A 388-Square-Foot Polish Apartment Uses Color in a Functional Way

published Aug 18, 2023

A 388-Square-Foot Polish Apartment Uses Color in a Functional Way

published Aug 18, 2023
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Zofia found this Warsaw, Poland, apartment with the help of a real estate broker, and fell in love with the space’s high ceilings; the “positive vibe;” and the location, a historical building built in 1931 designed by the founder and member of the PRAESENS group, Józef Szanajca

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Zofia hired designer Karolina Howorko, founder of boutique architecture, interiors, set design, and multimedia firm Studio HOKA, to transform the small apartment in a way that would be modern and colorful but also respect the history of the home. 

Karolina says she was very inspired by the apartment’s historic background, and explains that the PRAESENS group “played a pioneering role in the development of modern architecture in Poland.” So this project was an “amazing opportunity to mix a fresh-colored, functional look inspired by modernism and the influence of the Parisian way of living, beloved by the owner of the apartment.”

Karolina looked to Wes Anderson movies when it came to the home’s color palette of pastels, wood tones, and natural materials. But color also plays another function in the space. “Private and public spaces are led by colors: blue for the kitchen and the living room, and on the other side pink for the sleeping room and the bathroom,” begins Karolina. “The living room is connected with the open kitchen that is attracting the eye with the color and shapes. The comfortable sofa enhances the space with bookshelves next to it.”

Karolina continues. “In the sleeping room, a wardrobe is hidden in the wall, letting the space be decluttered and objects free. Here, gold touches in a balanced manner add depth of warmth, a touch of sparkle, and opulence. It is the main color of accessories such as handrails, lamps, and appliances. The entirety feels like a sleek interior that can be easily stylized and where the colors complement each other.”



  • Jane Sofa — OPTISOFA
  • Alana 6 Lamp — Dar lighting
  • Cushions — Presents from friends and family


  • Zeen Table — ​ Ragaba
  • Chairs — Vintage
  • Antique vase — Flea market in Paris


  • Customized Kitchen — IKEA


  • Bed — Customized Wooden bed


Thanks, Karolina!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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