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Siberian wooden fairy tale with a touch of royal glamour

Martha Taylor-Brown |
Old Russian houses are known by their carefully crafted exterior and attention to details but it's in the inside where the real beauty is hidden. Mixing a traditional Siberian house with elements of royal palaces, a wooden cabin can be turned into a place where the tsar can spend the harsh winter.

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In cold Siberia, wood is a natural choice for building a house but old masters weren't satisfied with "log on a log" approach, they used to a whole set of details, reflecting the details that can be found in royal palaces and adapting them to relatively modest houses. The end result is far from modest, it is truly stunning. Small, carved details can turn simple staircase to a work of art, not to mention attention to details on the ceiling which is usually left as it is in usual wooden cabins. The amount of work is huge and we must admire craftsmen's skills.

Artists like Tatiana Rozhkova were trying to make a Siberian fairy tale and there were very successful in that. The bedroom, for example, clearly shows why high Russian state officials spent their free time in their dachas, houses in the country, that offered peace and tranquility, yet had all the beauty and comfort they were accustomed to. The bed is king-size, traditional elements are painted on the wall, metal lamps fit the overall design, and royal curtains are the final touch.

Is is possible to put old floor tiles, even older screen divider, and new wooden beams in the same space and make it all work together? Indeed, it is. Floor tiles in different colors bring the spirit of old, warm Russian home, the divider is carefully chose to block unwanted view, and an old barrel became the beautiful bathroom sink. But that's all: the ceiling is embellished with black elements, making every inch of the space used in the best possible way. Modern tiles on the wall are following the design and bring their own color to the space.

Old Russian houses are so full of great design solution that even the fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent had his own small but beautiful dacha in Normandy. Russian antique pieces were mixed with the stained glass doors and windows, reminding us of Faberge eggs or stained glass windows of a Russian Orthodox churches. Of course, the great master brought some of his own details but the overall look is still intact and follows far Russia style with small details, like upper parts of the doors, that shows Asian influence.

The dining room, as a place that hosts many hours of good eating and happy chatting, must be one of the places in the house when the host and his guests will feel most relaxed. A huge dinning table is a must, something like a place where all king Arthur's knights can sit at the same time, and this space can be without a royal element. In this case this is the elaborate lamp and the floor with swirls on which the light creates a fairly tale feeling in the evening. The floor tiles are again different and reminds us of beautifully made wooden floor in The Hermitage.

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