Inside the home of Boyan Peev

Have you ever wondered what it is like inside the beautiful homes on Oborishte Street? Or how are they used today? It is time for us to be guests in one of them – the home of the industrialist Boyan Peev on Oborishte Street 31. Today it is the residence of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and has the fortunate fate to be maintained in great shape. Thanks to the hospitality of Her Excellency Bea ten Tusscher and the kind assistance of Netherlands embassy in Sofia we will look behind the facade of one of the most interesting residential buildings from the early 1930s in Sofia.

Дом на Боян Пеев Холандско посолство Улица Оборище

Boyan Peev is the younger son of Velizar Peev – one of the innovators who started to produce chocolate in Bulgaria in the early XX century. At these years Velizar Peev had to completely change the taste of Bulgarians, replacing the candied chickpeas with chocolate. After his death, Boyan and his big brother, Velizar Jr., headed the family’s chocolate factory in the town of Svoge. In the 1920s and 1930s, they turned it among the most successful enterprises in the country, despite all difficulties. One of them was related to the construction of a small hydropower plant at the factory. The local administration repeatedly refused to issue a building permit without clear reasons and finally even demanded the approval for the project from the Construction Minister without any legal grounds. This did not stop the brothers and they returned to Svoge with the Minister’s signature a few weeks later.

Къща на Боян Пеев Холандско посолство
Къща на Боян Пеев Холандско посолство

The house of Boyan was built during these difficult but also exciting years. The building was entrusted to the famous architects Ivan Vasilyov and Dimitar Tsolov, who later designed Bulgarian Nation Bank. The duo designed the house to be at the same time representative and elegant, comfortable and cozy. From the street we can see the two floors with wooden shutters on the windows and the two official entrances – one in front, from the garden and the other from the driveway to the inner courtyard. The great talent of the architects can be seen even more after we enter the large hall from the garden, with its solid wooden beams on the ceiling, inspired by the architecture of the old Bulgarian houses.

Домът на Пеев Улица Оборище Холандско посолство

Next to the entrance on the left there is a piano, which was brought here by the husband of Ambassador ten Tusscher. It is as old as the house and still has its charming original candlesticks. The hall is merging into a smaller living room with a fireplace that looks simple from distance, but its details reveal a master carving – a mythical creature between a lion and a dragon that sends us in the far east. The house was built in 1930 and 1931 mixing various architectural styles. It also carries the Art Deco style with its references to Eastern cultures and Asia.

Дом на Боян Пеев Холандско посолство Улица Оборище

From here we will continue up the stairs to the second floor. The staircase itself reveals once again skillfully crafted wooden elements.

Домът на Пеев Улица Оборище Холандско посолство
Домът на Пеев Улица Оборище Холандско посолство

From another staircase we return to the first floor, where the dining room and the kitchen are next to each other. From the kitchen we can go out into the inner courtyard, surrounded by the rear facade of the house, as well as the auxiliary buildings with nice wooden shutters on the windows again. There in the middle of the courtyard we find the surprise – a marble fountain in the ancient Bulgarian style and with the inscription “Home Boyan Peev – built in 1930 – the architects Vasilyov and Tsolov and master P. Stoychev”.

Домът на Пеев Улица Оборище Холандско посолство

As we look at the house from the outside, we cannot guess the vast space inside where the timber, white walls and light create a unique feeling of comfort and ease. We are leaving the home of Boyan Peev with a gratitude to our host for the opportunity to look at beautiful details and to read out important names in Bulgarian history.

Дом на Боян Пеев Холандско посолство Улица Оборище

The article was prepared with the assistance of Netherlands embassy in Bulgaria