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Wabi Sabi apartment by architect Sergey Makhno:
A fusion of decorative styles and tradition

The Wabi Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic current that appreciates the imperfect and incomplete, which is based on the contemplation of nature and the acceptance of its continuous life cycle.


We have more and more information about what the Wabi Sabi is. We can see it in many decorative elements such as pots, handmade clay containers, antique wooden furniture, etc. But we can also see that architects and interior designers are gradually adapting this philosophy to the traditional products and style of each area, to create architectural projects Wabi Sabi.




The apartment, designed by architect Sergey Makhno, is a clear interior design project that merges Ukrainian interior design and the Wabi sabi style

This impressive duplex penthouse that he designed for his own family is located in Kiev, and perfectly combines Japanese aesthetics with the tradition of his country.



interiorismo natural apartamento wabi sabi sergey makhno Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
interior apartamento diseño sergey makhno con texturas naturales Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
decoración con figuras antiguas Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
decoración artesanía tradicional Photo by Andrey Avdeenko

There is absolute harmony between old decorative elements and contemporary design. It goes beyond a simple decoration to become a deep, sincere and real interior design. It is appreciated that it is a lifestyle where it is conceived that true beauty is in the imperfect, because in reality, perfection does not exist.


We observe the elegant way in which Sergey Makhno has been able to mix, in addition to the chosen tonalities, textures, materials and organic forms. We can immediately see the Wabi sabi philosophy in the decorative touches and in the natural and simple materials he has integrated into the home.



texturas interiorismo wabi sabi Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
detalle arte wabi sabi Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
sobras Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
terrazo apartamento wabi sabi Photo by Andrey Avdeenko

You can tell Sergey’s a collector. His passion for ancient ceramics, pieces of contemporary art, things with history and tradition is appreciated.

In the house he introduces furniture that he has created himself, such as ceramic pendants with a textured finish. The tables have also been personalized, using smooth wood and iron for a contemporary style, and polished marble with organic shapes for a more natural style. It includes elements of great visual strength such as contemporary works of art that provide textures and colour thanks to the techniques used.


All this can be seen fused with traditional elements, such as the texture of the natural clay walls, where a technique used in old Ukrainian houses is applied. This roughness of the walls together with the old beams recovered from the ceiling, provide a pleasant play of lights and shadows as in the old Japanese houses.

The iron staircase, on the other hand, with the steps covered with wood, transparent glass railing and a wooden trunk as handrails, stands out in an open space where the visual flows give prominence to the space.


pinturas apartamento sergey makhno Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
interiorismo troncos naturales Photo by Andrey Avdeenko

Mix of styles: contemporary, tradition and Wabi Sabi

The space features pieces of great artistic value such as a Neolithic archaeological sculpture with a strong Wabi sabi character, placed on a wooden base of recovered log and the ceramic collection of Cucuteni-Trypillian of Makhno. It cannot fail to complete the concept of interior design, the Japanese aesthetic influence on furniture elements such as chairs and bonsai. 

Thanks to his great sensitivity, Sergey Makhno, complemented the pleasant roughness of the textures and the dark tonalities, with the freshness and the color that brings the vegetation. He introduces touches of colour as harmonic notes that stand out and contrast in a score. The blue of the hanging lamp or the green of the plants are a clear example of this. With the design of interior gardens it gives the space a touch of freshness and a Zen sensation.


Get the air flowing and breathe peace and quiet. Play again with the lights and shadows that plants create, thanks to the natural light that enters through the window, and with the natural reflections that they provide to the space. We can not fail to emphasize the feeling of being immersed in a natural environment thanks to the beautiful vertical garden located on the wall of the staircase and that accompanies up to the upper floor.

Continuing on the upper floor, we discover the corridor. Here the concept of Japanese interior design, embodied in the use of Japanese paints on roll-up parchments hanging on the wall, stands out. In addition, we find natural wood trunks placed in the frames and supported on millstones. The entrances to the rooms are framed with these pieces. This symbolizes an enormous respect and gives prominence to the private area. 


cabecero wabi sabi apartamento diseñado por sergey makhno Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
apartamento wabi sabi diseñado por sergey makhno Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
espacios conectados wabi sabi Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
iluminación natural Photo by Andrey Avdeenko

Japanese touches in interior design

When we enter this area, we may find that in the main room, to counteract the cold concrete ceilings, Sergey Makhno has created the same conceptual vision by mixing materials and textures. Warmth is provided, in this case, by the use of light woods and 17th century antique wooden tables. 


But what impresses me the most is the terrace very inspired in the typical Japanese gardens, as well as the almost open bathroom that offers us a spectacular view thanks to not placing anything that visually interrupts it.

We can literally see the sky of Kiev, both from the bed and from the bathtub.



jardin wabi sabi proyecto interiorismo Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
decoración mesa artesanal Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
interiorismo conceptural japonés Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
esculturas en movimiento diseño apartamento Photo by Andrey Avdeenko

To end the tour of this apartment Wabi Sabi, I do not want to miss the guest room in which predominates a color widely used in Japanese culture, black. The sensation of gloom is appeased by the element “water”, which has been introduced by means of sculptures and photographs of Japanese tents. This generates movement and visual dynamism. In addition, the wall is treated with a degraded stucco emphasizing the concept of water depth.


These small elements are enough to build a complete decoration on this canvas, which is the wall. The Wabi Sabi style interiors, are also an aesthetic and spiritual aspiration, or projection of the serene values of the individual and nature in the house and garden.


Architect: Sergey Makhno Architects.
Photography: Andrey Avdeenko