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3 One-Bedroom Apartments with Floor Plans

A one-bedroom apartment is often where adult life starts. This type of apartment can provide plenty of space for a young professional, fresh out of school, who is ready to take on the world. Of course, the apartments featured in this post tend towards the luxury and style that most recent graduates could never afford. Instead, these sleek, sophisticated apartments use high-end materials to create timeless styles that are sure to impress any visitor while also allowing the occupants to themselves luxuriate in their own good taste.

Visualizer: Z.Design Architecture  

The first apartment is located in Kiev, Ukraine and measures in at 52 square meters (559 square feet). In the living room, a large plush sofa and matching coffee tables take center stage.

The open floorplan plus the white and wood design palette make the space feel large while an indoor plant adds a pop of color.

A tall, thin floor lamp is both a practical choice and stylish element.

Simple kitchen stools in the white kitchen are the perfect place to sip a coffee or read the morning paper (or iPad).

Oversized windows can be covered with a full-sized roll-down covering for better television viewing during the daylight.

A design that keeps the closet in the open forces you to keep your closet organized, but the recessed lighting turns it into a chic focal point.

The bedroom is not large, but the simplicity of the design and color palette make it seem much more open.

In a cold climate, a unique fireplace at the foot of bed is the ultimate luxury.

The white tiled bathroom also features recessed lighting for warmth.

True, a white bathroom design is not a revolutionary choice, but with a large soaking pool and gleaming white fixtures, the results are stunning.

Visualizer: M3 Architectural & Construction Group  

The next home features an overall sleek design with a largely neutral palette, and measures 70.6 square meters (759 square feet).

Function is the key to this overall design, from a simple reading chair to angular sofa and wall-mounted television.

The while color that pervades most of the space serves to emphasize details, like the simple, modern coffee tables.

A small wood paneled nook makes for a perfect home office area without taking up too much space.

The office nook also works as a partial wall to separate spaces in this open floorplan.

The kitchen embraces the same simplicity with its large island/cooktop and white paneled wall.

The countertop island is a perfect place to grab a quick bite at any time of day.

An undermount sink with a simple tap is both subtle and luxurious.

In the bedroom, unique bedside lamps cast enough glow to read a book at bedtime while recessed lighting behind the bed is perfect for the morning.

While wall paneling helps doors to disappear into the larger design.

And we finish with another example of a sleek, white bathroom with flattering lighting and luxe fixtures.

Visualizer: S & T Architects  

The final home offers a bit more in terms of color but still ultimately has a simple, modern feel.

A rust orange sectional sofa and eye-catching black desk chair make for furniture focal points in the living room.

At the home workspace, unique table lamps look a bit like art pieces while obviously serving a practical purpose.

The sofa backs up against a kitchen countertop, effectively dividing the main living space.

In the bedroom, dark wood paneling brings a warmth to the space.

A modern shaped side table sits a bit far from the edge of the bed, but adds some artistry as well.

The recessed headboard area makes the sleep space a bit more cozy.

The bathroom uses a blend of marble, tile, and wood paneling.

The wood is warm and adds a texture to the room.

A marble sink and large mirror reflects the other angles of the room, making it seem bigger than it is.

Black matte wall tiles and smooth marble are another exercise in contrast that works well.

Depending on how the lighting is configured, the room can even seem as if it is different colors.

Of course, a deep marble tub is the crowning achievement of this particular space.

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Touring the Uncanny Valley in the 2017 Lincoln MKZ

MANHATTAN BEACH, California — In aesthetics—the study of art, beauty, and taste—there’s a concept called the “uncanny valley.” It refers to a psychological phenomenon wherein humanoid replicas—robots, say—increase in appeal the more closely they resemble their meat-and-gristle overlords, right up to the point where it all falls apart and the almost-but-definitely-not-human just creeps us out.

As it turns out, this also holds true with luxury cars.

Give yourself a few minutes to appreciate the deceptively simple and unassuming cabin of a new Honda Civic, Ford Focus, or Chevrolet Bolt and you’ll find plenty of hard plastics, some oddball design, and a flourish or two that might have been considered luxurious 10, 20, or 30 years ago. But they’re all comfortably economical at heart and it’s easy for an occupant to spot the cues; there’s no danger of entering the uncanny valley.

On the other side of the valley are the replicants—humanoids so close to the real thing, they may not be differentiable at all. Entrants to this category in the luxury car world are few; the Genesis G90 comes to mind, but there are others.

Swap that entry econobox or upstart executive for a 2017 Lincoln MKZ, however, and you’re ticketed for a one-way trip to the Uncanny Valley of Luxury.

First, let’s get familiar with our would-be interloper. The base price of the car I drove, a 2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve AWD, is $41,400 plus $925 delivery for a total of $42,325. That’s before you add the $4,000 twin-turbocharged V-6, the $2,395 technology package (driver aids), the $4,400 luxury package (adaptive LED headlamps and Revel Ultima 20-speaker audio system), the $3,395 driver’s package (torque vectoring, continuous active damping, sport suspension, and a cabin scheme with carbon fiber), the $695 climate control package, the $195 summer tires, and the $195 inflatable rear seat belts. With those extras, the total sticker price on this MKZ is $57,600.

Nearly sixty large is a not-inconsequential pile of smackeroos. Heck, it’s a decent salary. But is it a decent luxury car?

Not quite.

