A Peek Inside Dnevnik Café in St. Petersburg

Dnevnik is a modern city café situated in the old house built between 1870-1880 for the main engineering administration in St. Petersburg, Russia. The interior was completed by designer Daryana Mamotenko and TSAN Architects.

“The customer’s requirement for the design was to make a beautiful project. In fact, I was given a free hand. The most important thing is the light design with bright accents, with not less than 50 seats, a large transparent window for desserts in the center of the room, a comfortable area for ordering “to go”, a big table for companies, to make the windows somehow seem larger, well-thought lighting for day/evening. We dismantled everything which was in the place. We completely cleared the room from the structures made there earlier and all the furniture. We kept only the flooring, which we renovated. The main hall is rectangular, with a high ceiling of almost 4 meters. The only disadvantage of this room is its small windows with high and deep window sills. I always work with the potential of the premises, looking for its strengths and weaknesses and elaborating on them separately. The customer had initially proposed to increase the height of the windows from the street, but, unfortunately, we did not have time for such a major change of architecture. This made us come up with a decorative method which would increase the window from the inside. So we came up with the idea of arches painted on the walls. They were a great support for the metal arches in front. We have smoothened out the multi-tier architecture the window openings a bit by concealing the niches with radiators with solid-color lattices. Another challenge was to create bright interiors with a monochrome color scheme: we decided to use neutral soft colors, light wood and white stone for the part of the counters and the bars. And we wanted as much natural materials as possible. No sharp contrasts, no prints. The decor is only the stitching on the central sofa group, which repeats the rays of the arches. The interior has a cake-like structure, with several levels. The first is the level of the furniture (it is mostly matched so that it is the same height), the next is the level of the wall lighting fixtures and the free space, and the third is the ceiling light, where the dominant place belongs to a large chandelier in the center of the room. The most important thing in this project was that we were able to create a comfortable and beautiful interior to fulfil all the wishes of the customer. Thorough elaboration of the concept for a project has always been my priority. I put myself in the place of a future guest and invent stories from everyday life. It’s more like writing a script for a film, to be honest. The interior should evoke an emotional response, leave a vivid impression and encourage the guest to come again. Everything is like in the movies,” explained Daryana Mamotenko

  • Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Date completed: 2017
  • Size: 1,200 square feet
  • Design: Daryana Mamotenko + TSAN Architects
  • Photos: Dmitry Tsyrencshikov
Arches painted on the walls
Monochrome color scheme
Soft colors, light wood, white stone

Cooling display for desserts
Detail of lighting
Bathroom

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