Luxurious Contemporary Apartment in Poland

Exotic artwork; Chinese, Japanese and Spanish influences; and luxury materials such as backlit onyx make this Central Warsaw flat a stunner. The customers, a couple in finance, traveling often and wanted their residence, which overlooks Łazienki Park, to reflect their love of the Orient and Spain. Working together with them “gave me the most joy,” says interior designer Pawel Sókol. “I heard from and was inspired by their own enthusiasm for layout — down to the most minute details.”

in a Glance
Location:
Warsaw, Poland
Size: 2,583 square feet
Designer’s question:
Sókol’s customers insisted on integrating onyx, marble, metal and wood –and design changes from the East and West — under a single roof.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

A reddish, flowerlike chandelier adds drama to a space where the ceilings are not very high. Paired together with the neutral, warm and earthy tones of the space, the headboard enhances the decoration and can be admired by the adjacent living room space.

Chandelier: Flower of Life, Willow Lamps

EXIT Interior Design Studio

A luxe custom drapery track is hidden underneath a header and glows from panel lighting; silk drapes breaking at the floor give a puddled appearance and some motion to the draperies.

In the front end of this space is an Alhambra carved-wood divider, one of the select pieces brought home to Poland from the customers’ journeys to Spain.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

Silver velvet sofas and an armchair contrast against the warm wood tones of the side tables, coffee table and floors. The metallic impact of this draperies and upholstery up the glam factor of this living room tastefully; the metallic motif extends to the circular centerpiece, silver frog figure and die-cast brass lampshade trio (the third lamp is not visible in this picture).

Lamps: Pasha, Luminara by Ceccotti

EXIT Interior Design Studio

The study has a serene view of the foliage from nearby Łazienki Park, which is home to many classical-style gardens and palaces.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

The customers’ love of Eastern layout is evident in this chinoiserie-inspired vignette: a pair of guardian lions, a Chinese porcelain plate and an altar table adjacent to a wood divider produced by a Polish carpenter employing a Japanese blossom print.

How to Insert Touches of Chinoiserie

EXIT Interior Design Studio

The Eastern influence extends itself into the restroom. A white lantern hovers over a vessel sink; red and white glass panels are placed between black iron frames with a Chinese geometric pattern.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

Sókol points out that the absence of cabinets, shelves and cabinets in the bedroom. “The bedroom is used for rest and sleep. Clothes, accessories, additional possessions have their place in the wardrobe in another room.”

EXIT Interior Design Studio

Sókol’s clients especially requested to integrate onyx to the interior layout. This picture shows backlit onyx panels at the ceiling, which include a visual richness that is preferred by luxury hospitality and commercial spaces. A small nook next to a center pillar with modular closets is used for coffee and afternoon tea.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

This shiny kitchen sink area looks like it could also belong within a luxury suite.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

This stunning receiving area by the flat elevator would be fitting at a contemporary hotel. It reflects the customers’ need for the same sleek look they enjoy while traveling abroad.

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5 Smashing White and Black Homes

By now everybody knows that it is fairly simple and cheap to change up the look of a space by changing out throw pillow covers, a lamp or two, artwork along with a rug. However, to pull this off you want a foundation that is versatile. Using black and white as a foundation makes these switch-ups really simple and can be visually striking. Get ideas on how to do this by these five houses that use black and white as a starting point.

LDa Interiors & Architecture

1. An home in Massachusetts. Upon entering this stunning oceanside home north of Boston, one immediately knows that LDA Architecture and Interiors hasn’t designed a typical beach home.

LDa Interiors & Architecture

This equilibrium of the two colors even retains an TV looking glossy.

LDa Interiors & Architecture

Not all the rooms are white with black accents; others, such as this kitchen, allow black dominate and attract big drama.

Watch the rest of this home

Stephanie Sabbe

2. A daring Manhattan apartment. Interior designer Stephanie Sabbe made a wowing look by using black, white and shades in between (for example, the light grey sofa). This complex home begins with a strong black and white chevron rug on the floor, and picture touches abound in the floor up to the ceiling.

