interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: asia gwis

by anne

three years ago graphic designer asia gwis and her husband sebastian (and 2 dogs and 3 cats) found this amazing 80 year old former schoolhouse in the countryside of poland. they moved it to warsaw where they restored it. the exterior remains an old, black cottage, but they’ve designed everything on the inside themselves, and filled it with treasures they have collected over the years. the hard work has paid off, and today we have a sneak peek inside. click here for many more images (in addition to the post), and you can find more of asia’s work here and here. {thanks, asia!} anne

[above: Our living room is currently black and white. The old floor is painted in white.  I like this “giant” lamp very much.  The couch is from Ikea, the tv table was made by my husband. The picture is by a friend of my husband, the very talented young polish artist Swanarts.]

Our kitchen is mainly furnished by Ikea except 3 chairs: one is Eames, one inherited from my grandmother, one (stool) found in the building and restored by my husband. The table is still under construction.

Our fireplace, with wooden wall, and head of the black horse. We placed stones found in our garden in front of fireplace.

CLICK HERE for the rest of Asia’s sneak peek after the jump!

Old oak table was bought at the flea market (very heavy) and mix of chairs (ikea, inherited from grandparents, and eiffel chair. In the corner is a sweet lamp with a red cord from Habitat.

Chalkboard paint on door of closet under the stairs. It’s very helpful thing in our home because we forget about everything very often. In the background our lovely dog Fika. The stool was made by my husband.

View from the living room to the kitchen and stairs. We bought this stool from Ikea because in the old house the ground floor was lower than here, and as you see it could be a little problem with first step ;-)

Part of our living room. Bed from ikea, tv table made by my husband. On the floor our cat Koksik.

Ground-floor bathroom. Figures were inherited from my grandmother. The lamps are from a building market.

Shower in the ground-floor bathroom. Black-glass, spanish mosaic tile, with white concrete floor.

First floor. Tapestry is from Ikea, designed by my favourite designer Hella Jongerius (thanks to Ikea I could afford to by something designed by her ;-) Our bedroom is in the background.

View from our bedroom – bench made by my husband, on it one of my favourite pictures of Audrey Hepburn shot in 1956 by David Chim Seymour.

View of my office. The white table is from my grandmother, the red one is from Ikea. The table top was made by me. The lamp is from a building market. The floor is industrial parquet making it more affordable.

Part of my inspiration wall. It’s a collection of many things: illustrations, old polaroids of me and my husband (from beginning of our acquaintance),  a portrait of Dalai Lama, sheets of old calendars…

First-floor bathroom. The picture is a table-cloth embroidered by my grand-grand mother many years ago.

First-floor bathroom with simple bath inspired by Jacqueline Morabito.

Mirror with our “treasures” – folk birds made of clay, fire breathing nun…


Main entrance to our house. Hanger from Seletti was a wedding gift from my workmates at the editorial office i worked in some years ago.

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  • Stunning… I love the black and white, and also the natural textures in the space, and I really appreciate that Polish decor is getting a much-deserved shoutout on D*S!

  • I LOVE everyting about this home. I so desperately want white painted floors, but just can’t seem to commit. I am not a good enough housekeeper!

  • What a great open kitchen, I love the brick wall. And the figures in the bathroom are an interesting way to incorporate a family treasure into the everyday.

  • GOSH I love this….It’s so soothing, comfy and personable….I am digging the Virgin Mary figures, the exposed wooden beams gives off a little bit of a rustic, cottage feel modernized and the hang feature is awesome!

  • I LOVE this home and was so pleased to see it was in Warsaw – where I just moved for the year.

  • Love this! I can’t view the link to the flickr set. It asks me to sign in, then tells me I don’t have permission to view these photos.

  • I love to see white walls since there are so many of us who can’t paint. Such inspiration!

    Is that a pig tissue holder in the second to last pic? If yes, where can I get one?

  • Lots of great ideas! Nice to see some good design from my home country here; I’m going to visit in May, maybe will do a guide to Warsaw, time permitting.

  • It’s amazing how you blend your grandmother’s things, making it look like u just bought them fresh from a shop. And one thing I truly like is how it doesn’t come off too neat and angled. Everything just casually and randomly falls into place. Lovin it.

