Consistent use of materials, refined detail, formal calmness and harmony of colors and textures. And, most importantly, plenty of light. It is it that so effectively creates the mood and atmosphere of this interior. We ask Katarzyna Beresińska of the Warsaw studio TK Architekci about the most important design decisions of the apartment in Bemowo.
projection of the apartment before and after the arrangement
Malgorzata Tomczak: You found the 125-square-meter apartment in Warsaw's Bemowo district as a development state. It was inhabited by a family of four. You designed interiors that are very bright and sunny. How did you work with light, how are the functions in the apartment distributed in relation to it?
Katarzyna Beresinska: The living area of the apartment has windows facing west and is bordered by a balcony. This was the starting point for planning the "heart of the house," that is, the common space of the household members. The children's rooms also have windows on the west side to maximize sunlight during the day. The parents' sleeping area was located in rooms with windows facing north. In terms of artificial light, we adhered to a principle that we often apply in private interiors: each room must have both the possibility of bright light close to daylight and discreet, atmospheric, relaxing light.
The bathroom next to the parents' bedroom
© TK Architects
Margaret: The floor plan shows that you combined two smaller apartments into one larger apartment. Thus, a long narrow corridor appeared, which divides the house into zones - the living area with the kitchen is separated from the parents' bedroom and the girls' rooms. Thus, the apartment gained a private intimate part intended only for the household members. To what extent such a division resulted from the found context and the apartment's floor plan, and to what extent was it a design decision?
Catherine: The initial layout (i.e., 2 separate apartments separated by a structural wall) was very challenging. In the initial concept phase, there were many different variants of the functional layout, from which, together with the investors, we chose the one that makes the best use of space and enables the creation of the planned program. We wanted to separate a large living area with an open kitchen, a parents' night area with a private bathroom and dressing room, and two children's rooms, a bathroom, a laundry room and a toilet. The location of the various rooms in the proposed locations was largely due to their exposure to daylight. On the west side are the windows of the children's rooms and the living area, and on the north side is the parents' sleeping area. From the living zone there is also an exit to the largest balcony.
© TK Architekci
Margaret: You are very consistent in your use of color and materials in the design - the white cabinets in each room (kitchen, girls' rooms, bedroom) are made of the same white MDF. The detailing is also very refined. The whole looks like a very careful and polished implementation.
Catherine: Our interior designs are usually characterized by consistency in terms of the materials used. We believe that using the same color palette, textures and material types throughout the interior gives it harmony. Refined detail in an interior is very important in our opinion, especially in minimalist interiors, in concepts based on a simple, geometric form, then the details draw a lot of attention.
Malgorzata: To what extent did you have freedom in the selection of accessories, and to what extent did the investors have orders for specific disjointed items?
Catherine: The clients wanted a modern interior, in light colors, warm and cozy at the same time. Specific product and material solutions were our proposal. In terms of aesthetics, there was an immediate agreement between us, also the process of working on the project was very consensual. In the end, the investor enriched the room of her younger daughter with accessories (toy boxes, teddy bears, fabrics), which blended very nicely into the interior. This was also a signal to us that in terms of aesthetics we understand each other well.
© TK Architects
Margaret: What was the biggest challenge in working on this project?
Catherine: Combining two medium-sized apartments into one larger one was a very big challenge. Creating a spacious interior with a large living area from the initial layout of many small "rooms". Planning the whole thing in such a way that there were no problems with moving bathrooms or kitchens far away from sewer and ventilation risers.
Margaret: Thank you for the interview!