Stephanie Sabbe

Another black and white rug creates continuity between the rooms; this time it’s left in a zebra print. Electric orange dazzles as part of this palette, while boldly coloured prints are anchored by black and white framing. Any of the artwork’s colors would work on the dining chair slipcovers.

Watch the rest of this home

Stephanie Sabbe

Out on the terrace, black woven furniture may take on a bevy of bold hues and geometric prints.

Watch the rest of this home

Susan Duane

3. A nation charmer in western New York. Susan Duane, blogger of Hometown Girl, has maintained the traditional look of her classic home through major renovations. Using black and white brings a traditional look.

Turquoise chairs stick out on the otherwise only black and white screened-in porch.

Susan Duane

White and black tiles on the floor and a traditional floral print on the walls and windows provide this bathroom a classic feel.

Watch the rest of this home | Add classic touches to your bathroom

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

4. A Shelter Island cottage. For this enchanting cottage on Shelter Island, New York, Steve Schappacher and Rhea White chose a common beachy farmhouse aesthetic and changed it up by making it in black and white.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

Maintaining a strict color palette ties with an eclectic mix of seating and decorating styles.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

Paint provides the cottage kitchen with an ever-changing background.

Watch the rest of this home

Vanessa De Vargas

5. A modern box at Venice Beach. In this modern home, interior designer Vanessa De Vargas conveys substantial black and white pieces throughout the home, frequently in chevron designs. This gave her the freedom to blend in shots of bold color in every room while keeping a cohesive look throughout the whole first floor.

Vanessa De Vargas

The black and white bits in the area work nicely with chrome and glass. An ornate gold mirror along with a natural fiber rug keep things from becoming too matchy-matchy and warm up the otherwise stark colour.

Vanessa De Vargas

Pops of yellow add cheer to the breakfast nook that is white and black.

Watch the rest of this home

More:
Home Designs: New Traditional Style
5 Inspiring Homes in the Chilly North
Dream Spaces: Seriously Glamorous Homes

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5 Weed-Smothering Ground Covers

So many anglers profess their love of weeding. “It’s therapeutic,” they say, and I see their point. Spending some time in the garden can be good therapy. However, I have a confession: I hate weeding. I’d rather have a stroll or sit with a book in my garden, enjoying the crops I’ve endeavored to develop. I wholeheartedly resent the time suck of eliminating those I have not.

As such, I am a big fan of earth covers that choke out weeds. Sure, if you would rather mild-mannered plants, you may consider them weeds within their own right, but for anglers like me, they help keep the “bad” weeds.

If it’s odor you’re after, look no farther than soda-scented ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint (Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’, zones 4 to 8). Brushing its foliage releases a beautiful bouquet into the air, and it flowers lavender early to midsummer. I shear mine a little with a hedge trimmer as it flowers for a new flush of foliage and blossom. This cool cat thrives in sun and lean, dry soil, and you will be amazed by how far one little clump will stretch. It divides readily in spring should you discover you want to help it together.

Creeping raspberry (Rubus pentalobus) is a little locomotive of a plant, with crushed-velvet leaves that turn a beautiful bronze color in zones where the weather gets cold but not cold it melts. It’s hardy in zones 6 to 9, grows well in sun or shade and even reasonably dry conditions, in typical soil. You may also find it under the name Rubus calycinoides and the very similar cultivar ‘Emerald Carpet’.

Photo by J.smith via Wikimedia Commons

Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc

Asian jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) has been a popular evergreen ground cover in the South for decades, and when we say weed smothering, we mean it with this one. It’s for people who want an extremely low, very compact hedge. If you’re in the market for that with a little additional pizzazz, have a look at these fabulous variegated cultivars: ‘ ‘Gold Brocade’ (shown here) features wild and mad gold foliage with reddish new growth, whilst ‘Tricolor’ (next photo) is much more demure in mottled white with pink new growth.

This brand of vanilla has been grown mostly for foliage and seldom blooms. All these cultivars thrive in average conditions in sun or shade. They are solidly hardy in zones 8 to 10 but definitely worth a shot in zone 7. Their unvariegated parent grows just fine well into warmer parts of zone 6, even though it’s less known there. All are playful, glossy-leafed garden additions that send weeds packing.

