Interior designer Anna Popov’s advice: ‘Strip everything to basics and build up from that’

By Emma Hinchliffe
A/E Editor

Photo Credit: Anton Benedikt

Anna Popov is an interior designer and founder of Bellevue-based Interiors by Popov. Popov was born in Moldova in the former USSR, she studied in Israel and moved to Bellevue from Toronto in 2014. In 2016, she founded Interiors by Popov, a full-service design studio that specialized in high-end residential design and also serves clients in the hospitality and commercial sectors.

During a recent call she shared her design philosophy.

Popov, who holds degrees in interior architecture and building systems, explained how from an early age she saw the importance of good interior design to health and wellbeing. “A home should be a support system and that’s exactly what we aim to create for our clients,” She said.

You won’t find anything superfluous or overtly ornamental in a Popov-designed home. Her work is instead driven by what she calls conscientious functionality. “We start with the problem that a client wants to fix, distill what they want from the room, and then go from there,” she explains. “We strip everything to basics and build up from that. Everything we design or include in the space has a function that relates to that initial problem.”

For Popov this conscientious functionality is the key to creating spaces that serves a client’s needs and support both their mental and physical health. “When we are faced with being simple, that’s when we face real problems,” she explained. “When you can’t deliver ornament, you must deliver substance.”

Popov’s spaces are defined by lots of natural light, clean lines and thoughtfully choses furniture and décor. She hates clutter and prides herself on finding effective storage solutions for any room that blend in with the architecture of the space and “look like they were always meant to be there.”

“I always find that the most successful projects are those that consider architecture and interior design together,” Popov added.

A good example of the firm’s ethos at work is a project that Popov and her team completed for a client in Mukilteo just before the pandemic. The client was an avid cook but found that her current kitchen was ill-equipped for this.

Usable counter space was doubled at one of Popov’s projects in Mukilteo.

Photo Credit: John Granen

“It was very dark and had an awkward layout,” Popov said. Popov began by taking an inventory of everything in the kitchen, removing items that were not necessary, and then building the design from there with a focus on maximizing usable counter space for cooking. “One thing we found during the inventory was a beautiful 26-inch copper jam pot but there wasn’t a cupboard big enough to store it, so it was taking up a lot of space on the counter,” Popov explained.

The solution was to build a series of tall cabinets framed in an existing architectural niche. Further storage solution included a custom-made glass shelf that hangs above a window but is thoughtfully designed not to obstruct the view. A fresh blue and white color scheme was chosen to brighten up the whole kitchen. “The client was really happy, our design gave her 50% more storage and 100% more counter-top space to work on,” Popov said.

As we emerge from the pandemic, Popov notes how things have been busier than ever and how the last few years have shone a new light on how thoughtfully designed spaces can improve and support an occupants’ quality of life; the notions that have always driven her work and passion for interior design. “I’ve been really happy and excited to see this shift,” she said. “We actually got a lot of calls during the pandemic from clients thanking us and explaining how the spaces we designed for them made working from and being confined to the house that much more pleasurable.”

Interiors by Popov is located at 13343 N.E. Bel-Red Road, Building C, Suite 230.

Hygge In Redmond

This Residence was designed around the Danish philosophy of Hygge.

Photo Credit: John Granen