After the first part of my Moscow travel tips, I promised to deliver more! And here we are, back to the buzzing Russian capital. In today’s post I want to share with you cool places for design and plant lovers – like me obviously. I went to a few amazing design shops and ateliers, creative hubs and plant shops around Moscow. Let me share with you a few of my favorite Moscow addresses for cool Russian design and lush plants. Here we go!
Where to find Russian design in Moscow:
Design Usadba: This collective of Russian designers sits in a building in the Basmanny district a 10 minutes walk from Kurskaya metro station. It is a bit hidden – you have to enter the courtyard and take the back door and go up one flight of stairs. But the easiest way is actually to contact my friend Yulia from Penny Royal, one of the design labels there, to welcome you and show you around. Let me give you a short wrap-up of some of my fave labels in the Design Usadba collective:
Penny Royal: Yulia’s creative outpost is all about kokedamas and creative little planters to bring more green into homes. Now this could also go down in the section ‘Plant Spots in Moscow’ but I want to highlight Yulia’s design approach here. Besides her handmade kokedamas and terrariums, she also works with ceramicists to create beautiful planter and pots that are then being produced with smart 3-D printers. Her latest ideas go also towards combining products and enhancing other brands’ items – she is working on a new planter with the in-house colleagues from Pole Home but she also created a nice ceramic base for IKEA’s glass cloches. Smart girl and the best guide through the Design Usadba realm!
Pole Home: This brand’s name derives from Russian word for ‘field’ because their products are made of all-natural jute from Russia. Think of bags, planters, baskets, boxes, bins – all made of this natural material and adding texture and warmth to any home. And yes, I got myself a jute planter of course!
My Botanica: My Botanica is a creative mix of plants, botanical frames and other small Russian labels selling jewelry and scented candles as well. You can also spot our Urban Jungle book there and I strongly recommend you have a closer look at the botanical frames. The quality is amazing and they are super beautiful – I have two, see them here.
Ankha: This label is the creative playground of designer Anna Kharchenko and it’s all about slow fashion and sustainable design. She is most known for her beautiful bags, totes and backpacks made of leather pieces that are left-overs from other productions and usually went into waste. She creates the most amazing and supple bags with those. I am still waiting for her to get again the green leather bits to get my fingers on one of her backpacks. Touch her products and you will know what I mean! Additionally, she worked together with the Archpole team to create cool and sustainably produced planters.
The Sarai: This design label focuses on wood and metal furniture made in Russia. Here again they source the wood locally and create cook, urban and industrial looking furniture pieces for the home. I love their little coffee tables and side tables made with entire slices of wooden chunks giving them a super organic look.
Wood LED: To complete your home with Russian design you need lighting. Look no further as Wood LED is in the Design Usadba too. Amazing light pendants, wall scones and table lamps with wooden blades resemble some mechanical turbines and look pretty contemporary. Big like too!
Elektrozavod: This location is in another part of Moscow, close to Sokolniki park. This former industrial site is packed with design labels, studios and ateliers, even furniture production is happening there. My suggestion is you get there with a cab (there are several entrances to the building, the Door 3 is the main entrance where you need to go) and get in touch with one of the labels beforehand via Instagram. You will need to be registered at the reception and bring an ID to get in. Once you passed the somewhat Soviet entry experience, you will be roaming a huge industrial complex with several floors and long corridors with different labels. I went to two and I want to introduce you to them:
Archpole: This label was founded by two talented architects, Anya and Kostya, 10 years ago and has turned into a successful design business ever since. Once you enter their main office space you will discover their furniture as well as other Russian design labels. Anya will take you around and show you not only the office space but also take you to two showrooms in the same building. There you will discover their furniture designs in real-life settings – bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, hallways – all equipped with their amazing designs. My favorite is their stool/chair with the circular wooden design. It not only looks good, but it’s also super comfortable. The amazing fact is, that all their products are also produced in the Elektrozavod building. Anya will take you to the production facilities too if you fancy a peek. Also I should not forget to mention that Tom the cat is the official president of Archpole!
Chamotte Bakery: Now here comes a tip for all you ceramics lovers out there. Chamotte Bakery is an amazing pottery studio and point of sale in the Elektrozavod building. They offer pottery classes on weekends and sell their products every day. I scored a set of three amazing plates and some hand dishes as gifts for friends.
Fragile Things Ceramics: Since I am speaking about ceramics I can’t skip my friend Nadya. She is the mastermind behind Fragile Things Ceramics and I blogged about her studio and work earlier here. In the meantime Nadya moved her studio to a new location and I went there to visit her too (and shop of course). Again, make sure to announce yourself to Nadya so that she can register you and bring an ID to get access to the business center complex. Nadya will welcome you with a smile and coffee or tea with some berries from her mother’s garden in Siberia if you are lucky. Once again I scored some handmade bowls and plates from Nadya’s atelier.
Natura Siberica: Last but not least I want to introduce you to a Russian label of natural skincare, body care and cosmetics: Natura Siberica. As the name hints, their products are all based on natural plants, fruits and other ingredients from the untouched nature of Siberia. The price is more than reasonable and I covered myself in skincare products, shampoos, shower gels and hand creams for months!
Cool plant spots in Moscow:
No visit to any place without me being on a hunt for green spots. The same happened in Moscow of course so here come my favorites for your next Moscow trip.
Apothecary botanical garden: This old botanical garden sits in the northern district of Prospekt Mira close to the namesake metro station. In the warmer season, you can stroll around their outdoor garden, while in winter you can enjoy the greenhouses and the art space alike. It is a really nice urban botanical garden with lush plants and lots of fabulous photo opps!
Krapiva Krapiva: This plant shop has recently relocated to a new shop on Pyatnitskaya street where they share the space with the café Delyus’ Dushoy. Go check it out and also you will find our new book PLANT TRIBE there soon!
Plant Me Moscow: Olya’s green realm is tucked away in a creative inner courtyard close to Paveletskaya metro station. To find the somewhat hidden entrance, check out Olya’s highlight Insta story about how to get to Plant Me Moscow. Expect lovely plants, a relaxed atmosphere with a cup of tea and our new book PLANT TRIBE too.
Florarium: This cool space is located in the nature center of the Zaryadye park (see Moscow Travel Tips Part One). Several times per day you can visit the Florarium as part of a guided tour and experience the futuristic looking mini botanical garden in downtown Moscow.
That’s it for today and about Moscow. With the Moscow Travel Tips Part One and Part Two you should be well equipped to roam the Russian capital and discover amazing places to eat, drink, shop and enjoy! Happy traveling! Next stop here on the blog: Saint Petersburg in Russia. See you soon!
Photography by Igor Josifovic