It’s time to explore a stylish space but not in New York, Berlin or Los Angeles, but in a country town in Poland! It’s a modern, natural style home outside of Warsaw together we’ll get to know the home owner and some decor trends over there. After writing recently about my desire to see homes in places that aren’t in your typical hip metropolis, I decided to do some research to see what I could find in Poland of all places. We’re only about 3 hours or so from the border and we pass license plates on the autobahn quite often from PL and I wonder what it’s like over there, I really have no idea… And then I heard that my book will be translated into Polish next Spring… so my interest is definitely piqued so let’s take a little trip, shall we? How are some people decorating in Poland today?
This gorgeous space belongs to Joanna “Asia” Gwis and her husband Seba along with their fur kids Fika the dog and four cats Antek, Koksik, Koko and Paproszek. [Are those not the cutest pet names ever?] Asia and Seba have owned their old wooden home for about four years and live 30 minutes outside of Warsaw in the countryside. Asia is an illustrator and graphic designer who works on freelance projects for magazines and book publishers and she authors her own decorating blog, Kavka while also running her small online shop under the name Oh Kavka where she sells her illustrations and a few handmade dolls.
The layout of the house goes something like this — the ground floor is one big room so it’s an open space with a separate bathroom – so they have their living room, dining area and kitchen more or less together. Then, on the first floor, there is another big room where they have their office, bedroom and master bathroom. So that’s the lay of the land. I thought I’d ask Asia a few questions about her inspirations, Polish trends and people there who inspire her so her thoughts and links are below.
How do you develop your creative eye? I love traveling. Visiting new places is the most inspiring thing because you can learn something new and also it can change your everyday views. You are able to see many new and interesting things during your travels but then once you are home you can look are your own objects around you in a new and interesting way!
What inspires you about living in Poland? Nature, folk art and little, forgotten places like this house or this one which I took at this open air museum in Tokarnia. I prefer the Polish countryside more than urban landscapes.
What are your favorite Polish interiors magazines and blogs? To be honest, I don’t have any favourite polish magazines or blogs. I buy Dom & Wnetrze or Polish editions of Elle Decoration (it’s not as good now as it once was) from time to time but I prefer international magazines because there is a little fear for Polish magazines to show “real” spaces, the way most of us here are living, without expensive furniture and designed by a well known interior designer etc. I prefer to see places like that over the flashy, expensive homes which is why on my blog I have the, “Visit with Kavka” series, which shows homes with a personal touch, mix of furniture and styles, etc.
What are some trends in interiors in Poland at this time? I don’t personally follow trends as I’ve been very faithful to my own style for years but I can show you what trends I’ve observed lately in magazines here so you can catch a glimpse into what is hot in Poland.
- Trend #1: Clean and graphic like this or this.
- Trend #2: Classic, weathered wood and somewhat country like this or this.
- Trend #3: A bit minimalist like this with retro touches.
- Trend #4: Bold and elegant like this, this or this. Also this.
- Trend #5: Mid century touches, here are some examples 1 or 2.
- Trend #6: An eclectic Asian vibe.
Who are some Polish stylists or designers that you love? I absolutely love everything made by the stylist Basia Dere?-Marzec, whom I wrote about on my blog not to long ago. You can also see her online portfolio here. I also like Ola Wasilkowska who is a young Polish architect with great talent and vision.
I also like the spaces by designers Agnieszka Kossowska and Katarzyna Baumiller from Baumiller Kossowska because they are tasteful and accessible.
I hope that you enjoyed this peek into Poland today and thank you Asia and Seba for the warm welcome into your ultra cool home.
(Images: Joanna “Asia” Gwis)