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1,000 Square Feet on a Budget: An Artist’s Loft in North London

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1,000 Square Feet on a Budget: An Artist’s Loft in North London

April 30, 2018

You can do a lot with a little paint and elbow grease, and Malgorzata Bany and Tycjan Knut’s north London rental is proof. It’s a 1,000-square-foot live/work loft in a converted warehouse that Malgorzata, a sculptor, and Tycjan, a painter and art dealer, customized with recycled birch ply kitchen counters, painted Ikea cabinets, a hand-built dividing wall, and a DIY Donald Judd–like sofa. Malgorzata gave us the details on how they pulled it all together; go to The Modern House to read more.

Photography courtesy of The Modern House.

the kitchen walls are painted with farrow & ball strong white in estate emu 9
Above: The kitchen walls are painted with Farrow & Ball Strong White in Estate Emulsion. The countertop is birch ply recycled from Malgorzata’s former studio worktop that they had cut to fit and finished with wax. Malgorzata and Tycjan built the lower cabinets from painted MDF ordered to size and added a linen curtain to cover the existing plumbing. The open shelves are Ikea Ekby Hemnes Shelves and Ekby Valter Brackets and to the right are Ikea Ivar Cabinets (a 12-inch-deep cabinet stacked on a 20-inch), all painted Strong White to match.
the living room is painted in a shade of white hand mixed by the couple to “n 10
Above: The living room is painted in a shade of white hand-mixed by the couple to “neutralize the red light from the facing brick building,” Malgorzata says. “We combined a couple of paints from tester pots using warm and cool tones and added a few drops of acrylic paint from Tycjan’s studio. I took it to a home improvement store and asked to put my sample under the scanner to create a bespoke color.” The sofa is made from the base of a sofa bed—something generic bought by Tycjan’s sister online. Malgorzata ordered foam cut to size and covered it with heavy duck cotton she sewed herself. The Donald Judd–inspired box is made from birch ply coated with Osmo Snow White Wood Wax Finish. To keep everything looking uniform, Malgorzata made curtains from the same fabric used for the sofa. The slim graphic work on the wall is by a friend, artist Sarah Pettitt.
malgorzata and tycjan use the bedrooms as separate work studios and converted t 11
Above: Malgorzata and Tycjan use the bedrooms as separate work studios and converted the large central space into two rooms—a living room and bedroom—with a hand-built dividing screen. It’s made of a pine frame painted in Farrow & Ball Shaded White and finished with double-sided fabric panels stapled to the frame. The screen is wedged between the floor and ceiling with screws that keep it in place. “We didn’t want to put up a standard plasterboard partition wall, and the curtain we were using before never felt substantial enough,” Malgorzata says. The inspiration for the divider “came from Japanese interiors; from a practical point of view, it was simply the best solution.” The raw wood cabinets, as before, are Ivar Pine Cabinet from Ikea. The Windsor chair is vintage, from Ercol, that they stripped and painted matte black.

(Looking for paintable Ikea furniture? See our post Ikea Hack: DIY Furniture You Can Paint.)

the black pilotis side table is one of malgorzata’s sculptural jesmonite pie 12
Above: The black Pilotis Side Table is one of Malgorzata’s sculptural Jesmonite pieces (her pieces are available from The New Craftsmen); on top is a flea market ceramic teapot and a cup from Momosan in London. The chair is the Faye Toogood Spade Chair, and on the ground is an ash wood foot stool by Malgorzata. The sofa pillows are were made in Poland with linen by “a seamstress who owns the tiniest workshop around the corner from my parent’s house,” she says.
the dining table is a plywood top finished with osmo white wood wax finish that 13
Above: The dining table is a plywood top finished with Osmo White Wood Wax Finish that stands on painted pine trestles. The dining chairs are vintage, of unknown origin, with the varnish stripped for a more natural look. On the table is the Jesmonite Pilotis Platter by Malgorzata; the artwork on the wall is by Tycjan Knut.
the bedroom behind the dividing screen has a birch ply bed frame that—you gue 14
Above: The bedroom behind the dividing screen has a birch ply bed frame that—you guessed it—Malgorzata and Tycjan assembled themselves. The rug is the Ikea Lohals Rug and the pendant light is the Large Josiah Pendant Light by Terence Woodgate for SCP. The painting over the bed is by Tycjan’s father, Mieczyslaw Knut.

stacked canvases and artwork on the wall in the tycjan’s studio. 15
Above: Stacked canvases and artwork on the wall in the Tycjan’s studio.
tycjan at work. 16
Above: Tycjan at work.
malgorzata’s studio is, like the kitchen, organized by way of ikea&#8\2\1 17
Above: Malgorzata’s studio is, like the kitchen, organized by way of Ikea’s Ekby Hemnes Shelves and Ekby Valter Brackets painted Strong White. The studio table is plywood on Ikea’s Finnvard Trestles.

For more London interiors and local listings, visit The Modern House.

Searching for the perfect shade of white? See our posts for more ideas:

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