We had the chance to chat with Anna Popov of Interiors by Popov, a Redmond, WA based interior design firm that specializes in ‘European Modern’ design. Anna’s sophisticated, minimalist approach to design is right at home in the Pacific Northwest. Her projects are visually appealing, and do an excellent job of demonstrating her commitment to creating functional living spaces for her clients.
Tell us about yourself and your company
I was born in Moldova, which at the time was part of the USSR. My family immigrated to Israel where I finished school and college, obtaining a Business and Marketing degree. While living in Tel Aviv I was surrounded by exciting, diverse and design-heavy environment which sparked my keen interest in interior design and architecture. This interest stemmed from the realization that design has a huge impact on every aspect of our daily life, whether it be the ergonomics of a teacup or the space we inhabit.
Later on, my family moved to Toronto, where in pursuit of my curiosity, I completed a second degree in Interior Architecture. I was lucky to almost immediately get a job in the company that manufactures custom cabinets. This was the best “first job” anyone could hope for. I gained an invaluable knowledge and experience of all company processes from planning and drafting to installation, overseeing small factory operations and even working on the shop floor. My corporate career path after that included work experience in big commercial, institutional and hi-rise residential construction companies, where I was involved in the entire design process from concept to close out.
In 2013 we decided to relocate to Redmond, WA and I felt it was time for change. While I loved my high-volume and high-responsibility corporate job, I craved something more. The phrase “it’s not personal, it’s business” no longer appealed to me. I wanted to get involved in something that would allow me to connect with people and their living spaces. My desire to help people live comfortably in their own homes led to the decision to focus on residential design projects. Leaving my corporate life behind me, I chose to embrace the phrase, “it is my business, and it is personal”. And so, Interiors by Popov™ was born!
What is your design philosophy?
I believe that every aspect of a person’s home must have a purpose and serve a function that practically and aesthetically enhances their daily life. For me, it is about finding the right balance between function and aesthetic, comfort and practicality. As someone has so accurately pointed out – “indifference towards people and the reality, in which they live, is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design”. And our philosophy behind every design we create is to find that “golden middle” solution for each client that reflects his or her personality, understanding and perception of beauty, is practical, functional and invokes a sense of home.
What exactly is ‘European modern’ design?
I think that it is all about the people, function, usability, quality and balance. The “function over form” design concept originated in Europe as a part of the Bauhaus movement and was dictated largely by the lack of extra space and square footage. It focuses on practicality and sustainability: finding ways to maximize the space that you have, increase efficiency, making function a priority. It calls, therefore, for careful layout planning, good knowledge of ergonomics, anthropometry and its relationship to the built environment. Natural materials and quality finishes are also an integral part of European interiors.
Aesthetically, European designs are sophisticated, balanced, elegant and stylish. They are characterized by the careful use of accessories and patterns and usually have a strong focal point which is supported by all the surroundings.
Describe your design process
As our primary focus is on people so is our design process. It is tailored to meet the individual needs of homeowners we work with. It all starts with getting to know our clients and understanding how they want to be influenced by their new space. We conduct a thorough interview to get a clear idea of what purpose should the new space serve, what mood and ambience should it create. This is, probably, the most important step in the process, because in the end it is not about us, but about our client and their home. We listen carefully and pay attention to every small detail. After this, creating a design concept is relatively easy, everything comes together quite naturally. We usually come up with several layout and concept options of the space and present these to our clients. We believe that this gives people the opportunity to make the design even more personal.