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Home visit: an organised family oasis

Can organising your home surroundings boost your wellbeing? Nestled beyond a flight of concrete stairs in a city-centre apartment block, lies Dagmara’s sanctuary where space zoning, storage and plants have been used to feel-good effect. Here’s how…

An open-plan living area with table, chairs, plants, a sofa and sideboards.
An open-plan living area with table, chairs, plants, a sofa and sideboards.

Plan your space around activities. ‘Before I think about furniture, I think about what we want to do in a space and use that as my inspiration,’ says IKEA co-worker and stylist Dagmara, who lives with husband Krzysztof and daughter Hania. A large rug and round dining table, plus storage organised by activity, help to define areas for chilling out, family meals and reading. ‘The living room is where we can feel comfortable together even when focused on our own things,’ she adds.

Use open storage to spark and showcase favourite pastimes. Fill shelves with treasured items and use surfaces and walls to make welcoming displays. Create a uniform look by colour coding books. ‘I relax at home with books, I love the smell of paper,’ says Dagmara. ‘Having them on view makes me happy and encourages me to take time out for myself.’

Home is where I feel safe, I feel happy. I want my family to feel the same as me, so I try and plan the space for everyone

Dagmara, Łódź

Add personality and fun. ‘Everyone loves the swing,’ says Dagmara. ‘It can be moved so it’s either in the doorway to our bedroom or Hania’s.’ The living room desk – with a mix of closed and open wall storage that doubles as display – brings visual interest and creates an inviting work station for Dagmara’s styling ideas or homework.

Make your kitchen inviting as well as functional. A single run of shelves fitted high up the wall gives the room a feeling of height and is an opportunity to add storage and cascades of greenery to this bistro-inspired eating space, while a picture ledge creates a store-and-display solution for serving trays and small items. It makes a perfect breakfast spot for one person or three.

Add relaxing elements to create a soothing bedroom. Think layered bedlinen in natural materials and calming colours, mirrors to enhance the sense of space and light and pared-back bedside displays. ‘The bedroom is emotionally important,’ says Dagmara. ‘It’s where we start and end each day.’

Bring nature into every room. ‘For me, re-balancing at home starts with plants,’ says Dagmara. ‘I got my first one from my grandmother and I’m very connected to them.’ The living screen at the foot of her bed creates a feeling of harmony and cosiness. ‘It’s like going to sleep and waking up in a mini oasis.’

Style up your closed storage to create uplifting displays. Dagmara added life to a chest of drawers in the bedroom with an eclectic mix of plants, personal keepsakes and photos. ‘Looking at this area puts me in a good mood,’ she says. ‘It turns an everyday routine like getting dressed into a small pleasure.’

Make a bedroom desk area work in harmony with the rest of the space. ‘My husband Krzysztof is based in another city during the week, so it’s important for him to have a studio area here when he comes back,’ says Dagmara. ‘But we wanted it to look calming and ordered in keeping with the room.’ The closed storage is multipurpose – used to house out-of-season clothes as well as Krzysztof’s computer and music equipment. Leaving a gap between the cabinets makes a feature of them and creates a feeling of lightness.

What does home mean to you? It really is the most important place for us, it’s where we love to be.

How has life at home changed for you recently? We both used to work from home and now neither of us do. It’s a new chapter in our lives. The focus of home has changed to being somewhere to reconnect after a busy week.

If you could change one thing about your home what would it be? We dream of a bigger balcony, but on a practical level, more clothes storage would be a bonus!

Dagmara never expected to end up living in the same street where she grew up. But then this 115m2 apartment in an old building became available. ‘It’s in the centre of the city but big enough for family,’ she says. ‘It was in terrible condition, with pink walls and panelled floors, so it took a lot of work to strip back all the doors, floors and walls. The living room is definitely the heart of our home – physically and symbolically.’

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior stylist: Katie Phillips
Photographer: Polly Wreford
Follow Dagmara on Instagram: @roomor_