Portraits of aristocrats, delicate molding and antique columns – no, this is not Versailles, the Louvre, or the Hermitage; this is the entrance area and stairwell of an apartment building in Kiev, reinvented by a Ukrainian pensioner.
65-year-old Vladimir Chaika apparently did not like the way the building of his apartment looked, so he decided to change it and transformed the dirty grey walls and dusty stairs into what now looks like an 18th-century palace.
The walls are now covered with ornate molding and portraits of aristocratic women. The garbage chute has been turned into an antique column, and the ceiling is decorated with reliefs depicting angels and suns.
The artist has decorated three floors of the nine-storey building so far, and is planning to turn all of it into a work of art.
Vladimir told Kiev media that he worked as a building renovator, and once met a man who taught him how to make sculptural molding.
“Some say that the style of my work is similar to baroque, but I disagree – it’s just my style,” he said laughing.
According to the pensioner, making these decorations is his hobby. “When I do this, I forget about everything. It makes me happy,” he said.
Vladimir’s son Andrey says his father is a fan of architecture, and it took him 15 years to change the building’s look.
According to local media, people often visit the beautifully decorated building, which now even serves as a popular photo-shoot spot for newlyweds.
People on social media have praised the work of the artist: “A talented man,” “Very beautiful,” “Well done, grandpa,” “Like a palace,” the comments read.
“I thought it’s a museum,” wrote one woman on Facebook under the post, while another added: “I wish all pensioners had such a hobby.”