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Flamingos in old Mokotow. Metamorphosis of an apartment in a large slab

21 of December '21
Technical data
Name: apartment in Warsaw's Mokotow district
Investor: private
Location: Poland, Warsaw
Studio: Butterfly Studio
Design team: Anna Baranowska, Joanna Felczuk
Photos: Alexandra Zając
Video: Michal Dolny
Area: 37 m²


  • project
  • implementation


In a block of large concrete slabs in Warsaw's Mokotow district, sits a 37-meter apartment that recently underwent a complete metamorphosis. Thanks to demolition, thoughtful solutions, the introduction of color accents and lots of plants, the apartment "after grandma" gained a completely new life and character. The authors of these changes are Joanna Felczuk and Anna Baranowska of Butterfly Studio, who talk about the design work and arrangement solutions.

Mieszkanie na
Mokotowie, salon z różowymi flamingami

In the living room, a painting with flamingos attracts attention

Photo: Alexandra Zając © Butterfly Studio

The owners of the apartment posed quite a challenge to the architects - on 37 square meters they wanted to accommodate all the necessary functions: bathroom, work zone, kitchen, living room, bedroom and as much storage space as possible. The metamorphosis involved completely opening up the plan and getting rid of almost all partition walls.

apartment in Warsaw's Mokotow district

video: Michal Dolny © Butterfly Studio

Dobrawa Bies: The apartment we are talking about is located in an old panel block in Warsaw's Mokotów district. Your task was its total metamorphosis. Where did you start?

Butterfly Studio: We started by rethinking the plan of the apartment, the main requirement of the investors was to get a full-size workspace. This was not an easy task due to the small size of the apartment.
We decided to completely open up the plan - we demolished almost all the partition walls except for the section that divides the living room and bedroom. Only the bathroom retained its original layout. Thanks to this procedure, the previously dark apartment became bright, cozy and optically gained a few extra meters.

Mieszkanie na
Mokotowie, rzut finalny i elektryka

The architects demolished almost all the walls

© Butterfly Studio

In order to avoid once again being fenced off by a full wall, we decided to use a glass partition in the entrance to the bedroom instead of a standard door - but in order to maintain intimacy, we opted for a shading curtain, which is mainly to be used for overnight guests. Our design goal was to open up and utilize the space as much as possible, with particular emphasis on storage space. In the living area, instead of a narrow, uncomfortable couch stood a corner sofa with a sleeping function, and the space above the desk (measuring 75×150 cm), was enriched with capacious wall cabinets, where office equipment, including an A3 printer, was hidden.

Mieszkanie na
Mokotowie, tapeta z tropikalnymi motywami Mieszkanie na Mokotowie, za
przegrodą szklaną znajduje się sypialnia

Tropical motifs are present throughout the apartment

Photo: Alexandra Zając © Butterfly Studio

Dobrawa: Did the investors approach you with a specific idea and special requirements?

Butterfly Studio: The main requirements of the investors were to get a place to work and to plan the apartment in such a way that it would be easier to sell/rent in the future. For this reason, in the apartment we had to interweave with each other solutions that were more budget-oriented, with customized elements. It was also important that the apartment be fairly flexible and easily adaptable for the next tenant. Taking this into account, we used a minimalist, monochromatic base, which is easily adapted with colorful furniture or textiles. We also used decorative elements that can be easily changed if necessary - wallpaper, paintings, handles or the color of the RTV wall. In fact, the most important thing in the whole arrangement was a well-tailored functional layout.

Mieszkanie na
Mokotowie, jasna kuchnia

Brass appears in the accessories and lighting

Photo: Alexandra Zając © Butterfly Studio

Dobrawa: There are some interesting solutions in the interior, for example, the glass wall of the bedroom, or the almost invisible brass kitchen handles. Please tell us about the materials and colors used.

Butterfly Studio: The renovation of the apartment began during the pandemic and was intended as a response to the lockdown at the time. Because of the owners' passion for travel, we decided to incorporate elements that would relate to distant places and experiences from their expeditions. The design featured tropical motifs - including the Kenya wallpaper by Wonderwall, an intense painting with flamingos behind the sofa, and natural plants - including palm trees of various sizes and unusual small succulents. The clients were open-minded about the colors, and for this reason, the owner's beloved bottle green, velvet pink, mustard, anthraciteand natural oak wood staining are interspersed throughout the apartment. In the furniture, accessories and lighting scrolls brass in modern forms, which gives the whole arrangement a pinch of elegance and subtle character. With these clever tricks the apartment "after grandma" gained a whole new life and character.

Mieszkanie na
Mokotowie, jedne z mieszkańców Przestrzeń do pracy

The most important thing in the whole arrangement was a well-tailored functional layout

Photo: Alexandra Zając © Butterfly Studio

Dobrawa: The apartment, despite its small size, seems spacious and full of light. While designing, did you encounter any difficulties? What are you most satisfied with?

Butterfly Studio: Usually in secondary market apartments we have to deal with various problems that come to light when taking down the walls. It was the same in this case - faulty electrical installation, badly routed gas pipes, meters located behind the refrigerator, crooked walls and ceilings - these are just a small part of the aspects we had to deal with. When buying an apartment from the secondary market, it is important to keep in mind the excess costs that can arise with unforeseen defects. We are most pleased with getting a space that the owners did not expect at all. They were set for a minor facelift, and they obtained an interior with a function resembling a square meter of about 50 square meters. :)

Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview.

Dobrawa Bies

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