Organic Food Store

Work scope:
70 sq.m.

Design, Architectural Supervision

St. Petersburg

The client asked to create a cozy home-like atmosphere for the store

The challenge was the budget, which covered only store equipment and basic construction work. Our objective was to stay within the budget, but not at the expense of function and aesthetics.


The furniture plan was drawn up together with a retail consultant, we worked out the buyer’s path — two separated zones appeared in the space. In the central zone, we put an island for vegetables and hung felt lampshades over the island. Felt is a very cozy material, it distributes light in a special way — the room is filled up with warmth.

There was a fish shop on premises, a lot of things had to be dismantled — suspended ceilings were removed, the walls were cleared of old tiles. To save money, the walls were not prepped for painting but painted the same color together with the ceiling directly on the glue left over from the old tiles. This created new textures in the space.

It was expensive to produce bespoke furniture, so we decided to have it made by builders at the construction site using the simplest technique and building materials based on our sketches — coniferous furniture panels, wooden slats, foam blocks, and staining materials came from a hardware store. After the completion of the finishing work, the store turned into a pop-up carpentry workshop for the duration of the furniture manufacturing. The island for vegetables, the shelves along the window, and the checkout counter were assembled by builders from foam blocks — the material that is usually used to build walls in the house — and treated with an anti-dust primer.

In this project we turned to the ideas of DYI design. One of the key figures of this movement was the legendary Italian designer Enzo Mari and his project — Autoprogettazione. Autoprogettazione is a manual that consists of instructions for making furniture, encouraging anyone to put together a chair or table with wood planks, a hammer, and a few nails. By following such instructions, it becomes clear how good design works. According to Mari, "good design" is the design that honestly meets human needs. Autoprogettazione is an ongoing research through practice.


In this project, we collaborated with the artist Milana Khalilova. Milana made custom felt lampshades with dried plant branches using the manual technique. Each lampshade is unique due to the handmade technique and different dried flowers, this refers us to the associations with nature, the village, flowering meadows, and grass.