The MKZ is, of course, a fine car. It’s perfectly nice. It’s even sort of plush in its way. But as a luxury offering—one that starts at the top of the range and stacks on all the extras—it falls well short of competitive offerings from BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, and Lexus—brands that have all lived on the far slope of the uncanny valley for years or decades.

It does have its strengths. The MKZ, like the Lincoln brand, is a bit like oatmeal with raisins: there are some sweet little bits here and there, but it’s mostly just blah. The exterior styling isn’t everyone’s ideal, but it’s a handsome car at the very least. Though it’s no magic carpet, ride quality is pretty good, especially if you opt for the 19-inch wheels and summer sport tires. The twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 is good for 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, and it feels like it. Paired with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic, the MKZ hustles up to freeway speeds and makes two-lane passes with ease.

It also got a mere 11.6 mpg average over several days of my four-mile surface street commute in Los Angeles’ South Bay region. That’s about 5 mpg fewer than I recorded in a 2017 GMC Yukon Denali XL, which boasts a 420-hp, 460-lb-ft 6.2-liter V-8, an eight-speed automatic, and 7,900 pounds of towing capacity. That the MKZ can’t approach the Yukon Denali’s capability, let alone its luxury, given its $69,960 base price, is to be expected. But surely the 1,400-plus-pound-lighter and much smaller-engined MKZ should have the edge on fuel economy, no? Well, the MKZ is only rated at 17 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined by the EPA, so even the best case isn’t that good.

A punchy engine and a decent ride aren’t enough to drive the MKZ up out of the valley on their own. There needs to be something more. The dull sheen of low-grade textured plastic and the glint of cheap metallized trim do nothing to complement leather so processed it’s only technically leather, or the Pep Boys-grade gloss-finished carbon-fiber trim.

Ebony and white leather wrap a fair portion of the cabin thanks to the Driver’s Package, but the look and feel is no more special than what you’d find in an up-market mainstream car from Honda, Chevy, or Mazda, and markedly less so than some of what you’d find there. Same for the switches, handles, and trims. It’s not just that the interior materials and design aren’t as nice as they could be, it’s that they’re an obviously failed attempt at mimicking those of a real luxury sedan, and that visible, obvious shortfall is worse than an honestly cheap interior. It’s why the Ford version of this cabin, in the Fusion, is just fine, despite sharing much with the MKZ.

Materials and design are just two of the MKZ’s weaknesses. Fit and finish are two more. The dashboard, like many cars these days, attempts a sort of wrap-around layout where it ties in with the curves and lines of the doors. But where Audi, Cadillac, and Mercedes pay close attention to matching these joints so the lines flow smoothly, and BMW and Lexus design around them, the MKZ I tested hangs the joint right out there, almost a half inch out of alignment. Acceptable on an inexpensive appliance? Yes, but still annoying. On a luxury car? Not even a little.

Now, the MKZ is a “tweener” luxury car, like the Cadillac CTS was until its most recent generation. The MKZ’s price is more like that of a 3 Series- or C-Class-equivalent, while its size is more in line with a 5 Series- or E-Class-equivalent. But even given its segment-straddling nature, the MKZ comes up short on features for its price. Semi-autonomous driving assistance? Not available at any price, but you can at least get adaptive cruise with stop-and-go ability, lane-keep assist, a parking assist system, as well as blind spot alert, pedestrian detection, and pre-collision assist, as extras. And yes, that’s the end of the list of advanced technologies offered. If they sound like the technologies luxury manufacturers were bragging about the better part of a decade ago, that’s because, mostly, they are. In fact, all of these features are offered in mainstream products, including Ford’s own cars.

Ford’s SYNC 3 handles the entertainment and information functions, but, again, there’s nothing unique to Lincoln once you dig beyond the graphic scheme. It works well enough, but the only part of the experience that isn’t delivered by a Fusion is the (very good) sound quality of the Revel sound system.

It may be that this “tweener” positioning is what’s damning the MKZ: It straddles not just segments, but sectors, going beyond the top of the mainstream car field but falling short of the luxury market. This no-car’s land stymied Cadillac, too.

Even within the Lincoln brand, the MKZ isn’t faring well. The brand as a whole is up almost 6 percent year-on-year against 2016, thanks mostly to the ongoing success of the MKC and MKX, and the introduction of the new Continental. The MKZ? It’s down almost 19 percent in June, and 2.4 percent year-on-year.

“Our customers are looking for three attributes in a luxury midsize sedan—technologies that ease their everyday experience, a beautiful design that is crafted with attention to detail, and a vehicle with impressive power that makes it a pleasure to drive,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln, upon the unveiling of the facelifted MKZ.

Unfortunately, Lincoln fell short of the mark on two-thirds of the MKZ’s mission. The problem isn’t just what it doesn’t do, but rather what it doesn’t do well enough. And in today’s competitive luxury landscape, as in the uncanny valley, not doing it well is worse than not doing it at all.

2017 Lincoln MKZ Specifications Specifications

PRICE $57,600 (as tested)
ENGINE 3.0L twin-turbocharged DOHC V6/400 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 400 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD sedan
EPA MILEAGE 17/26 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 193.9 x 73.4 x 58.1 in
WHEELBASE 112.2 in
WEIGHT 4,191 lb (est)
0-60 MPH 5.2 sec

The post Touring the Uncanny Valley in the 2017 Lincoln MKZ appeared first on Automobile Magazine.


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