Silk carpet and kitchen covered with stone. Interior finished only with natural materials

07 of December '23

Architects from KANDO Architects studio were commissioned to design an unusual apartment. The space was supposed to be bright and open. Designers were allowed to use only raw materials to finish it.

Second home

On a daily basis, the investors live near Olsztyn and come to Warsaw for business purposes. When their travels became quite frequent they decided it was time to think about a second apartment where they could feel like at home. They purchased a property in the fashionable Powiśle district, close to the center. The 140-square-meter apartment is part of a luxury building with interesting modern architecture inspired by the structure of crystal.

- We did subtle changes to the interior layout. We separated a guest room and gently adjusted some walls. However, with this project, the main task we had to carry out was the detailed interior design concept, including the technological side. The owner wanted to use only natural materials. If brass, then only solid, real stone, not sinters, carpet made of authentic silk, not just an admixture of it - explain Kinga Klietz-Łęska and Karolina Krawczyk, co-owners and chief designers of the studio.

W kuchni znajdziemy turecki wapień

In the kitchen you will find Turkish limestone

Photo by Nate Cook

In addition to the undoubted advantages, the architects also presented the owner with the dangers of daily use of natural raw materials. The client, however, was adamant.

- A stain on the carpet or upholstery, a trace of a glass on the stone were not a major concern for him. On the contrary, the owner was concerned about sterility and the lack of traces of life, memories written on the material. They are the ones that testify to the naturalness of this place, which will change with the passage of time and age together with the householders - says Tymek Łęski - the third partner, studio manager and coordinator of the implementation.

Inwestorzy zażyczyli sobie, aby wnętrze było wykończone wyłącznie naturalnymi materiałami

The investors wanted the interior to be finished only with natural materials

Photo by Nate Cook

Authentic materials

There are two entrances to the apartment. One directly from the elevator, through which the owners usually enter, and the other from the stairwell, for guests, couriers and building staff. Vis-à-vis the entrance, behind a sliding door made of smoked glass, a dressing room connected to the laundry room has been designed. It features custom-made closets complemented by hangers made of solid brass patinated to bronze. This material runs throughout the apartment. Furniture handles, cladding of structural columns and a bookcase in the living room were also made of it.

Vis-à-vis wejścia znajduje się garderoba z pralnią Wieszaki w garderobie zostały wykonane z litego mosiądzu patynowanego na brąz

Vis-à-vis the entrance there is a dressing room with a laundry room

Photo by Nate Cook

- This is an absolutely sculptural form that undoubtedly catches the eye. It was custom-made by a locksmith, to size and according to our design - Karolina explains.

To achieve the beautiful effect of noble grit, a special patination agent was ordered, which had to be pulled all the way from... New Zealand.

- At first, the client wondered whether it was worth the trouble and whether it was better to make the furniture simply out of bronze than to patinate the brass. If it weren't for the fact that there are no contractors in Poland who would undertake such a project, he probably would have gone for it. Price did not play a role - says the designer.

The result is spectacular. The bookcase fit perfectly into the structural pillar behind it, which the designers enclosed with mirrored panels. In this way a sculptural form was created, combining utilitarian and artistic function. A television was discreetly integrated into the furniture. The screen was suspended from an invisible structure. Above the sofa, the architects installed audio equipment. This allows you to comfortably watch a movie and listen to music in high quality.

Rzeźbiarski regał w salonie został wykonany z mosiądzu patynowanego na brąz

The sculptural bookcase in the living room was made of brass patinated bronze

Photo by Nate Cook

Resting place

This part of the living room is very important to the owners. They lead active lives on a daily basis. So this zone was meant to encourage them to relax and catch their breath after a long day. In the center, opposite the bookcase, stood a beige sofa created by Italian design legend Antonio Citterio. A minimalist corner sofa with a chaise longue function harmonizes beautifully with tables made by Brazilian designer Guilherme Torres. The furniture is finished in marble and brass - oxidized and brushed. The architects arranged the pieces so that together they create an interesting geometric form. However, the positioning can easily be changed to suit the needs. The lounge area is flanked on the side by a jewel-toned lamp.

However, one more addition is worth noting. Sofa stands on a carpet woven from pure silk.

- Such a carpet, without any additives like viscose or polyester, is a great rarity, in fact it doesn't happen - says Kinga.

Prawdziwą perełką wnętrza jest ręcznie tkany jedwabny dywan

A real gem of the interior is a hand-woven silk carpet

Photo by Nate Cook

The investor was willing to wait as long as it takes, because a fabric of this size made of such material is not made overnight. The rug was hand-woven for nine months at a company that specializes in sewing luxury rugs from natural materials to order.

- The production process was very time-consuming, but also interesting. First, a month after placing the order, we received five samples in different shades and weaving textures, so that we could perfectly match the final look of the rug to the color and texture of the sofa and the environment in which it was to be placed. By the way, we learned about the unusual process of obtaining yarn from mulberry silkworm cocoons and so on. This was an extremely inspiring and interesting experience for us - the architects explain.

