Alicja Szmal-Baehr, owner and architect of Alicja Szmal Studio, lives in a cozy 42 sqm apartment located in the popular Jeżyce district of Poznań, Poland. As a lover of natural materials and colors of nature, Alicja decided to use only natural and organic materials such as wood, metal, linen curtains and woolen materials to decorate her new home.
When she first saw the apartment, Alicja was drawn to the big windows that let in beautiful light during sunset. ‘The windows make the interior feel larger than it really is.’
In addition to the large windows, Alicja designed the entrance to be separated from the main space by a big cabinet that joined the corridor and the living space. A mirror on the side of the cabinet helped to enlarge the space and a wooden stool was placed for changing shoes and reaching the top shelves.
The living area is made up of two chaise longues joined together, creating the perfect seating for the small space. By the window, there is a spot for Alicja’s plants that also double as a privacy screen. The kitchen has a functional island that acts as a barrier between the living and dining space and is made mostly from wood. The suspended shelf above the kitchen island is not only for plants, but also provides lighting for the island.
The dining table is round and compact, but can be extended to fit up to 10 people when they have guests over.
The bedroom only contains the essentials for a peaceful sleep. It features a compact wardrobe and a mirror, with no extra space for anything else. The wardrobe, complete with leather knobs, is designed to stretch from floor to ceiling, making it blend seamlessly into the wall and not stand out.
The wooden nightstands are a nod to Alicja’s Polish heritage and come from an iconic designer located in southern Poland. They complement the armchair beautifully, adding a touch of warmth and character to the space.
The bathroom is small but contains everything Alicja needs, There is a bath tub with a rain shower and a long comfortable vanity with storage under the sink. The washing machine is hidden behind a mirror storage unit next to the, toilet. The irregular tiles on the wall behind the sink works nicely with the microcement floors matching the tiles by the induction hob in the kitchen.
Alicja’s small garden can be accessed from the dining area and becomes an extension of the apartment during warmer months.
‘We like to chill out here with our dog Pepi, I think that well-designed small interiors can provide everything we need to live comfortable and beautiful lives. We don’t have to waste time looking after extra space and it stops us from hoarding unnecessary items, so we can live more simply.’
Alicja’s philosophy when it comes to designing any unique space, but especially the smallest ones, is that the ‘idea and the project are only a half of success. They are very important of course, but the difficult, custom-made furniture and cabinets need the best carpenter. Without great carpenters, my project and all of our ideas would stay only in our heads or on paper’.
Images by NeverTooSmall