Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!
Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!

Matching forms in space. Interior of the boutique by Zofia Strumiłło-Sukiennik

14 of August '23
  1. The interior of the boutique in a building at 61 Mokotowska Street in Warsaw is the result of the work of several women: Basia Chrabolowski and her grandmother, designer Zofia Strumiłło-Sukiennik and artist Magdalena Łapińska-Rozenbaum.
  2. The space reflects both the traditions of Podlasie and the close relationship between granddaughter and grandmother.
  3. A mural by Magdalena Łapińska-Rozenbaum and the unusual color of the curtain emphasize the uniqueness of the brand's history.
  4. Furniture and accessories with rounded forms, including Carl Öjerstam's armchair, The Good Living chairs and UAUPROJECT vases, create a unique, harmonious space. The design aesthetic also promotes photogenicity, taking into account unconventional forms and details.
  5. For more interesting information, visit the home page of the A&B portal

    The interior of the boutique at 61 Mokotowska Street in Warsaw was created by combining the sensitivity of several women Basia Chrabolowska and her grandmother, who create a knitting brand (B Sides Handmade), designer Zofia Strumiłło-Sukiennik, responsible for arranging the space, and artist Magdalena Łapińska-Rozenbaum, who created the mural decorating the interior. In a conversation full of warmth and memories about relationships, finesse in design, the clash between modernity and tradition and.... dental amalgams is told by Zofia Strumiłło-Sukiennik.

    Ola Kloc: The brand for which you designed the interior of the boutique was born out of your grandmother's and granddaughter's love for wool, their products being handmade by Podlasie knitters. Did and how did this relationship influence the interior design?

    Zofia Strumiłło-Sukiennik: I am very close to Podlasie themes. Podlasie is a beautiful region where cultures mix, which is extremely inspiring on many levels. The relationship between granddaughter and grandmother is also close to me, because I myself had a very close relationship with my grandmother. She was a dentist and would take me to her office, often introducing me to various arcana of dental knowledge. It may seem funny, but I see, years later, quite a lot of similarities between dental activities and sculpture or the creation of objects in general in both fields there is a certain matter that we shape, in the case of dentists to heal a person, his tooth. In the past, dentists' offices used completely different technologies, on glass slates a filling was prepared. My grandmother used to give me a spatula with which to spread amalgam, a paste, which was then inserted into the tooth. I liked this very much, because each such device both the plaque, the spatula and the little mirror was charming, stylistically defined. Each such item was designed, but at the same time the designer was not signed under it, because they were made by a manufacturer, a craftsman. However, they all had the hallmarks of a real product  the spatula was all corrugated, it had milled recesses so that the hand did not slip. I watched all this as a child, and the fact that I spent a lot of time in that office made me accustomed to the dentist.

    This is the second project we did with Basia  once, still as part of the Beza studio, we created a pop-up in the Elektrownia, there I designed the furnishings, not the space, because it was a temporary initiative. I was very happy when she invited me to work on the boutique project, that I would have to deal with this beautiful history, because I think such family stories add charm. And although I'm not continuing the dental tradition myself, maybe my bond with my grandmother will also resonate in a project someday.

    główne pomieszczenie ma nieregularny kształt, wpłynęło to na dobór mebli o wyoblonych kształtach

    The main room has an irregular shape, this influenced the choice of furniture with spun shapes

    Photo: Maria Miklaszewska | promotional materials of B Sides Handmade

    Ola: There is also an optical theme here, isn't there? It is the optical salon that was the previous tenant of the premises we are talking about.

    Zofia: The previous tenants probably went in there in the late 1980s or early 1990s, when the postmodern style prevailed. So there were all sorts of developments there, you could feel the aftermath of the 1980s, which is now coming back. They draw in some sense from various art-deco stories, they are a simplification of certain forms, there are curves, arches, playing with geometric form  this was immediately evident in this space. And although we didn't keep the found elements, we managed to smuggle in something a little different, for example, in the fashionable shapes of table legs and shelf support elements.

    This space has beautiful proportions, it is very high, a person feels like living in it. Usually stores are located in shopping malls and are contrived strictly for commerce, so they have a completely different expressiveness. I can't imagine such a boutique with history in any other space than the one here. Entering it, one is transported to a "grandmother's apartment", where one feels taken care of, there is adequate space, there is a separate room for a fitting room, there are beautiful windows, light, there is a mural. This makes the reception of the whole adventure or contact with this story and this extremely beautiful product of sweaters on a completely different level.

    akcent kolorystyczny we wnętrzu jest trudny do nazwania, jest to odcień osadzony pomiędzy niebieskim a fioletem        detale wnętrza

    interior details

    Photo: Maria Miklaszewska | promotional materials of B Sides Handmade

    Ola: You mentioned the mural (design: Magdalena Łapińska-Rozenbaum)  I'd like to ask about it, and also about that unusual shade of blue that appears both on the mural and on the fitting room curtain. What influenced this choice of colors and the selection of the artist with whom you collaborated?

