Home tour | Clever small-space living in Poland
I’m always keen to feature homes that show how compact spaces needn’t be a barrier to stylish, practical living, and this project from Gdansk- and London-based architecture studio ACOS (A Collection of Stories) is a perfect example. Located on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, it’s bright, airy and tranquil, with a beautiful mix of colours and materials. But most importantly, it’s designed with the needs of the owner – a surgeon who wanted a flexible space to accommodate her busy, ever-changing lifestyle – squarely in mind.
The architects have dubbed the project ‘The Unfolding Home’, and the layout is particularly clever. Almost all internal partition walls have been removed, creating an open-plan living area that revolves around a single central module. This houses the kitchen units, building services and storage cupboards, maximising space and dividing the floorpan into distinct zones that cater for different activities. There are also narrow screens on unobtrusive floor and ceiling tracks, which can be pulled out to close off certain sections when needed.
Arranged around the central module are a kitchen, a dining space, a library corner and a cosy sitting area. All are decorated in a smart but soothing palette, with wood, stone and ceramics offsetting the crisp white walls. Tactile rugs and upholstery soften the clean lines, as do potted houseplants and semi-sheer curtains.
The kitchen has sleek black cupboards that rise all the way to the ceiling, with a copper tap and white worktops breaking up the monolithic block. There’s also a lovely contrast with the bespoke wooden shelving, which hides an ingenious pop-up daybed that doubles as a meditation platform and sleeping space for guests.
The furniture is a wonderful mix of design classics and high-street pieces, with an IKEA ‘SÖDERHAMN’ sofa alongside a custom-built table and HAY’s timeless ‘J77’ and ‘J14’ chairs. The lighting has been thoughtfully considered, too. Discreet spotlights sit above the kitchen island and can be angled to point wherever needed, while recessed downlighters illuminate the hallway. A trio of Menu ‘TR Bulb’ pendants provide a cosier alternative and create a simple yet striking focal point above the dining table.
The main bedroom – a light-filled sanctuary in white and oak – sits at the other end of the apartment and has a more private feel. A bank of minimalist wall-hung drawer units provide additional storage, as well as acting as a desk and dressing table. I love the way a circular mirror has been placed as if balancing on one end, bouncing light into the hallway and creating the optical illusion of more space.
As for the bathroom, it’s absolutely stunning. A wall of grooved forest-green tiles makes a real statement without overwhelming the calming vibe, and it almost acts like an extension of the plants dotted here and there. The lime paint adds another note of texture, and the freestanding tub looks like the ideal place to relax after a long day – especially as a shelf has been positioned at just the right height for a book, a glass of wine and a candle! Matt-black fixtures and fittings add the perfect finishing touch and neatly echo the accents used elsewhere in the apartment.
Photography by PION Studio for ACOS