This 968-Square-Foot Seaside Home in Poland Is Full of Colorful Surprises

Hanna Połczyńska

Owning a summer home on the Polish coast had always been high on Agnes Berchem’s wishlist. But the Poland-raised, Luxembourg–based art collector and curator, who runs art gallery Galerie 39 alongside her husband, Remy, was wary of committing to just anything. (“Seaside or nothing” was her motto.) So when she found something by the sea in the northern Polish town of Puck, with room for the couple’s art at that, she took it as a sign (or two) from the universe. “It seemed perfect,” recalls Agnes. Except it wasn’t—at least not right away. The interior had lost its sheen, and luckily, the couple knew just the person to bring it back—interior designer Magdalena Bielicka of Gdynia-based studio Pracownia Magma, to whom they’d been introduced by a mutual acquaintance just a few months prior.

With a baby blue Develius sofa by &Tradition, LePukka’s pink Lekima lounge chair, and a NEO Low table from Polish brand Tamo Design, the lounge is as soothing as the view outside.

Aesthetically speaking, Agnes and Remy knew what they wanted, but they also knew what they didn’t—which was, basically, anything too formal. “Our home in Luxembourg already was, so we decided to do a complete 180 with this one,” shares Agnes. Her brief to Magdalena? “Make it interesting!” Which, to Magadalena’s mind, meant something bold and vibrant, with free-flowing spaces, open-plan layouts, and art—lots of art—not just as paintings and sculpture, but also as furniture, furnishings, and objects. “Their Luxembourg residence had an impressive collection of vintage designs, some of which found new life in this apartment,” avers Magdalena, who conceived the interior as a colorful counterpoint to the soothing water views.

The crown jewel of the dining room is the elliptical dining table with a Rosso Lepanto marble top, which Magdalena tailored to the shape and proportions of the room. Behind it hangs an eye-popping painting by Eugeniusz Minciel, flanked by full-height crimson doors by Baranska Design that slide open like Mondrian stage screens. Bolia’s Orb pendant haloes the setting, while Disc and Sphere wall lights by Atelier Areti give the walls a glow-up. The chairs are Eugen Schmidt originals.

One painting that was reborn, so to speak, was the Eugeniusz Minciel abstraction in the dining room, which as Agnes tells it, “didn't really do much for our other home, but really shines in this one.” So it does, thanks to its palette, which echoes all the colors of the interior and sets the stage for more curiosities, including the Jo Malano artwork in the lounge and the custom dining table with a Rosso Lepanto marble top, which Magdalena tailored to the shape and proportions of the awkwardly shaped dining room. In the same spirit, anything and everything was considered art, even the full-height bedroom doors with Art Deco patterned fronts, which glide open like Mondrian stage screens.

The kitchen, or kitchenette, is a nod to midcentury design, with interesting openwork partitions, geometric cabinet fronts, and Gilda ceiling sconces by Totem Light. Magdalena chose black brushed granite for the counters, for their durable nature and fuss-free looks.

When it came to decor, Magdalena had one rule: the brighter, the better. So in came original Eugen Schmidt chairs in burgundy. Up went gilded Art Deco lamps. One bedroom received a red ceiling and door frame, while another was cocooned in terracotta. “We went for dark, atmospheric colors in the bedrooms to effectively cancel the noise and light of everyday life,” notes Magdalena. Not all light, however, required canceling. Exhibit A: the entrance, which was already long and dark. “The main challenge for us was to brighten this section, which had no access to daylight.” The solution, it turned out, was knocking down the wall to the kitchen, which Magdalena did to open up a magical view to the seaside.

The primary bedroom is a dark and atmospheric cocoon that shuts off the surrounding hustle and bustle. An artwork by Polish artist Kasia Kmita shares the spotlight with the red ceiling. The closet, bed, and wall coverings are of Magdalena’s own design. Flowerpot lamps by &Tradition cut a whimsical figure atop Hay’s DLM side tables. The ceiling lamp is the Astra by Kaspa. Atelier Areti’s Disc and Sphere lights enhance the walls.

Because they use it as a holiday home, Agnes and Remy specified lots of cozy perches. “Our favorite is the turquoise sofa by &Tradition,” says Remy. “We have a beautiful view to the water, so you can knock back with a paper and a cup of tea. It’s the perfect spot for a sunny afternoon.” So perfect, that the couple has already received interest from prospective buyers (for the home, not the couch)—with said list including their contractor, a few friends, and the parents of their architect. But as a long-held dream come true, it’s safe to say that they have no plans of parting with the home anytime soon.

The second bedroom is a zen hideaway painted a peachy terra-cotta. “It took us several iterations to arrive at the perfect peach, but when it finally went up, it was too pink for our taste. Luckily, we were quick to realize that it was a mistake by the contractor, who had mixed up the shade. Everything was ultimately repainted and it all turned out fine,” says Magdalena, whose decor choices included an Afteroom Dining Chair Plus and a TR Bulb from Audo Copenhagen. The closets, bed, and desk are by Pracownia Magma.
The bathroom wasn’t always this bright. Magdalena multiplied the light by swapping one wall for a glass partition and adding a luminous Barrisol ceiling membrane. The wall tiles, sourced from Italian ceramic brand 41zero42, mimic the lines of the fireplace in the living room. As for the floor, the designer animated it with colorful geometric marble patterns. The faucets are by Bellosta Rubinetterie.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

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