Architects Mariela Doncheva and Zhana Ivanova focus on the individuality of the inhabitants
Outstanding interiors are created by professionals with outstanding ideas. Architects Mariela Doncheva and Zhana Ivanova are two such professionals. The portfolio of interiors created and fulfilled by their studio, HIGH-END DESIGN, is a lesson in strategic thinking, artistic approach and individuality.
What does contemporary interior look like according to HIGH-END DESIGN's philosophy?
Fundamentally, contemporary interior design refers to the style of the moment, which means it is constantly evolving in time. It is defined by simplicity, subtle sophistication, deliberate use of texture and color, and clean lines.
In contemporary design we always strive to achieve the perfectly imperfect symbiosis between the requirements of the clients, their individuality and the functionality that derives from it having in mind the design trends of the moment. We challenge ourselves to explore the neutral color palettes but heavily rely on a variety of materials such as metal, glass, stone, wood etc for the use of different textures.
The colors in the light part of the palette are harder to be discerned and this provides endless possibilities for us to create layers. Everything in the interior would be clean, light, functional, underscored by accentuated color or specific accessories. Quite often we would reckon on a distinguished accent. The leitmotifs that we enjoy to incorporate are lighting, mirror surfaces and mirrors. Thus, a uniform but multi-layered interior with contrasting elements is created.
What is your guiding principle in designing residential interiors – their history, spatial distribution, inhabitants or something else?
In recent years, HIGH-END DESIGN has created a diverse portfolio of interior design projects for public, healthcare, and many residential spaces. Designing residential spaces involves a combination of factors that have to be taken into consideration, including the historical and architectural context of the building, the spatial distribution of the living space, specific requirements and limitations for the project. But without a deep understanding of the needs and lifestyle of the inhabitant, the design will not be sustainable and functional. For us, the key factor is the individuality of the inhabitant, and this is always our focus.
What was the biggest challenge that you experienced when working on an interior?
Certainly the biggest challenge is designing in old buildings and in particular in housing cooperatives in downtown Sofia from the 1920s-1940s. Almost all housing cooperatives from the late 1920s were built with a Prussian vault type construction – the outer and inner walls have a load-bearing function, and the slab consists of steel beams embedded in concrete in its lower part. Coincidentally, the first few sites since the foundation of HIGH-END DESIGN were in such buildings. In addition to design, the studio mainly deals with the realization of the interior projects. We have overcome all the challenges related to the construction of the buildings, the building installations, the replacement of window frames, the restoration of interior doors in some cases through continuous supervision, strict follow-up of all construction and repair activities and in constant communication with our partners, without whom the results would not have been the same.
Which current trend in design resonates most strongly with the studio's creative spirit?
As enthusiasts of both Modern and Classic design, we find the concept of combining the two styles quite intriguing. We enjoy the use of neutral color palettes, bold accents and pops of color. Quite often we integrate materials such as high-quality leather, sleek metal finishes, natural stone and wood, mirror surfaces, with a particular emphasis on quality and sustainability. One of our favorite features of modern classic design is the use of classic decorative elements such as moldings, wall frames etc. These classic elements provide a sense of timelessness and sophistication, creating a space that will remain stylish and relevant for years to come.
+359 896 698 025