"Chastely and safely most often means bland." Katarzyna Burak in the series "10 questions to an interior designer"

13 of September '23

"10 Questions to an Interior Architect" is a series of short talks inspired by the series "10 Questions to...". This time our attention is turned to interior architects. In today's episode, Katarzyna Burak from the FUGA Architektura Wnętrz talks about her approach to design.

Katarzyna Burak — a graduate of Interior Design at the Białystok University of Technology. Her personality was largely shaped by childhood spent in the Podlasie countryside. Her interiors are like her clothes — very different, colorful, adapted to the personality of the owner. Her mission in life is to be authentic, so she places great emphasis on consistency and matching interiors to their users.

1. For me home is...

A place I miss when I'm away. A space where I can relax, have my favorite food, clothes, books. Where everything is „my way”.

2. The key to a successful interior design is...

Choosing a good, experienced interior designer with whom you communicate easily. Reliably preparing a list of all your dreams and functionalities that should appear in the interior. Communicate them to the architect, trust and go slow.

3. I look for inspiration in...

On a daily basis, primarily Pinterest and eyes wide open. Whenever I leave the house, I observe and record interesting designs: restaurants, stores, apartments and friends' houses.

When traveling, it's about being here and now, focusing on the world around me and recording inspiration, usually in the form of photos of interesting color combinations, forms and solutions.

4. In cooperation with an investor, the most important thing is...

Trust and respect. Trust, because the number of possibilities, stores, materials nowadays is huge. A good architect will select the best products available in our budget and style. Without trust, we can fall into the trap of controlling the entire process, which can lead to great fatigue and frustration.

Respect — as an architect, I respect the investor's time, money and style. I present selections of the best solutions available within a given budget. I show only good quality products that will serve without failure and give comfort to the investor. I respect the investor's style and try to explore it regardless of how close it is to my own taste. I privately realize myself in my own investments, while commercial projects are first and foremost to serve the investor.

Likewise — if the investor doesn't respect me, my enthusiasm for work will be negligible, and thus the project will lose its quality and I will not put my heart into cooperation, which is the thing that often gives interiors unique character.

5. My favorite design style is...

Organic, energetic, natural, experimental.

6. The most valuable object in my home is...

A rug brought back from Morocco. We held off going there for a couple of years, until we bought our dream apartment in a townhouse after years of renting. A few months after the move, we were already sitting on a plane bound for North Africa. The search for the perfect rug lasted almost a week, we drank a lots of tea in the process, bargained for hundreds of dollars, and finally succeeded. It is perfect.

7. The most common mistake in self-decorating is...

Making too safe decisions or not knowing how to combine different styles. I observe two tendencies. Either, out of fear of making a mistake, we make an interior that is too neutral, completely unrepresentative of our character or lifestyle, in which it is difficult to feel „at home.” Or we like so many different things and fail to select them that we end up with an interior that looks like a Christmas tree dressed by several generations at the same time. As a Christmas accent it is a beautiful thing, as a place to live — a bit impersonal and tiresome.

8. My favorite material is...

Wood, because it offers endless construction and design possibilities. You can make a whole house out of it — from the frame, to the cold-insulating walls, to the roof. You can practically finish the interior with it, while not feeling overwhelmed by a single material. It ages beautifully, each piece is unique, it smells wonderful. It can give a rural traditional atmosphere in the interior, but also be an ultra modern element. I don't know another material so malleable and at the same time noble.

9. Trend that I would like to see pass away already is...

Gray interiors without color. Safe arrangements combining only white, black and wood. Let's play with color, form, experiment. Chastely and safely most often means bland.

10. Someday I would like to live in...

It depends on the stage of life. I have a lot of housing dreams.

The biggest one is to have 2 houses: a summer one in Poland and a winter one in the south of Europe, preferably in Greece where I really like the cuisine and climbing conditions. This is my second biggest passion right after designing.

I have always dreamed that the house in Poland would be wooden, old, manor house type, with a wide entrance dividing it into two zones: living and private. With a spacious entrance hall and a passageway to the garden across the space. From the entrance overlooking the beautiful greenery. In season, the door would be wide open for guests and pets. Necessarily with a sauna and a cast-iron bathtub filled with ice-cold water in the garden.

A winter home in the south — made of stone, less sterile. One into which sand from the garden is brought, and the time spent indoors and outdoors mix seamlessly. With a large open hearth in the living room, a summer kitchen in the garden and multiple bedrooms for guests. Providing privacy for visitors, but also a place to socialize and party until the morning for those looking for company.

Check out the designs by FUGA Architektura Wnętrz


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