In case of truly bringing her work home, Mayfair gallery owner Elena Shchukina shows Cortlyn Stovall around her stunning Highgate home
Illuminated steps guide you under majestic arches leading downstairs, capturing the very definition of a life of luxury. The underground rooms contains a cosy, yet spacious cinema room fully equipped with its own bar, the perfect fit for entertaining guests for any occasion. It also houses a fitness centre, steam room and covered swimming pool in the main basement, to allow for an afternoon swim no matter what the weather. From lounging in the pool, you get an immaculate view of the lush back garden through the glass exterior walls while being watched over by a leaping Marlin statue positioned poolside. A new luxury hotel? No, this is the Highgate home of Mayfair gallery owner Elena Shchukina and her family.
The art of combining furniture and design is one that Elena has mastered both at work and home. The ebb and flow of her gallery is reflected through her own personal interior design choices inside her North London home. ‘I like to create a dialogue between art and furniture,’ she explains. ‘It’s really pieces of furniture inspired by art.’ As she guides me through her six bedroom, four storey home, I can’t help but envy her design expertise. Throughout the entire house there is a sense of connection within each room. The furniture and colour schemes all fit hand-in-hand from ceiling to floor.
Elena and her husband purchased the house three years ago. With a daughter on the way, they were looking for a home in the same area to accommodate their growing family. Elena’s main concern for the new house was to design a room suitable for her daughter and to incorporate some of her favourite pieces of art from her galleries throughout the décor. It was a concern she clearly overcame with aplomb.
Her daughter’s room channels my inner child, back to the days when I wanted to be a princess when I grew up. ‘All of my guests seem to like this room best,’ Elena smiles. I can see why. The walls are splattered with pink wallpaper designs and princess castles filled with animals all revolving around a large pink rug, designed by Elena herself, just begging to be napped on. A matching bathroom fit for a princess glitters with sparkles and shades of pink, making it impossible for any child to turn down brushing their teeth in this castle.
Every artist needs a studio to create their work in, and Elena took pride in designing her own creative space. The room is focused around the lavender, floral wallpaper, with white and violet accents in the furniture and curtains. The study overflows into the adjoining bedroom, maintaining the colour schemes. In the centre of the room hangs an iconic, illusionary portrait of Elena created by Marcos Marin, one of the artists featured in her gallery. ‘The portraits are already busy, so I wanted to design furniture that was simple and complemented them,’ Elena says.
From the exterior the house resembles its era, a Victorian-style mansion built with intricate architecture from the late 1800s. Inside, it has been refurbished with modern details, such as electrically controlled curtains and secret doors that separate the large, Japanese-themed lounge floor from multiple rooms. The central living room looks more like an exhibition in her gallery than a room in a house.
All of her featured artists in the gallery embody diversity and substance from other artists, as do her rooms. Just down the hall from the living room is the fruit-themed kitchen. Despite the miserable weather outside, sun still shines through the large windows and illuminates the open space. The kitchen adds a modern twist to the rest of the floor, filled with contemporary furnishings and appliances.
It is incredible how a home can appear so historic in its external architecture, and yet has been redesigned to keep up with the chic trends and modern technologies. Although Elena is a ‘little obsessed with things matching’, it certainly pays off in the blend and flow of her Highgate mansion.
For more about Elena, visit galleryelenashchukina.com