Makhno Studio celebrates Ukrainian craft in all-beige home near Kyiv

Foyer of Mureli House in Kozyn, Ukraine, by Makhno Studio with sweeping staircase and wall of 3D ceramic tiles

Kyiv-based Makhno Studio has paired soft, bumpy textures and intricate ceramic walls inside this all-beige home in Ukraine, which was completed right before the Russian invasion.

Located in Kozyn, a rural town just south of Kyiv, Mureli House is a celebration of summertime and Ukrainian design, with mureli being an old Ukrainian word for apricot.

Foyer of Mureli House with sweeping staircase and wall of 3D ceramic tiles
Intricate ceramics feature throughout the Mureli House interior by Makhno Studio

The home, which was completed just two months before the start of the invasion in February 2022, comprises an open-plan living room and kitchen, three bedrooms with three bathrooms, a guest bathroom, a laundry room and a garage with a terrace.

The clients – a local Ukrainian couple with a large family – requested from the outset that Makhno Studio should work with as many Ukrainian manufacturers and craftsmen as possible to create bespoke products for the house.

All-beige living room of house in Kozyn, Ukraine, by Makhno Studio with sofa, armchairs and a fireplace
A bulbous sculpture decorates the fireplace mantel in the lounge

“All materials in the home are natural,” the studio’s founder Serhii Makhno told Dezeen. “The team used almost all Ukrainian brands and worked with several local contractors to minimise the distance and logistics.”

The clients wanted a neutral, beige interior across all of the rooms to create a cohesive look. As a result, the house’s second floor is finished mostly in wood while the entire ground floor is decorated with beige-coloured plaster.

Living room of Mureli House with pendant light designed to look like seed pods
Makhno designed the pendant lights in the lounge to resemble seed pods

Makhno Studio emphasised the generous volumes and curved staircase in the home’s entrance hallway through a wall of three-dimensional ceramic tiles and a dramatic cluster of pendant lamps made of clay and polystyrene foam.

References to the natural world are integrated throughout the interior. Highlights include a cluster of Makhno-designed pendants in the living room that resemble seed pods and washbasins that appear like hollowed-out boulders.

Kitchen of house in Kozyn, Ukraine, by Makhno Studio with sculptural pendant lights
The entire ground floor including the kitchen is finished in beige-coloured plaster

The only exception to Mureli House’s monochrome colour scheme is the main bathroom, which features pink accents including ombre shower doors and scale-shaped concrete tiles that can be tilted away from the wall to double up as hooks for hanging towels and bathrobes.

“Ceramic craftsmanship is an ancient Ukrainian tradition,” Makhno explained. “At the end of the 1920s, the ceramic tradition began to be restored in various parts of Ukraine. At Makhno, the tradition is continued today to highlight its uniqueness and naturalistic appeal.”

Mureli House currently stands empty since the owners were forced to flee to safer areas in the west of Ukraine following Russia’s attempts to storm Kyiv in the early days of the war.

The exact condition of the home is unknown. But Makhno Studio says a Russian military plane and several missiles were shot down over the surrounding area in Kozyn.

Russian troops were forced to retreat from Kyiv at the start of April but left behind a trail of destruction in the city’s outskirts and have since carried out a number of airstrikes on the Ukrainian capital.

All-beige Bedroom of house in Kozyn, Ukraine, by Makhno Studio with tall ceilings and pendant lights next to the bed
The monochrome colour palette extends into the home’s three bedrooms

In total, more than 143 significant cultural sites have been damaged in Ukraine since the start of the war, including the Ivankiv Museum in Kyiv and several second world war memorial monuments in the surrounding region.

Serhii Makhno says he currently remains safe in Ukraine, while the rest of his team is scattered throughout Europe and is working mainly on international projects.

Pink-toned bathroom of Mureli House with scale-like tiles
Boulder-like sinks and scale-shaped tiles feature in the main bathroom

The studio is among a number of Ukrainian practices that have told Dezeen they are now looking for support and commissions from foreign clients.

Previous projects from the studio include Makhno’s own thatched-roof house in Kozyn and his duplex apartment in Kyiv.

The photography is courtesy of Makhno Studio.

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