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Warsaw Loft with Multifunctional Furniture

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To maximize their small Warsaw loft, transatlantic designers Aleksander Novak-Zemplinski and Becky Nix handcrafted a fleet of double-duty furnishings.

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  Nix and Novak-Zemplinski, founders of the design firm BioLINIA, in their 1,000-square-foot apartment’s open-plan kitchen, dining, and living space. They had the decorative cabinets and ceiling panels CNC-milled by a Polish subsidiary of the Finnish company Koskisen.  Photo by: Andreas MeichsnerCourtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

    Nix and Novak-Zemplinski, founders of the design firm BioLINIA, in their 1,000-square-foot apartment’s open-plan kitchen, dining, and living space. They had the decorative cabinets and ceiling panels CNC-milled by a Polish subsidiary of the Finnish company Koskisen.

    Photo by: Andreas Meichsner

    Courtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

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  Nix and Novak-Zemplinski designed the black-steel bookshelves and had them fabricated at a local metal shop.  Photo by: Andreas MeichsnerCourtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

    Nix and Novak-Zemplinski designed the black-steel bookshelves and had them fabricated at a local metal shop.

    Photo by: Andreas Meichsner

    Courtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

  • 
  Ornate concrete blocks screen a storage area in the kitchen while letting light through. The effect is “romantic—romantyczny,” says Nix.  Photo by: Andreas MeichsnerCourtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

    Ornate concrete blocks screen a storage area in the kitchen while letting light through. The effect is “romantic—romantyczny,” says Nix.

    Photo by: Andreas Meichsner

    Courtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

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  Caster wheels on the bottom allow the shelves to be stored under the kitchen island or rolled elsewhere to create a library anywhere in the apartment.  Photo by: Andreas MeichsnerCourtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

    Caster wheels on the bottom allow the shelves to be stored under the kitchen island or rolled elsewhere to create a library anywhere in the apartment.

    Photo by: Andreas Meichsner

    Courtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

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  By lowering the custom Murphy bed and rolling a sliding plywood door, Novak-Zemplinski creates an insta-guestroom.  Photo by: Andreas MeichsnerCourtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

    By lowering the custom Murphy bed and rolling a sliding plywood door, Novak-Zemplinski creates an insta-guestroom.

    Photo by: Andreas Meichsner

    Courtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

  • 
  The couple designed and built every piece of furniture in the apartment except for the Mezzo sofa from BoConcept. The coffee table can be flipped on its side to serve as a barstool. How did they test it to make sure it would support a person’s weight? “Olek jumped and sat on it,” says Nix, before adding, “He graduated from an engineering program.”  Photo by: Andreas MeichsnerCourtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

    The couple designed and built every piece of furniture in the apartment except for the Mezzo sofa from BoConcept. The coffee table can be flipped on its side to serve as a barstool. How did they test it to make sure it would support a person’s weight? “Olek jumped and sat on it,” says Nix, before adding, “He graduated from an engineering program.”

    Photo by: Andreas Meichsner

    Courtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

  • 
  In the Spotlight“I’m a huge proponent of lighting as architecture,” says Nix, who suggests illuminating objects instead of empty space. “Light on an object creates ambiance.” In their apartment, they’ve trained track lights from the Polish company LightArt on the Cube, as well as on the handmade cabinetry. The fixtures, which Novak-Zemplinski describes as “good quality and inexpensive in comparison to more well-known brands,” are also installed at the MoMA in New York.lightart.plPractical DecorationOne of the secrets to living neatly in a small apartment, says Nix, is lots of storage space. To that end, the couple built big cabinets along the walls. To create a sense of visual unity throughout the eclectic but compact space, the couple hand-carved the tree pattern from the kitchen into these cabinet doors (from a template) using an electric router. It’s more than ornament: The cutouts eliminate the need for jutting cabinet pulls.biolinia.com  Photo by: Andreas MeichsnerCourtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner
    In the Spotlight

    “I’m a huge proponent of lighting as architecture,” says Nix, who suggests illuminating objects instead of empty space. “Light on an object creates ambiance.” In their apartment, they’ve trained track lights from the Polish company LightArt on the Cube, as well as on the handmade cabinetry. The fixtures, which Novak-Zemplinski describes as “good quality and inexpensive in comparison to more well-known brands,” are also installed at the MoMA in New York.lightart.pl

    Practical Decoration

    One of the secrets to living neatly in a small apartment, says Nix, is lots of storage space. To that end, the couple built big cabinets along the walls. To create a sense of visual unity throughout the eclectic but compact space, the couple hand-carved the tree pattern from the kitchen into these cabinet doors (from a template) using an electric router. It’s more than ornament: The cutouts eliminate the need for jutting cabinet pulls.biolinia.com

    Photo by: Andreas Meichsner

    Courtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

  • 
  Block It OutSeeking an inexpensive way to create a screen effect between the bathroom and bedroom, Novak-Zemplinski and Nix hit on the idea of stacked open-cell concrete blocks, more typically used in parking areas. They discovered blocks with a more-interesting-than-average pattern in Chyżne, a town near Kraków. Better still, they cost just two dollars each. “When we saw how good these parking blocks looked in the bedroom, we thought they’d be a good way to hide clutter in the kitchen, too,” says Novak-Zemplinski.chyzbet.pl  Photo by: Andreas MeichsnerCourtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner
    Block It Out

    Seeking an inexpensive way to create a screen effect between the bathroom and bedroom, Novak-Zemplinski and Nix hit on the idea of stacked open-cell concrete blocks, more typically used in parking areas. They discovered blocks with a more-interesting-than-average pattern in Chyżne, a town near Kraków. Better still, they cost just two dollars each. “When we saw how good these parking blocks looked in the bedroom, we thought they’d be a good way to hide clutter in the kitchen, too,” says Novak-Zemplinski.chyzbet.pl

    Photo by: Andreas Meichsner

    Courtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

  • 
  Selective D.I.YNix and Novak-Zemplinski made the narrow concrete sinks with tilted basins in the bathrooms. “We couldn’t find any sinks we liked,” says Nix. “So we decided to make our own. But those are the most expensive sinks ever, at least in terms of man-hours.” Novak-Zemplinski concurs—while they are happy with the way the sinks turned out, “one of the lessons we learned is that some things are not worth doing yourself.”  Photo by: Andreas MeichsnerCourtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner
    Selective D.I.Y

    Nix and Novak-Zemplinski made the narrow concrete sinks with tilted basins in the bathrooms. “We couldn’t find any sinks we liked,” says Nix. “So we decided to make our own. But those are the most expensive sinks ever, at least in terms of man-hours.” Novak-Zemplinski concurs—while they are happy with the way the sinks turned out, “one of the lessons we learned is that some things are not worth doing yourself.”

    Photo by: Andreas Meichsner

    Courtesy of: ©Andreas Meichsner

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