Studios - apartments with a minimum of walls and partitions, invented almost 100 years ago in the United States - began to be built in Russia only at the turn of the century. For twenty years, the demand for compact housing has either fallen or grown again (the last boom in St. Petersburg and Moscow was noted by experts after the 2014 crisis). Studios in new buildings of economy and business class - the cheapest offer on the real estate market - are mainly bought and rented by young people. For the majority, this is the first independent housing that they preferred to an alternative to acquiring a room in a communal apartment.
Life around found residents of small (up to 30 square meters) studio apartments in new buildings of the two fastest growing areas of St. Petersburg and the region - Primorsky and Vsevolozhsky. We talked about how they organize everyday life and cope with unnecessary things, invite guests and cook in the kitchen combined with the room, arrange a gym in the loggia and an art workshop in the hallway.
Olga, 31 years old, regional merchandiser
Lives in Murino (Vsevolozhsk district of the Leningrad region, metro station "Devyatkino")
Year of construction of the house: 2017th
Studio apartment area: 22 square meters; layout
Before moving to Devyatkino, I rented a room in a huge three-room apartment on Victory Park - all my personal space was limited to this room. At some point, I thought about my own living space.
All my life I dreamed of living on Fontanka or on Petrogradka - with a well-yard, a beautiful front door, in an apartment with tall ceilings. When I was engaged in the purchase of real estate, I considered the option of acquiring a room in a communal apartment. But then she google a lot of different frightening articles about life in them. I know that in some communal apartments large rooms are remodeled in the studio. And yet I realized that I did not want to share the toilet and shower with strangers, to meet strangers in the corridor, to think that I could interfere with something with them. I decided that no matter how I loved the courtyards, wells and the city center, I like comfort more.
In Devyatkino today the most affordable housing. I was limited in funds, so I could not claim to buy real estate in the central regions, therefore, having come to the agency, I immediately identified this fact. Mortgage payments were calculated for me: based on these figures, they began to select options.
For a year and a half of waiting for the delivery of the house, I thought through the design of the apartment. Because of my profession, I know a lot about the organization and zoning of space, so planning furniture was easy. The apartment had a relatively high quality finish from the builder. I repainted the walls in the room and the corridor, stuck moldings under the ceiling, made corners on the doorways. Of course, I would really like to make repairs in the bathroom: remove the terrible tile and change the plumbing. But, unfortunately, this is an expensive pleasure, so I have postponed this issue for an indefinite period. About 300 thousand rubles were spent on repairs. I entered the studio in July this year.
When I bought an apartment, the plan was 24 square meters, but in the end the area decreased by almost two meters. Because of this, not everything turned out to be realized: for example, the chair that I dreamed about did not enter.
I moved into the new apartment “from scratch”: since I rented a house before, I had no forks, no glasses, no frying pans, or a minimal set of furniture. I just brought clothes in big Chinese bags. Now the apartment has a large wardrobe, wardrobe, sofa bed, two chests of drawers and a kitchen.
All the furniture in the apartment is from Ikea. I don’t understand people who say that IKEA has poor-quality furniture - you just need to choose wisely. I also wanted to buy a kitchen there, but it was quite expensive. As a result, I turned to a company that makes custom-made kitchens - it turned out 20-30 thousand rubles cheaper. But then she regretted it very much. Everything is done quickly at Ikea, but with this company the process of building a kitchen dragged on for a month and a half. That is, a month and a half I lived without a kitchen, it was hard.
The whole kitchen was planned by herself. The main idea is the built-in refrigerator: I believe that in such a small room there should not be a large white "coffin". True, due to the built-in refrigerator, the space of the lower cabinets was sharply reduced and there was no space left for the oven. I use part of kitchen cabinets for storing different things - books, work documents and other things.
The room is separated from the kitchen by a transparent curtain, about which there were a lot of questions in one public on VK: Does it get dirty? Honestly, I don’t know what it takes to cook in the kitchen so that the spray will fly behind. The curtain has been hanging since August, everything is fine with her.
The apartment has a rather large balcony - this is a plus. I haven’t done anything with him yet. I want to turn it into a recreation area, but first you need to insulate, and it costs from 200 thousand rubles. When I warm, I will change the floor, put a large closet. And perhaps that same dream chair.
Decided that no matter how I loved the well-yards and the city center, I love comfort more
Ceiling height - 2.7 meters, rather big for a new building. I thought about making a tier, but this is not very correct from the point of view of ventilation: there would be nothing to breathe plus not really sit down. If the ceiling was three or three and a half meters, as in the old foundation, then yes.
