A candy-coloured wonderland inspired by the essence of Mexico is perhaps the last thing a New Yorker might imagine lies beyond the facade of a Manhattan tower. But if Dmitry Reutov has been in town, anything is possible. The designer and founder of Russian architecture and interiors practice Reutov Design has recently handed over the keys to an apartment that delivers just that.
Featuring tones of terracotta, dusty pink and a gamut of greens, it’s a fantastical place where Dmitry’s knack for carefully edited scenarios leans into an Instagram world, co-starring designer furniture and a cast of cactuses. “Creating this project I was inspired by nature, and the traditional architectural elements of Mexico with its bright colours,” Dmitry says. “I wanted to convey the feeling of the southern sun.”
‘Kiss of Nature’ apartment in New York City by Reutov Design
The clients, a young couple whose working hours are occupied by online business, now enter the apartment through a pastel-green door, greeted by a “light, gentle and slightly heady interior”. It’s a two-tone living quarters where the floor and some of the newly installed columns are saturated with the colour green while the walls, ceiling and remaining columns are swathed in pink. “The owners of the apartment completely entrusted me with the design of the apartment,” explains Dmitry, highlighting his daring colour use and decoration. “They liked my non-standard approach to design.”
While the unexpected colour palette unabashedly wraps the room, it’s those columns that seem to attract the most attention. Appearing in small clusters or bound together to form a reeded wall treatment, the columns share a connection with the cactuses that dot the rooms. “This is a cosmic plant with a unique design – each has its own shape, shade,” Dmitry says of the iconic desert plants. “In a creative interpretation, I depicted cacti in the form of columns. They are of different colours and shapes located chaotically in the most unpredictable places, like cacti in a natural landscape.”
Between groupings of green-coloured columns and real-life cactuses, the kitchenette is tucked to one side of the shared living and dining room. Surprisingly minimal in a somewhat maximalist apartment, the cooking zone reflects the needs of a young couple on the go. There’s a pill-shaped terrazzo storage cabinet which corrals a small cooker and an equally compact sink; additional storage is limited to a translucent plastic display case, hung solo above a copper-coated splashback. Bringing colour and movement to a bare kitchen corner, Manhattan street views from outside the opposite arched window are reflected in a large orange-tinted mirror.
When it comes to colour, no surface has been left behind. Pastel hues continue across the rugs, curtains and furniture pieces, including the Roche Bobois ‘Bubble’ sofa and ottoman (green and pink respectively), whose curvaceous lines and marshmallowy upholstery add to the dream-like scheme. Sculptural lighting fittings by Michael Anastassiades float amid the relaxing yet camera-ready mise en scène. “Having taken this project, I decided to create a bold project that will give the opportunity to forget about the hard, everyday life and help [the owners] take a break from the noisy metropolis,” Dmitry explains.
The clients may now also retreat to the bedroom where the colour palette, though still rich in pigment, becomes more relaxed in its delivery. A contemporary trompe l’oeil effect is created by a bedhead wall that’s painted to mimic a sunset skyline; softer shades of blue and magenta blend in a fading ombré technique. An artificial stairway ascends the same wall before disappearing up and out of frame. Underneath the set of roughly rendered ‘stairs’, where a tub of cactuses reaches for the ceiling, split arched doors conceal a compact wardrobe for two.
But it’s in the bathroom where perhaps the most energetic of nature’s colours makes itself know. Lashings of luminous green splashes the walls, floor and even the full-length curtains. As natural light floods the space through the large arched window, a mood is born where even the air feels green. “The abundance of rich natural green shades has created a truly ultra-modern and unique interior, transferring [the owners] to the southern countries,” Dmitry concludes.
The abundance of rich natural green shades has created a truly ultra-modern and unique interior, transferring [the owners] to the southern countries.
Reutov Design also designed an all-green cafe in the heart of New York City. Catch up on more architecture and design highlights. Plus, subscribe to receive the Daily Architecture News e-letter direct to your inbox.