Paulina and Gustaw’s apartment in Warsaw‘s Praga district is a captivating blend of contemporary designs, rich textures, and unexpected color palettes. The fusion of young Polish brands’ creations, vintage furniture, and iconic design pieces, along with custom-made elements, results in a harmonious and visually striking space. The talented architects from Mistovia studio in Katowice skillfully combined all these components to create a polished design.
The apartment’s owner, Paulina, shares her home with her beloved dachshund, Gustaw. As an art director in the creative industry, Paulina approached the selection process for a design studio with great discernment. She had already admired Marcin’s designs from Mistovia‘s office on Instagram and was captivated by the aesthetics of his interiors. After an extensive search, she ultimately chose his studio for their collaboration, confident that it would be a resounding success.
Marcin, the architect, comments, “I believe the client conducted thorough research when it came to design studios. Her conscious and well-thought-out choice laid the foundation for a fruitful collaboration built on mutual trust. Perhaps the style of our first meeting venue, Wozownia Bar, found its way into the interior design.”
He adds, reflecting on the process, “Paulina was incredibly receptive to bold ideas.”
Situated in the Praga Północ district, Paulina’s 45-square-meter apartment holds a special place in her heart. It is nestled within the post-war Praga II estate, a testament to the architectural vision of Jerzy Gieysztor and Jerzy Kumelowski, who designed it in the 1950s, embracing the spirit of socialist realism. The building itself is listed on the municipal register of monuments and is surrounded by lush greenery, which Paulina can now admire from her kitchen and living room windows. The apartment’s renovation was completed in less than five months, with minimal alterations made to the original layout.
Marcin explains that after considering various options, they ultimately decided to connect the small kitchen with the living room. Additionally, they chose to keep the bathroom in its original location and connect the utility room with the dressing room and the bedroom. The rooms have a height exceeding three meters, which provides an added advantage by creating a spacious and well-lit atmosphere.
The owner had a specific vision for the design, including a light grey microcement floor and the incorporation of stainless steel, veneer, and glass bricks. These elements were skillfully combined to form a cohesive and visually appealing puzzle.
The architect further elaborates on the design concept, stating that the muted base of bright, uniform floor and walls with a delicate texture allowed for the integration of geometric forms with interesting structures and bold patterns.
The apartment is structured around a series of prominent “cubes” that serve different purposes, each highlighted by distinct patterns achieved through the use of veneer or color. In the kitchen, the focal point is the tall built-in furniture adorned with veneer made from the striking American walnut burl. Its captivating organic pattern creates a striking contrast against the sleek surface of the brushed steel cabinets and the precise geometry of the simple white tiles that line a section of the wall.
As guests enter the apartment, they are greeted by the second accent, which is a portal finished with Brazilian green marble. Their eyes are immediately drawn to the truly mesmerizing motif, originally crafted by nature but later refined by the post-modernist Ettore Sottsass. This area features a wardrobe finished with an impressive veneer, designed by Sottsass himself in 1985. Additionally, the vibrant aesthetics of the Memphis Group are paid homage to with a pink terrazzo round table and vintage oblong chairs designed by Bruno Rey.
Moving towards the bedroom, a steel door within the closet leads to a space dominated by shades of purple with navy accents, such as porcelain sconces and Italian tiles on the bed’s headboard. The room’s ample size allows for the inclusion of a functional, cube-shaped wardrobe and a concealed utility room, both cleverly hidden behind white built-in furniture. This thoughtful arrangement effectively separates the living area from the private quarters of the apartment.
The final piece of this intricate puzzle is a compact bathroom. Despite its small size, it is not devoid of innovative solutions. The exterior of the bathroom features a curved wall constructed with glass bricks, allowing natural light to permeate the once dim space. This transformation is thanks to Paulina’s fondness for these unique glass bricks.
One striking feature within the bathroom is a custom-designed cabinet resembling a chest of drawers, supported by short legs, and painted in a vibrant cobalt hue. This distinctive piece contrasts against the raw pool tiles, carefully selected by the designers from the Mistovia studio. A keen observer will notice that the cabinet is crafted from the same veneer as the built-in furniture in the kitchen, while the countertop is adorned with the same green marble found on the front door’s portal.
To complete the harmonious ensemble, a pink lamp from the renowned Polish brand Lexavala adds a touch of elegance. Additionally, the bathroom boasts three-dimensional mirrors that reflect and amplify bold patterns from various angles, embracing the concept of “more is more.”