Lwowska, Krakow

When building in Krakow, a city that is experiencing a renaissance after years of neglect, the passion and attention to detail that Karolina Chodur and Malwina Borowiec from interior architecture firm pigalopus have applied to this home is a heartwarming affirmation of the future ambitions of this city.

By creating dwellings such as the building this flat is in there is a possibility to recover neglected parts of neighborhoods across the city and bring more life into the area. New buildings in the inner city can generate new services that helps the area to develop and attract new residents. We are aware of the risks of gentrification, but if it is designed well, the whole neighborhood can benefit.

Karolina Chodur and Malwina Borowiec

Nestled close to the city centre, this 32sqm/344sqdt home sits in a suburb with a small-town vibe, despite its busy surrounds. The homeowner lives there with their partner and dog, having fallen in love with the home at first sight due to the options that the windows and the light provided in the renovation.

The doors of the home open to a balcony with a view of the city streets, with armchairs outside that can be brought inside for extra seating when required.

At NTS, we’ve long championed that in order to create a space that appears bigger than it is, the choice of materials, textures, and colours is crucial, none more so than when designing a home that will meet the demands of future homeowners too, as is intended by the flexible design. Upon moving in, the homeowner wanted to make the living room more spacious, dividing the larger space into smaller, more comfortable zones. Rather than changing the floor plan, the homeowner built furniture to divide the space, ensuring that it could be moved freely and was not fixed to the walls. 

Storage at the entrance for shoes and clothes, and the tones of the wooden floor provide a warm cosy entrance to offset the chill of a Polish winter. The homeowner expanded the living room as much as possible by building floor-to-ceiling shelving made of custom Ikea bookshelves. The lower part of the shelving is accessible from both the living room and the bedroom, and there is a projector screen that drops down in front of it.

On the other side of the living room, there is a Green sofa which doubles as a guest bed. In front of the sofa, there is a coffee table which is also where the projector is hidden. The lights in the ceiling are on rails and can be manipulated and even added to as needed, further driving the flexibility of the home.

It was important to design the main lighting in such a way that it did not mark the exact location of the furniture below. Which is why we decided to use a long rail with spot lamps that can be added and moved when needed.

Karolina Chodur and Malwina Borowiec

Architects deliberately pursued a simple white kitchen to blend it into the walls and act as a neutral backdrop to the green dining table and chairs. The kitchen contains an induction hob, dishwasher, granite sink, fridge and oak countertop with a splashback tiled with small white ceramic tiles to add an interesting texture. 

The countertop is placed in front of the window and is a great place to prep meals as it enjoys access to a lot of light. A round table has been deliberately chosen to allow people to freely walk around it.

Storage has been carefully considered in the bedroom. An elevated bedframe allows for storage beneath, and the rear of the shelf also functions as a bedside table. There is a folding desk that works as a shelf when not in use. The bed is located on the other side of the living room bookcase and integrated with it. On the lower half, some cabinets can be opened only from the living room, but one of them works as a two-sided opening cabinet. The inner shelves work as a bedside table, but also as a fun window between two zones.

The architects have been able to create a space that appears larger than it is by using a careful selection of materials, textures, and colours, as well as by building furniture that can be moved and is not fixed to the walls. The result is a warm and cosy home that feels like an oasis in the middle of a larger city.

Images by pigalopus & NeverTooSmall