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A home built on the bare essentials

01 September 2015

When architect Jerzy and doctor Anna bought their new-build house, they asked the developers to leave it unfinished. An open-plan layout, raw materials and room for a crowd were all the elements they needed to create the family home they dreamed of.

Industrial style, bare branches and woodland motifs combine to create a unique living space
Jerzy, architect & Anna, doctor, Poznań

“We call our home the Urban Forest, connecting our love of nature with our lives in the city. It’s a mix of industrial style, bare branches and woodland motifs.” 

Jerzy, architect & Anna, doctor, Poznań

A multifunctional kitchen and dining area for friends and family to cook and socialise together

Adapt your home for guests

‘We love to have friends over and often cook with them,’ says Jerzy. ‘So we designed our kitchen to make it easy for several people to use at once, with the hob and oven in different places. We also fixed a new larger top to our old table and bought an IKEA bench for the garden that we can bring in if we have a lot of people over.’

An integrated kitchen and living area makes for easy and fluid family life

An open kitchen for living

Make your cooking space part of your living area. ’We wanted the whole ground floor to feel like the same space so we defined our kitchen with materials and colours instead of walls,’ say Jerzy and Anna. ‘Having the hob on the island means we look out to the eating and sitting areas when we cook, which is more sociable and makes it easier to watch the children.’

Share kitchen storage with kids so they feel part of the home

Shared family storage

Give children their own storage in the kitchen. Jerzy and Anna’s island cabinets contain cooking utensils on the kitchen side and toys and books for the children beside the dining table. ‘This way Helena can reach everything she needs to play – and put it away after.’

Multifunctional footstools, chairs and sofas can be easily rearranged

Re-think your seating

In a limited space, a footstool can double as a coffee table, turn a sofa into an L-shaped seat, or become a comfy spare chair. ‘Our sofa combination fits our life. Jerzy loves to play the guitar here for Helena and Stefan.’

“This home helps us relax as parents as it’s easy to do stufftogether. Helena loves books, so we cuddle on the sofa to read while baby Stefan plays at our feet” 

Jerzy & Anna

Mix open and cosy

‘We love finding ways to keep a sense of openness at home,’ says Jerzy. ‘So we used a shelf system instead of a wall to divide the upper hallway from the stairs. But for Helena it was important to feel cosy in her room, so we changed her big bed for a smaller one and now she sleeps much better.’  See more ideas for Helena’s room here

Use a shelving system to divide up ares in an open-plan space
Create a cosy sleeping space for your child
Replace bedside table with shelves above the bed to save floorspace
Fix a large mirror to the wall or back of a door to create the illusion of more light and space

Increase your space

‘The shelf above our bed is a great place to keep our bedside stuff without losing floorspace. We did a similar thing with a mirror, fixing it to to the door that heads to our walk-in wardrobe. As well as keeping the floor clear, it bounces light around the room.’ 

Jerzy and Anna’s floorplan

Open-plan family living

Jerzy and Anna have created the perfect home for them and their children in a 120m2 new build. The open-plan ground floor makes it easy to spend time together as a family, while upstairs the children and parents have their own rooms separated by a family bathroom.

Photography Dan Duchars  Styling Emily Henson