Winner interviews

Alisa Shabelnikova: A Modern Take on 19th Century Elegance

In the heart of the Russian Federation, a 19th-century apartment has been transformed into a versatile and modern space, thanks to the creative work of Alisa Shabelnikova and Art Simple Studio. Suitably named ‘Blue Velvet,’ this interior design masterpiece combines historical elements with a modern touch, showing a perfect mix of traditional design and bright, bold colors. This project is not just an example of innovative design; it has also gained a lot of praise and recognition by winning at the INT Awards.

Professional headshot of Alisa Shabelnikova, a renowned interior designer.
Alisa Shabelnikova

About the Project: Blue Velvet

“Blue Velvet” stands as a remarkable achievement in the transformation of a 19th-century apartment into a modern, multifunctional living space. Under Alisa Shabelnikova’s leadership, the project overcame the challenge of outdated zoning, characterized by tiny rooms and an irregularly shaped kitchen, to establish a more functional and aesthetically pleasing layout. The project’s color palette, a bold mix of deep blue, red, white, yellow, and purple, not only revitalizes the space but also harmonizes with its historical context. The public space, marked by dark blue paint harmonizing with the kitchen units, emerges as the project’s centerpiece, showcasing both coziness and elegance.

Elegant interior of the Blue Velvet project showcasing modern design
Blue Velvet

Exclusive Interview with Alisa Shabelnikova

Insights and Inspirations Behind the Masterpiece


1. How has winning at the INT Awards influenced your views on your creative journey or business?

Alisa Shabelnikova: I am delighted that this has occurred, and I believe that the fundamental formula for the success of this project lies in the combination of a classical foundation with a sufficiently daring color scheme. This dissonance, at first, elicits surprise, but then it draws attention to the intricacies of the design. Nevertheless, despite its boldness, it remains remarkably comfortable for everyday living. I made every effort to maintain this crucial balance.

2. Could you share your experiences during the INT Awards submission and evaluation?

Alisa Shabelnikova: Everything went smoothly, efficiently, and effortlessly thanks to the excellent work of your team. I was slightly anxious about the outcome, as I had seen strong projects from my colleagues. However, it is precisely for this reason that I take even greater pride in my victory now.

3. What are your sources of inspiration, and how do you approach your creative process?

Alisa Shabelnikova: Of course, various things inspire me, from nature to contemporary art. However, this particular project was the result of an autumn trip to the Netherlands. The combination of bright colors against the dark sky left an indelible impression, which later became the foundation for my new work. I literally poured all my emotions and impressions onto paper, and then I was fortunate that this theme also inspired the clients.

4. How do you expect the INT Award to impact your credibility in the industry?

Alisa Shabelnikova: This is a great honor for me, and I have already proudly included this significant victory in my portfolio. In the future, I plan to share this experience in my book, which I am currently working on.

5. What do you find most valuable about the INT Award experience?

Alisa Shabelnikova: I definitely recommend participation to all interior designers because it is through competition and the possibility of victory that we feel our own professional growth. It was also very interesting for me to study the projects of my colleagues and see interior design through their eyes.

6. Do you plan to participate in the next edition of the INT Awards?

Alisa Shabelnikova: Of course, I plan to participate again next time, and I sincerely hope to replicate this success. Thank you very much for the opportunity for both professional and personal growth.

Contemporary kitchen design in the Blue Velvet project with dark blue accents.
Blue Velvet - Kitchen

The Impact of Alisa Shabelnikova in Design

Alisa Shabelnikova’s achievements in interior design, exemplified by her victory at the INT Awards and the success of Blue Velvet, mark her as a distinguished figure in the industry. Her ability to infuse classical foundations with bold, contemporary elements makes her work not only aesthetically pleasing but also functionally relevant. Designers and enthusiasts globally can draw inspiration from her approach, blending tradition with modernity to create spaces that are both comfortable and captivating. Alisa Shabelnikova’s journey continues to be a source of inspiration and a benchmark for excellence in interior design.
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