  • from my exp. i just know one thing that if we use black and white in our home it will create a mystical ambiance which we love so much, the accessories used in the post are so alluring.

  • The living room is STUNNING! The black wall is so dramatic against the worn, white floors. Amazing!

  • I really LOVE this home! The palette is PERFECT. And all the details seem so well thought out, but it still remains cozy and warm.

  • looks so great. i love the white floors and pops of color. i’m planning a trip to warsaw soon. any chance of a warsaw or krakow design guide? ewa, any suggestions? thanks! great job!

  • I love it! Well done you :)

    I think I have the same white “giant desk lamp” (at least yours looks pretty much like ours…), and I love it too! :)

    Such a warm and inviting home, and so inspiring – really a good job.

  • Lovely and elegant house! I adore the kitchen. It seems like every detail has been worked out and in the same time it has cool, effortless feeling.
    Przepiękny, przestrzenny dom!

  • simply amazing!
    Where did you pick up that wonderful fabric (12th down, view from your bedroom- taupe with irregular off white spots)?
    So inspiring! Thank you!

  • I had a privilege to stay overnight at Asia Gwis’ log cabin. This house is truly friendly, with good energy and of course a very tasty decor. Asiu i Sebastianie. Moje gratulacje!

  • So lovely! Thank you so much for sharing this warm & cheerful home. Amazing with all of the black that it is rich and happy, bright & sophisticated. I also love all your animals and their good sense to coordinate! :) Beautiful..
    ps I love that tapestry from Ikea and I know what you mean about HJ, so happy they make it easy to own something designed by her.

  • info for ILANA: I’m not sure what are you exactly looking for? Some general information about Polish design, you can find on http://www.iwp.com.pl (there’s english version as well), if you need some more specific, feel free to write me, I’ll try to help:-)

  • Very impressive and i’m soo proud that such an interior we can find in Poland ;)
    I love the the figures in the bathroom, however the most sweetest are these stranges chairs in the livingroom – i see it quite mysteriously and hope that every chair has its own long story ;)

  • You really made a nice cosy house with a modern and classic feel. I really like the wooden floor you have upstairs. Could you let me know what kind of floor it is?
    Thanks & enjoy your lovely home.

  • Polish design is about to have its time. There is so much talent in the country and Asia and her beautiful home proves it.

  • Graphic yet enticing. Hard to get a homey feel with black and white sometimes, but definitely successful here. Your wonderful eye for quirky objects says so much about your personality. Love it :)

  • Quite like the blackboard painted doors, with gritty white brick wall. However, the only thing makes me bit uncomfortable is the grandma’s inheritance placed in the bathroom.

  • The bedside table is so inspirational!! beautiful house, very cleanneat minimalist as well loved it!

  • love it, very calm and efficient except the religious figures by the double sink, especially in the bathroom. i’m not religious, its just screams awkward.

  • I agree with ADA:

    “(…) very calm and efficient except the religious figures by the double sink, especially in the bathroom. i’m not religious, its just screams awkward.”

    Choosing a bathroom to place a piece of decor, be it a figure considered as sacred by some or be it a grand grandmother’s embroidery work, might show kind of disrespect or underappreciation. I mean, no one would sit a Van Gogh’s painting on the bathroom’s wall, right? There are great pieces especially made for bathroom decoration. Even many other among the pieces shown in this home would have worked wonderfully in the bathrooms, instead of those in discussion.


  • This is an example that in Poland you may find good design, but still great majority of projects are really biased. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find well designed interior with with a soul. Most of projects are completly raw without any character. So the greater congrats for Asia!

  • this space is wonderful – i love that it was an old schoolhouse! the mixture of chairs around the house is great, our designer at red will often do this in clients homes at the dining table, she likes to include a bench on one side. very inspirational space – thanks for sharing!

  • Why not a Van Gogh in such a beautiful bathroom! The religious figures are perfect as is the whole house. I have never seen a black and white scheme with such warmth.Love it!

  • Love that chalkboard paint idea. Would be excellent for me as well as I tend to forget a lot of things these days. I also like the bathrooms.

  • One of my very fav sneak peeks…agreeing with all of the comments…so stunning & warm.