There were six people in the apartment with me in the housewarming party; everything fit perfectly perfectly. My sofa was folded, the curtain in the kitchen was shifted to the side - people could sit on the sofa and take something from the table.
In the studio, absolutely nothing bothers me. The area is smaller, but it is mine, I’m my own mistress here: I do what I want, so I feel quite comfortable. I have no feeling of crampedness. When I moved here, on the contrary, I was glad that now I live in a small studio. The apartment in which I lived before was 80 square meters - a huge corridor, a large kitchen. Wash, tidy up - it took half a day off, if not more. And here, cleaning once a week takes a couple of hours at most. With an active rhythm of life, when I spend 80% of the time outside the home and I have no family, I don’t see the need for a large area.
I plan to get together with a young man. Honestly, I don’t yet know how everything will be: I like to retire so that no one touches me. We'll see. He is already coming to me, and so far there have been no problems. In addition, we work in approximately the same schedule.
Now I’m leading an Instagram on the theme of decor, interior design and arrangement of a small apartment, because I think that my experience will be useful to those who first encounter this.
Yuri, 29, project manager in a construction organization
Katya, 28 years old, PR manager
They live in the ski lane (Primorsky district of St. Petersburg)
Year of construction of the house: 2014
Studio apartment area: 27 square meters; a studio-like layout
Yuri: I bought this apartment with the help of relatives. We had a small budget, we looked at one-room apartments. A friend from the construction company suggested an excellent option: a high floor, a view of the Lakhta Center under construction, an area with good infrastructure, and nearby is the 300th anniversary park of St. Petersburg. We used to live with relatives in a three-room apartment: we decided it was better to have a smaller one, but ours.
At the time of purchase there were just bare walls. We swung for six months with repair, and then we realized that we needed to speed up: living with relatives was not very convenient. At first I tried to do the repair myself, then I got tired - I hired the guys, and they quickly did everything. We drove in at the end of September last year.
An important point: we really wanted to have a bright apartment. The effect was achieved due to a large number of fixtures and colors: furniture, walls, laminate - mostly white, light gray and gray tones. We picked up everything in the Scandinavian style.
Katya: We broke the partition that separated the kitchen from the main room. True, at first I doubted, but Yura immediately decided - we will demolish it. Now I think that the kitchen combined with the hall is a wonderful option. There are no smells from the kitchen: we use a cooker hood, and indeed we don’t have fried food in our diet - it is almost always a very simple meal.
We carefully measured the entire apartment and based on these measurements we selected furniture. So we realized that we can not afford a sofa more than 2.3 meters. And they wanted a corner sofa and looked for it for a very long time. Found - now it is a bright spot in the white and gray interior. We have a sliding table: when we are together, we use it as is, and when guests come, we move it apart. But the workplace where the computer is, as we later realized, could have been better organized: now it is something like a school desk, it’s not very convenient to sit at it for a long time.
Yuri: Honestly, the apartment has a little lack of cabinets (and generally storage space). Now we have a pretty busy balcony: for example, some of the shoes are stored there. The area of the balcony is about five to six square meters. There is something like a mini-gym. I ride a road bike: I put bicycle machines on the balcony to pedal in the winter. Plus, the equipment is stored there: weights, sports bags, snowboards, two bicycles and more. We have plans to insulate the balcony, because there is cold glazing and condensation occurs due to the temperature difference.
Katya: I think the huge plus of the studio is that you get rid of everything unnecessary. True, there are things that lie with relatives, and we slowly take them away. But at home everything goes through a strict sorting. When we drove in, there were boxes, huge bales of things, we sorted it all out. I used to have a lot more things - clothes, shoes, and more. Now only what is really needed remains.
Yuri: Unnecessary things you try to give away or sell faster on Avito. As a result, I sold a bunch of old equipment - in a large apartment all this would have been so.
Katya: We have a lot of free space in the center of the room. That is, I can calmly spread the rug and do stretching. And Jura will be pedaling on the balcony for an hour and a half and listening to music. I lower the curtains and he does not see what I am doing. This time is enough to be alone with oneself.
I think the huge plus of the studio is that you get rid of everything unnecessary.
Yuri: As for the daily routine, on weekdays everything is fine: we wake up almost at the same time, have breakfast, get ready and leave for work. And on weekends I wake up earlier. In the summer there are no problems: I get on my bike and leave home - I’ll have breakfast somewhere, I'll have some coffee.
