They say that home is where the heart is, and in the case of architects and interior designers it’s also where their stylistic identity fully comes to life. This also proves to be the case with this apartment in Gdynia, Poland, which Polish architect Justyna Hys-Bochińska of J Creative Studio has recently renovated for herself and her husband. Located on the top floor of a tenement building built in 1937, the property’s masterful amalgam of modernist and contemporary elements attests to Hys-Bochińska’s keen eye for balance and composition and her predilection for rounded, geometric forms, natural textures and muted colours. Elegantly furnished and decorated with a handpicked selection of understated pieces by contemporary Polish brands, designers and artists, mixed with vintage mid-century finds and the couple’s collection of surfboards, snowboards and skateboards, the revamped apartment succeeds in paying homage to both the building and city’s modernist architectural heritage while encapsulating the couple’s style and lifestyle.
Preserving the property’s Bauhaus-influenced architectural heritage was an important part of Hys-Bochińska’s re-design, as was the adoption of a more functional layout. A spacious open-plan living area, which was created by combining four separate rooms, has been separated into a lounge and kitchen/dining area by a voluptuous, wood veneer-clad volume hiding the bathroom and storage space. Restored parquet flooring, plain ceiling cornices and white walls channel the apartment’s original character, with terrazzo surfaces adding more playful modernist-inspired touches, as does the glass door leading into the study. A muted colour palette coupled with natural wood textures and black accents further enhance the interior’s understated elegance.
Playfully minimal pendant and floor lamps by Polish brand Artera are a perfect fit for the modernist-inspired interiors as are the geometric forms of sculptural pieces like Salak’s coffee and side tables, and TAMO’s bookcase. Hys-Bochińska’s preference for contemporary Polish brands is complemented by vintage finds such as Charles and Ray Eames’ EA 216 Soft Pad Chair designed for Herman Miller in the 1960s and Wilhelm Ritz’s office chair Model 232 designed for Wilkhahn in the 1970s in the study.
Undoubtedly, the most interesting piece of furniture is the couple’s double bed which the couple found in a garage sale at a neighbouring house which they refashioned to match the project’s aesthetic. Upholstered in a sumptuous ivory boucle fabric, the bed’s voluptuous volume incorporates a headboard and cantilevered side tables.
As eccentric is the display of the couple’s sports gear in the study which takes up the entire wall opposite the built-in desk. Ardent fans of both water and winter sports, they have amassed a large collection of equipment which, due to a lack of sufficient storage space, are displayed throughout the apartment, from the racks for kitesurfing equipment and wall-hanging snowboards in the study, to the skateboard stand by the entrance and the drying neoprene wetsuits in the shower. Having been brought together by their shared passion for such sports, the display/storage solution isn’t just practical, ultimately it’s also symbolic of their bond.