    Zofia: The investor Basia is responsible for the selection of the artist, we just discussed what should appear on it. There were various ideas, from traditional to abstract. Magda's work is very emotional, intuitive, has a lot of decorative qualities, so I think it was a very good choice. However, when it comes to color  it's not blue! [laughs] This is a very sublime shade, which I would absolutely not call blue, but it is also difficult to define, it is a purple, but situated somewhere between blue and violet... you have to see it in person. I was inspired to choose it by two things  firstly, I once had my mother's brilliant dress in this color, and secondly, it caught my attention when I was choosing the fabric for the curtains  I opted for suede from Dekoma. This color is very difficult to photograph, to name, there are few things in this color. It is so unusual and sublime that it immediately caught my eye, I also thought the story deserved something equally unique.

    autorką muralu jest Magdalena Łapińska-Rozenbaum

    The author of the mural is Magdalena Łapińska-Rozenbaum

    Photo: Maria Miklaszewska | B Sides Handmade promotional materials

    Ola: It can't be described in words!

    Zofia: In a way, yes. Just like, after all, this relationship between grandmother and granddaughter  it can be called love, but also poets describe what love is in different ways, painters paint, musicians compose beautiful songs, while it's hard to put it in aone word, you just have to experience it  listen to beautiful music, read beautiful poetry, go to  I hope  a beautiful B Sides boutique, wear a nice sweater, listen to a story told by Basia, who works there. This is a non-consumption experience.

    Ola: Admittedly, I didn't hit the mark with color, but I think I identified the furnishings quite well  you relied mainly on curved furniture and accessories, like Carl Öjerstam's wicker armchair for IKEA, The Good Living's recently fashionable chairs, or UAUPROJECT's colorful vase. What influenced such a selection and juxtaposition of them?

    Zofia: The main room has an irregular shape, on one side there is a very long arch, which is made for the window located there. This prompted me to make every object placed in the interior a kind of object-sculpture. The furniture does not have a front and back, nor is it too angular, on the contrary, it facilitates movement around it, it creates a kind of island, around each of these objects we can walk freely. For example, an armchair by The Good Living is a kind of such a "pill", we can direct our eyes to it, take a picture and consider that it is a kind of sculpture, and we are in a gallery of different objects. Similarly, the elliptical-shaped table with rather squat legs, he too is an object on the border of being a piece of furniture and a sculpture.

    kolorowy wazon UAUPROJECT        fotel The Good Living

    A colorful vase by UAUPROJECT and an armchair by The Good Living

    Photo: Maria Miklaszewska | promotional materials of B Sides Handmade

    I have known the owners of UAU for a long time, they too studied industrial design, then I followed what they were doing. We also meet privately at our children's concerts, because they go to the same school  their daughter plays drums and my son plays piano. I really like the UAUPROJECT story  they've hired machines to make their products, and they do it in a very sensitive, fine and beautiful way. I like this clash of modernity and craftsmanship, tradition. It seems to me that tradition badly needs this, to let in somewhere that hint of confusion related to modernity, new technologies, a slightly different approach to decorativeness, to proportions, to color. All UAU vases are extremely colorful and make interesting use of the color possibilities of the material itself. In turn, we met with Monika Szyca of The Good Living on the occasion of the Warsaw Salon. It was an event I organized with Przemek Cepak, with Lexavala  last year in September we did an alternative or complement to the Warsaw Home fair. We wanted to show our stuff, but we "didn't want" to go to Nadarzyn, so we decided to do our mini-event in an old tenement in Srodmiescie, in Zosia Wyganowska's studio. That's when I met with Monika and it "clicked". I really like her imagination, her sense of what's in tredns now. I like her furniture, but also her story  she didn't study design, but she has the ability to create furniture and she does.

    Ola: Nowadays instafriendly interiors are part of the marketing efforts of many brands  do you, when designing, take this element into account? What solutions do you think make interiors photogenic? Did you use any tricks in this boutique?

    Zofia: For me, instagramability is that a person simply feels good in a given interior, that something is happening in it, that such treatments are used in it that draw attention, are unusual. It can be the use of some form, shape, texture. In fact, this makes up design, that is, the selection of forms in a space. We call it instagramming, because it's a tool we use nowadays, but it's really about a certain design value that should stand up both in real life and in a photo. In this interior, the beautiful photos were taken by Marysia Miklaszewska, and this requires choosing the right angle of the photo taken, the light, noticing certain details that can perhaps be missed when visiting a space. An important element is what we present in the interior, and sometimes we just don't fully pay attention to the space itself. I once heard an interesting opinion about music for movies  that the best music is when we don't hear it, because it becomes a kind of background. Here it's hard to say that about it, because the space is very distinctive, but that's also how the interior of a boutique should work, it's supposed to present the products and tell their story. The role of the photographer is to show the relationship of these two values.

    Ola: Thank you for the interview.

    interviewed: Ola Kloc

    The vote has already been cast