Terra Nova® Nurseries

I recently extolled the virtues of plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, zones 5 to 9) here, and I think that it’s worth mentioning twice, simply to drive the point home: This plant grows well in sun and part shade in all sorts of states all around the U.S.. It chokes out weeds, blossoms in a clear blue that reflects the summer sky and tops it off with fantastic fall color. What more can you ask for?

Last but not least is a sumac. No, not the poison kind — this is ‘Gro-Low’ sumac (Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-Low’, zones 3 to 9), and it is not poisonous in the least. Grow it for its shiny blue-green leaves, buttery-yellow spring blossoms, fuzzy red fruit in late summer and fire-engine-crimson fall color. This plant is one tough cookie and grows great in color, but it picks up steam faster with sun and warmth — the first place I found it had been a parking lot. And as if all that weren’t enough, its parent plant is native to the whole eastern half of North America.

Great layout trees:
Texas Mountain Laurel | Bald Cypress | Chinese Witch Hazel | Japanese Maple
Manzanita | Persian Ironwood | Smoke Tree | Tree Aloe

Great layout blossoms:
Catmint | Golden Creeping Jenny | Pacific Coast Iris | Plumbago
Red Kangaroo Paw | Sally Holmes Rose | Slipper Plant | Snake Flower

Great layout grasses:
Black Mondo Grass | Cape Rush | Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass

Great layout crops:
Blue Chalk Sticks | Hens-and-Chicks | Redtwig Dogwood | Toyon

See related

Get the Most out of a Small Garden

Forget grand gardens, expansive rolling hills and giant ranches. A serene or functional backyard can match in any sort of space. Here are typical living spaces with gardens that are anything but ordinary. They might be tiny and spartan, but they are fascinating. Care to take a look?

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Fences, gates and other structures can break up a smaller backyard into sections. This gives the garden a sense of being bigger and permits you to create different experiences within one space.

Mark Brand Architecture

Terracing is among the most significant tools in a small space. It allows the gardener to add fresh land in raised beds onto a concrete foundation, gives varying lighting to several kinds of plants and adds dimension to a small backyard. Adding terraces visually assembles a small plot into different, different spaces.

Arterra Landscape Architects

This space might be small, but it lives big with a seating area, a charming water feature plus a multitude of plantings. Water provides a sense of movement, along with also the lime-color plants include brightness into a shadowed corner.

Jesse Im/bugonmyleaf

A bonsai garden is a great option for a deck. The plants grow very slowly and seem charming in a shelved screen. The best part? This whole backyard takes up just a few feet.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

Do you have an open space without soil? Do you live in an apartment with plenty of hardscaping but no available planting space? Think pots, and think large pots. You may plant just about anything if the pot is large enough (at least 16 inches across), including small fruit trees and other edibles. Choose one finish to unify the pots as a backyard.

Maybe you’ve got space for just one long bed of plants. One species implanted throughout the bed creates a sleek, contemporary look that gives life and movement to a blank wall.

Elemental Design Group

Is the cabin look more your style? Cottage gardens are ideal in a small space. Cluster 10 to 15 plants round your doorstep for a charming look. Go for plants with odor to create an experience each time you come home. Plants that operate nicely in a cottage garden similar to this include catmint, Russian sage, rosemary, lavender and rose.

20 Ways to Get the Cottage Garden Look

Another classic cabin plant is the charming hollyhock. Situate this plant in the back of a small border to add height to a garden. When you grow hollyhocks from seed, expect to see your first blooms in the next year.

Beertje Vonk Artist

Maybe you wish to use your outdoor space to grow edibles. Grow garden vegetables and herbaceous plants in a bed. The square-foot gardening system allows you to grow the most produce in the smallest amount of space.

More about potagers

The Garden Route Company

Think up when you are in a small space. Trellises, arbors and pergolas are great for producing more growing space.

More on vertical gardening

Slater Associates Landscape Architects

You may have a beautiful garden in a small suburban yard, a townhome deck, a rooftop garden or a front entrance. Grow vertically, consider large pots and break up the space into chambers to make your garden unique.

I would love to see your small gardens! Please discuss your backyard stories and photos in the Comments section below.

