The Russian House: Architecture & Interiors

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9781902686462: The Russian House: Architecture & Interiors

The Russian home is truly eclectic, a surprisingly harmonious mingling of color and pattern, carved furniture, glass, textiles, porcelain, and religious icons. And whether a city apartment or a country dacha, the Russian house is typically warm and welcoming—a haven in a harsh climate. Russians treasure their possessions, adore color, texture, and pattern, and effortlessly create interiors that are a reminder of the Russian tradition of hospitality. The Russian House invites the reader inside 12 beautiful private homes; in 200 color photographs and a fascinating text, this sublime volume offers a rare look at the history, romance, and enchantment of the Russian dwelling. The work of photographer Andreas von Einsiedel has appeared in many magazines, including World of Interiors, Architectural Digest, and Vogue Living; among his previous books is The Provençal House: Architecture and Interiors. Writer Ella Krasner was born in Russia and now lives in London.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This rich compendium of Russian houses-from the regal Turgenev house and Maxim Gorky's former residence to modest wooden country dachas-presents a portrait of domestic life that evokes pre-revolutionary splendor as much as the blossoming opportunities of the post-Soviet era. Krasner feels an exciting moment of Russian rebirth is in the offing; changes in personal property laws allow the "burgeoning middle class" to buy and renovate dilapidated apartments where "marble entrance halls have all but disappeared under grime, and magnificent staircases are painted in Soviet green...so thick that its flakes are like wallpaper." Owners of the less grand homes decorated with whatever they had available: folk art, hand-embroidered linens, stacks of garishly colored toilet paper rolls and lively newspaper illustrations. Sumptuous jewel-tones and daring Parma yellows are in evidence in the luxury homes, but due to the "prohibitively expensive" cost of paint, the more modest homes and artists' dacha rely upon peeling paint, hand-picked flowers and regal Byzantine-inspired icons to inspire a sense of faded grandeur. Antiques enthusiasts will appreciate the ornate furniture featured in a grand apartment in the Petrogradsky District of St. Petersburg owned by an art collector whose master bedroom is furnished with 19th-century Karelian-birch furniture. Photographer Von Einsiedel's eye for detail makes the book an escapist dream, but it is the author's ability to recreate the mystery and illusion of Russian life both today and yesterday that is this book's greatest strength.
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Review:

“A revealing examination of contemporary Russian existence.” -- Library Journal

“Ella Krasner explains why this lush aesthetic has become so inspirational.” -- Bazaar

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