnic ornamental fabrics are combined with glossy wood.
A Spotlight on the Furniture
The furniture used in the decoration of the apartment was meant to be close to one of a kind, so the studio employed thoughtfully selected items that were already owned by the client and designed some pieces inspired by Memphis Milano.
Robert Majkut, the lead designer, in cooperation with Dawidczyk Brothers, designed several furniture elements completely based on the postmodernism style of the loved Italian brand. The set of furniture was comprised of an entrance console, a TV stand, a table for the living room, and a chest of drawers for the bedroom. These sculptured objects are bold and colourful, giving character to the apartment and owning their position as bold statement pieces in a sea of many intense elements.
The rest of the furniture was already part of the client’s arsenal, which contained Casina armchairs, Minotti sofas, and other elements from studios such as Porada, Ekstorm, and Bosa, among others.
The Lively Living Spaces
The living room and bedroom are filled with intense colours, unique furniture of all patterns and sizes, and original artworks that complement and balance all of the different aesthetics used. The array of thick fabrics, high-quality silk and velvet wallpapers, individually selected mirrors, and custom carpets give the space a bold and strong aura that mirrors the resident’s energy.
The kitchen boasts a handmade ceramic wall that was inspired by a Canadian artist’s painting, giving the space a traditional yet sophisticated vibe. Details like the ceramic faucet, which is, of course, carmine, seal the deal and make a homage to the urban life that flows throughout the entire house.
“The entire project is an intense mixture of colours, bold forms, a tribute to the joyful, colourful times of artistic design – it was and is a play with conventions and joy liberated from the obvious. Just like the person who lives here! Thank you, Basia,” said Robert Majkut.