W strefie wypoczynkowej znajduje się biżuteryjna lampa

The lounge area features a jewelry lamp

Photo by Nate Cook

Ultimately, the interior will be filled with more unique, handmade accessories, so the walls were painted neutral white and gently undercut from below and above.

- We intentionally used a "shadow-gap" solution. Someday, over time, the space will be filled with art. Now the walls are like a painter's canvas that has been primed and is waiting for the painter's gesture. The effect of a levitating wall above the floor will make the attention focus more intensely on the painting. This is a treatment often used in the best museums or art galleries - Tymek explains.

Kitchen covered with stone

The living room seamlessly merges with the kitchenette and a large island that serves as a dining table. The cooking area was a great challenge for the architects, as one of the owner's expectations was to use natural stone. So the designers came up with an unusual idea and finished not only the countertops, but also the furniture fronts with it. The use of this type of material on large and moving areas, seemed virtually unfeasible. However, after countless trial and error, they succeeded. It took the architects and their contractors four months to develop a technological concept that would allow safe use of the furniture. Thus, an innovative technology was created. Special hinges that would be able to bear such a heavy weight, since the heaviest of the fronts weighs about 50 kg, were imported directly from England. Stone panels were also used in the furniture hiding household appliances. In this case, they required clever "slimming" so that the weight was as low as possible, and the appearance did not differ from the rest of the built-in elements.

- With daily use, the greater weight is perceptible. However, it's like with a solid fixture, a handle or a cast statuette. It weighs a little, but this gives us the assurance that it was made of authentic, durable material - says Tymek.

The fronts in the annex and the countertops is covered with natural Turkish limestone. It looks very noble, ages beautifully, and its muted sandy hue blends perfectly with the light colors of the interior.

Specjalna technologia umożliwiła stworzenie kamiennych frontów

Special technology made it possible to create stone fronts

Photo by Nate Cook

The kitchen island is a little different. Here, to liven up the minimalist decor, the designers proposed a stone with a clear, dominant grain. The same one is located at the entrance to the apartment. The owner really liked the Brazilian quartzite with an abstract drawing of unique patterns and colors, which, depending on the lighting, gain in intensity. The creamy beige base interspersed with silvery-black veins makes an amazing impression. The entire island was made of it. The wide top was extended from the side of the living room, so that you can sit comfortably at it. Everything is complemented by lamps with an interesting form.

Wyspa kuchenna została pokryta kwarcytem brazylijskim

The kitchen island was covered with Brazilian quartzite

Photo by Nate Cook

Oak and cotton

The master zone was designed behind the brass bookcase. It consists of the owners' bedroom and a private bathroom. The investors wanted this intimate part of the apartment to feel like a luxury hotel. A wallpaper made of natural cotton fibers was laid on the central wall. It has a structure of fine hairs that can be felt under the hand, making it incredibly soft to touch. On its background stood a comfortable bed with an upholstered headrest.

- We managed to convince the owner to go for a lighter form, although he initially opted for a continental bed - the architects say.

Na ścianie za łóżkiem znajduje się bawełniana tapeta

The wall behind the bed features cotton wallpaper

Photo by Nate Cook

On either side of the piece of furniture stood bedside tables, above which hung lamp-bulbs finished in polished brass. The wallpapered wall is connected with a sheet of mirror, on which a suspended top with drawers was mounted. This minimalist type of dressing table really appealed to the client. Specialized LED lighting was installed all around, which allows precise makeup application. As in the living room, the floor was covered with oak, gently whitened boards of unusual dimensions. Their width is 30 cm, and their length reaches up to 8 meters. Transporting the planks to the 3rd floor was a logistical challenge. Even a mountaineering company was hired, but their plans were thwarted by the weather. In the end, they managed to hoist them up by crane.

A bathing oasis of calm

The bedroom is optically enlarged by the adjacent bathroom. It is symbolically separated from the sleeping area by a glass wall with one fixed and one sliding panel. It is a system of double-layered glass. A fine mesh is installed between the panes, which, depending on the lighting, changes the translucency of the glass - in natural lighting it gently shimmers and drapes a misty coating, in artificial lighting it is almost translucent, slightly smoky.

Łazienkę od sypialni oddziela ścianka ze szkła

The bathroom is separated from the bedroom by a glass wall

Photo by Nate Cook

The bathroom has a zen-like atmosphere. In the central area, a freestanding bathtub has been placed on small stones, over which an intimate light oozes. The owner, who loves to read while bathing, wanted to have lamps that would illuminate a book, but at the same time would not disturb the atmosphere of peace and relaxation. The entire room, with the exception of the ceiling, was finished in limestone. The same one that was used in the kitchen. The sinks were also made of it. On the outside, they were finished in the grinding technology. It makes this part matte and reveals the porous structure of the stone. On the inside, the basins are gently polished due to the material's absorbency. The same semi-polished treatment was applied to the floor. For the subdued decor, it was possible to choose faucets in a color that captures the effect of patinated brass. They run water by pressing the tip of the spout, making them easier to keep clean, and the temperature is regulated by a knob on the wall.

Wolnostojąca wanna została umieszczona na drobnych kamyczkach

The free-standing bathtub was placed on small pebbles

Photo by Nate Cook

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