Katya: The problem is that Yura is a lark, and I am an owl. One wakes up early, he wants to start having breakfast - hissing fried eggs in the kitchen. And the other wants to sleep and have sweet dreams. But this is probably the biggest problem in life in the studio. At first it was difficult, but now, I think, a compromise has been found. Sometimes an early bird adapts to an owl, sometimes vice versa.
We were very worried about the guests: we thought it would be crowded. But they come to us in pairs, and everything is in order. And the maximum number of guests that can comfortably accommodate here is six people. We have a double mattress, which we bought during the repair, until there was a sofa - it can be used as an extra bed. Of course, it’s uncomfortable to spend the night like this for two or three days, but one completely.
Plus of this apartment is a good view from the window. I really like the Lakhta Center, especially when the tower is illuminated in the evenings. On March 8, a figure eight was depicted on the tower, it was so sweet. We both have a positive attitude towards the tower, we are waiting for it to be completed.
Barbara, 27 years old, graphic designer
Ira, four years
Anton Arkadevich, 36 years old, IT engineer
They live on Korolyov Avenue (Primorsky district of St. Petersburg)
Year of construction of the house: 2005
Studio apartment area: 25 square meters; a studio-like layout
Barbara: This is my husband’s apartment. More than 10 years ago, even before we met, the Anton family bought him a studio. I do not know exactly why they chose this option. It seems to me that his parents just made sure that he did not lead a very loose life: you won’t bring many friends to a small area.
I myself spent the first 18 years of my life with my mother in Fox Nose in the cottages of Lenfilm. Then she moved to the city and felt a little stress: my soul does not have enough space and nature.
I entered this apartment five years ago. I’m an unpretentious person in my life and I hate it when things become more important than people and events. Therefore, moving to a smaller area was not a problem. After all, here, for example, is a good view from the window: I can see the sky and the lake - this is more important. Yes, there is extremely little space here. But the husband and daughter in this regard are more discomfort than me. I'm like a snail: I adapt to the circumstances.
Repair in the apartment was done by the husband: all decisions - color spatial - him. Settling, he built a kitchen rack from drywall: he painted in AutoCAD, calculated, bought materials, made. He is an engineer, so it’s easy for him. Recently, my daughter and I were in the hospital for about two weeks, and during this time my husband once again made repairs: he repainted something, refreshed it, and added panels in the room. He sometimes consults with me, and I say: "I know that you will still do everything well." And so I live. Apparently, his great love for everything to be thorough, is the reason for the lack of my discomfort in a small area.
The kitchen counter sets the proportions of the space, so we distributed the furniture empirically: we looked at how it got up. They wanted the child to be closer to his mother. The children's bed has not been rearranged since we arrived from the hospital. In general, over the past month we are going to make her a new bed, but so far there is not enough money, effort and time. Most likely, we will buy boards and, as a temporary solution, we will put together a stronger bed, maybe 10 centimeters longer than this. But the prospect is such that Ira will be poorly placed here in a year, and we hope that we will just save up on a mortgage. Everything is close to us.
On the balcony, Anton made a working area. Initially, it was a cold loggia with thin glass, which was covered with ice: he insulated it, put normal windows. The proportions of the loggia set the logic for the arrangement of furniture - a table and shelves. In general, everything is simple with this, no wondering where to put the carved table - in the middle of the hall or in the corner? Here the space itself suggests. I mainly use the work area, because there is a computer there: I need graphics programs to process my drawings and make all kinds of chips. Graphic programs on laptops do not work well - you need a normal desktop computer.
The kitchen area is two and a half meters, there is a stove with two rings, this is enough for me. I am not so obsessed with the cook that two sauces were cooked in parallel and the chop was fried. In the studio apartment we are trying to use every five centimeters of space. I plan my life so that everything fits. For example, my dad likes to buy food for future use. He often calls and says: "I have two packs of dumplings, three kilograms of carrots, five loaves of bread," lists 10 minutes, and then asks which of these to bring to me. I say: "Dad, from what you have listed, I will fit one pack of dumplings and one beetroot. If it’s easy for you, bring it." All this is not scary, it seems to me. Especially now is not the time to stand in lines - everything can be bought, and inexpensively.
