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January 29, 2022

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Blending modern and vintage in heritage space

For Kay Salogub, a home should keep its authenticity and history should be preserved and passed on.

Salogub’s apartment located on Jianguo Road W. is 89 years old.

The city has gone through rapid changes but heritage buildings are the city’s charming assets.

“I’ve lived in several places around the city in the past nine years and my criteria has always been a heritage old apartment. The old apartments have irresistible vintage charm, and the spaces are normally more special than regular box-like apartments in new residential buildings,” said Salogub, who is the marketing manager at Spoint Design.

For the Ukrainian native, an ideal home is somewhere you feel comfortable and happy, so the basic requirement when searching for a home is somewhere she actually wants to come back to after a day at work.

Her current apartment was only on the market for a day when she and her Shanghainese husband saw it and immediately put in an offer.

“It wasn’t a fancy or well-renovated space but it had a great potential in terms of the space and character. It’s a heritage 1933 house with an extremely high ceiling (6 meters) and a real fire place,” she said.

The original structure was complicated, comprised of a few tiny, dark rooms on different levels. The couple had Shanghai-based multidisciplinary architectural design studio Nong Studio help them with the space design. The first thing they did was remove everything, leaving just one wall to separate the space between the bedroom and living room on the first floor.

With the high ceiling to play with, the space was redefined and the central staircase became a key element of the new look. The staircase leads to the tea room, balcony, top-level guest room and Salogub’s fitness area. On each level, the design team maximized the size of the windows to bring in more natural light.

“We tried to make it as open and simple as possible to minimize the feeling of a ‘closed box’ you get in a regular apartment,” she said.

Contemporary materials were added to give the space an “old-meets-new” dynamic. The original wooden structure was kept in order to preserve some of the vintage vibe, and the general style can be classified as Scandinavian fusion.

In the center of the living room, the old fireplace was given a modern makeover. The chimney was kept but the outlook was transformed into a chic-looking modern fireplace in black metal that enhances the decor.

“We always fight for the armchair next to the fireplace in the winter. It’s the most comfy spot during the colder months,” Salogub said.

The focal point of the apartment is the spacious, luminous living room consisting of two comfortable armchairs that a face a three-seat sofa.

A minimalist palette serves as a natural base for the couple’s distinctive furniture and collections. Basic furniture like the sofa and bed come from Scandinavian brands such as Norhor. Many interesting and vintage objects the couple found while traveling in different countries are displayed throughout.

Devoid of bright colors, the space exudes a harmonious blend of wood, marble and tones of gray, white and blue to create a calming vibe. With outside greenery and abundant natural light, the inside feels cozy and quiet. A touch of lightness is added by layering natural fabrics and texture.

The home mirrors the couple’s personality, their interests and travels. Both have an artists’ eye for daily surroundings, rearranging, mixing and matching their collections.

Salogub pointed out some of her favorite things collected over the years, such as a vintage cabinet from Denmark, old Chinese wooden panels from Bali, Indonesia, and a few vintage finds from a flea market in Lyon, France.

For the master bedroom, the couple also went for simplistic style. The special feature in the bedroom is a piece of salvage wood behind the bed from imondi. The unique handmade finish gives the reclaimed wood its character and adds a charming layer to the simple space.

The intimate tea room overlooks the living and dining space where the couple unwinds with tea and books.

This home is calming, where you can feel peace, curiosity and excitement. Each object recalls a journey and speaks about people and traditions.


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