More:
Give Your Little Garden A Few Room
Vertical Gardens Boost the Limits for Landscapes

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Design Calendar: Feb. 17-March 9, 2012

Soak in style and sun as you lace up your shoes with this year’s Venice Modern Home Tour at Los Angeles. Admire the architectural beauty and interiors of nine Westside homes. Learn ways to find that ideal interior layout shot from photographer David Livingston. And when winter weather gets you down, have a look at the terrarium exhibit at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or half of a million flowers in bloom at the Dallas Arboretum. Continue reading for 5 selections of what to do and watch now.

David Duncan Livingston

WORKSHOP — Feb. 29, 2012, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Photography Workshop: Interior Vignettes on La Cienega
716 North La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles

Calling all interior photography shutterbugs! Internationally recognized interiors photographer David Duncan Livingston will direct a hands on workshop showing how to take and write better interior photographs. You’ll find out how to block out a photograph composition, how to look for the ideal light and how to operate with natural light. Through a mix of brief discussions and live demos you may remove straightforward, practical tips about item placement, photo cropping, when to use which lens, and camera angles and height will enhance your shot. Photoshop, Lightroom, meta tagging, rights and utilization issues will also be covered.

This workshop is geared to photographers of all levels — from iPhone into DSLR shooters. The workshop will begin at the Therien showroom, then move on to Hollywood at Home.

Cost: $175, such as lunch

Julius Shulman

HOME TOUR — Feb. 18, 2012, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Venice Modern Home Tour, Venice and Mar Vista, California

Go on a self-guided tour of nine architecturally progressive homes on Los Angeles’ Westside. Featuring the work of Tighe Architecture, Ortiz Mexia Projects, Carson Architects, Glen Irani and others, the tour allows you peek inside these amazing homes and come away motivated. The homes were selected by Ingrid Spencer, contributing editor for Architectural Record.

Cost: $30 advance online purchase, $40 day of; free to children 12 and younger

Jae Hi Ahn

EXHIBIT — Through Feb. 26
Terrarium
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
900 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, New York

The chilly gloom can frequently inspire indoor gardens to blossom. On display at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Steinhardt Conservatory is a imaginative exhibition pairing delicate terrariums with art installations by Brooklyn artist Jae Hi Ahn. Ahn uses easy artificial materials such as plastic tubes and wires to pay tribute to the organic forms of the natural world. Extended rows of terrariums housed in a variety of vessels exhibit unique miniature plant worlds on tables, even though some of Ahn’s advanced sculptures hang from skylights.

The backyard is available until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday before March 11 and until 6 p.m. from March 13 to November 4; weekday entry is free.

dallasarboretum.org

TULIP SHOW — March 3-April 8, 2012
Dallas Blooms, Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Rd., Dallas

For an instant mood lifter, head to the Dallas Arboretum to admire an impressive display of more than 500,000 colorful flower types, such as tulips, daffodils, Dutch iris and hyacinths, pansies, violas, poppies and tens of thousands of other spring-blooming annuals and perennials. In this flower festival, cherry blossom trees may also blossom for a 10-day period.

Whilst soaking from the blooming extravaganza, check out the exhibition Small Houses of Great Artists, built and created by Bob Hoebeke of Hoebeke Builders and other Dallas architects. It will open to the general public through Dallas Blooms and will run through Dec. 31, 2012. A fine art show and sale named ArtScape will also occur in the backyard March 16-18, including the works of 100 artists from around the nation.

Joe Woolhead

LECTURE — March 6, 2012, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Butler-VanderLinden Lecture on Architecture comprising Craig Dykers of Snøhetta
Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium
111 South Michigan Ave., Chicago

Join Craig Dykers, cofounder and principal of Snøhetta, for an engaging lecture highlighting his recent endeavors. Dykers conducts an integrated architecture, landscape, and interior design practice in Oslo and New York. In recent years, the company has won international competitions for major American jobs, such as an expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the redesign of Times Square, and the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the site of the World Trade Center (photograph ). Dykers is a fellow of the Institute for Urban Design in New York.

Cost: $5 students, $10 A&D members, $15 public. Register online here.

More 2012 design occasions: Feb. 4-24, Feb. 6-Mar. 2, 2012

What’s on your calendar? Let us know in the Comments!

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