From the kitchen odors save the hood and window. Plus, I'm a fan of all kinds of natural flavors. In addition, baking soda perfectly absorbs odors. This is folk wisdom: pour soda in a saucer, put, for example, in the refrigerator - and you do not need to buy absorbents for 200 rubles. In addition, I’m planning my business: I don’t cook foods with a strong smell at night in order to have time to ventilate the room.
Personally, I didn’t have something that did not fit in the apartment. But I'm just that kind of person. I don’t have, for example, a piano. And her husband’s balalaika is small, so it fits everywhere. Or a small accordion on a cabinet in the hallway. I don’t have and never had large items. Two shelves are occupied with art supplies - that's all. But wait, I remembered. My girlfriend keeps at home, in a chic apartment on Nevsky Prospekt, in an alcove about ten of my great works - paintings and graphics. Because I just have nowhere to put them. If I wanted to write large canvases, then I would have to figure out where to put them. And so I have a thin daddy, everything is in the form of photographs and scans.
In such a compact area you can find your pluses. Suppose communication with a child: on the one hand, it is compelled, and on the other, it is always up to date with my affairs and, perhaps, in a sense, is learning something by looking at me.
I can tell you how my solitude issue is being resolved. There are many light sources in the corridor; I have a chair-bag - I take it, a book (I’m a big book lover) or a notebook with a pencil, I slide the door in and spend time happily. Best at night when everyone is sleeping.
In such a compact area you can find your pluses. Suppose communication with a child: on the one hand, it is compelled, and on the other, she is always in the know
Under the sofa there is a folding table - it is homemade and very stupid (it will be necessary to have the same, but more advanced design). In principle, when I need to paint, I lay it out. I bring a folding chair. It takes some time to assemble the table, so you usually need to take care of this issue half an hour before everyone goes to bed - and then you can work at night in the hallway.
About once a month, we arrange the dismantling of the cabinet, corners and throw away everything unnecessary. If I buy some new thing, I should throw something bored. There is no problem, because it is part of life: filtering so that there are no unnecessary things. I am sure that even now there is something unnecessary. For example, on the floor are dumbbells. They are raised once a month, not more often. Maybe they are not very justified here. On the other hand, this is an attribute of human life - which means it is still needed.
We do not accept more than three guests. And the largest number of guests that were here was five. We even sometimes spend the night - there is a mattress behind the closet. But it is inconvenient, so the guests themselves decide whether they want to spend the night with us. We are not letting anyone into bed.
Ira very persistently says that she wants a brother or sister. Naturally, if we had another room, we would solve this issue. Now nothing. You understand that the process of conception is shortened and complicated, because a child at Irina’s age is not supposed to know such details of adult life. Of course, sooner or later, the daughter and parents will need to be separately. But while her flexible psychological development and our humor and love of life help to cope.
Anton dreams of suburban housing, and I support him in this. True, all relatives dissuade. Well, we ourselves will decide when there will be the coveted 500 thousand for the first installment. We did not set specific deadlines. You can’t make a guess. Well, what to do. We will not die. There used to be communal apartments, now studios are both not very good.
Managing Director, Becar Asset Management Group
The active introduction of apartment studio apartment projects in apartment building became noticeable on the Russian real estate market in 2005. The main reason for this was, no matter how corny, the desire of the developer to get additional profit. The fact is that studios, in fact, are the most expensive apartments based on the cost per square meter. The smaller the footage of housing, the higher the cost of the "square" in it. However, it must be understood that for a large segment of buyers who can operate on a strictly limited budget, it is more important not the cost of a square meter, but the total cost of a separate apartment.
In recent years, the portrait of the studio buyer has not changed: for the most part, such apartments are purchased for subsequent lease or speculative resale at a later stage of construction. Often, a studio apartment is purchased as temporary housing for students who come to St. Petersburg to study, or for elderly parents as the family grows and the need to improve housing conditions.
Of course, the presence of studios in a residential complex creates an additional burden for the infrastructure of the complex and the microdistrict, because there are more apartments of a modest footage in the finished house. But based on the social portrait of the new settlers of such a complex, it is easy to see that the infrastructure they need is mainly located in retail outlets, catering and service centers (post office, bank, etc.), and a sufficient number of parking spaces. A lesser need exists for social infrastructure, because a studio apartment most often becomes temporary housing and is rarely purchased by families with children.
I do not think that in the near future we will see any significant fluctuations in supply and demand at the studio. It can be noted that in recent years there has been a growing positive tendency among developers to create ergonomic layouts that make it possible to optimally use even the space of a small footage.