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Beauty hidden in imperfection. MYdomek, or log house in Kazimierz Dolny

02 of September '22

On this inevitable end of vacation, we take you on an exceptionally atmospheric journey to Kazimierz Dolny. It is here, on a cobblestone street near the market square, that an inviting log house stands. Its story is a tender tale of care, modesty, sensuality and, as the owner of the cottage says, beauty hidden in imperfection. Sit back, it's time for the Architecture of Pleasure.

MYdomek to chatka z bali

MYdomek is a log cabin; the designer of both houses is Zbigniew Badowski

© Jagna Badowska

About MYdomek in Kazimierz Dolny tells its owner, architect Jagna Badowska

Ola Kloc
: Your Dad, an architect, designed the house in Kazimierz, and on the place of the crumbling cottage standing next to it he created a new one, matching the climate of the surroundings. Now you, also an architect, are giving it a new life. Tell us, please, more about this guest house.

Jagna Badowska: I only clean here;) Such are the times that in order to sustain the dream of working as an architect, after having a child, I had to come up with an additional business, which is a quiet source of income.

This guest house is not a big deal - just our Little House, which years ago, after buying a plot of land in Kazimierz, my dad put up.... Although I was a little girl, I participated in the construction process from the beginning. I remember buying land on the recommendation of local friends, and then checking the structural condition of the house standing there at the time. Plucking plaster, picking at the damp wooden walls.... I remember working with a carpenter artist who, knowing that he would not use any structural elements from this house, searched for replacement materials for construction - rebuilding. Wanting to preserve the urban qualities of the street, we couldn't just say goodbye to the old building. The new Little House stood in place of the old one, moved by the required by modern law three meters from the border of the plot. What was left of the old house was the original section of the wall with the front door. This separate garden on the foundations of the old house is now our "Spa for the Senses," a relaxation zone with a bathtub and deck chairs, a place for cultural meetings and events with the participation of Kazimierz residents.

MYdomek w Kazimierzu po starym domu został oryginalny fragment ściany z drzwiami wejściowymi (po prawej)

MYdomek is an asylum for guests seeking respite in Kazimierz; the original fragment of the wall with the entrance door (right) remains of the old house.

© Jagna Badowska

When designing the structure for the Little House, it fell on the log house. So the carpenter took my dad and me on a trip to Pulawy to look at houses for demolition. He sought out several with the same dimensions as ours. As a child I would have chosen a completely different one, but they, experts in the subject, chose a healthier one. Great was my surprise, because the one they thought was perfect was a shade of panty-pink and had lots of cramped rooms inside! It wasn't impressive if you didn't run your imagination. At the time, I myself did not expect that moving it could be the beginning of my own wonderful story. I remembered assurances that a house made of properly selected old logs would last for decades to come.... Built, no longer maypole-blue, no longer filled with cramped rooms, but spacious and tall, it first served our family during spring outings, then was used as a storehouse for building materials during the construction of a large house (where I now live), andthen as a place for my high school outings with girlfriends to film festivals, later student outings - with friends from the Department of Architecture to pass the obligatory plein air, and finally as a place of refuge for friendly artistic souls. Among others, a large family with a passion for geology and the properties of minerals lived here. A young married couple of painters had their contemporary art gallery here one summer. A neighboring film director used the space as a studio for editing a film....

chatka, która znajdowała się wcześniej na miejscu MYdomkuMały Domek w Kazimierzu

The bungalow that used to be on the site of MYdomek and the new-old Little House

© Jagna Badowska

In fact, the decoration of the cottage ended only recently, along with the spread of the idea of slow life. Twenty years after the shell was closed, we still had to.... glue the floor! Hundreds of oak cubes! So it happens that some works wait for years, and this task waited an exceptionally long time, and well, because it also lived to see exceptional contractors, no longer construction, but artistic. For three weeks, painter friends glued the floor, cube by cube, keeping the faith in me that we would find guests looking for such a climate, appreciating the atmosphere of the Little House.

It was finally time to dust off the cobwebs, put the furniture in its place and give the interior a gentle facelift in a minimalist style.

: So let's talk about the interior - the cottage is dominated by cozy wood, but there are also a lot of modern elements, like a white minimalist bed frame. Where did you get such an idea for the arrangement of the space? What was particularly important to you in creating this space?

Jagna: The bed is with one of the elements personally chosen by me. In anticipation of new, unfamiliar recipients, there were clean, white, neutral elements that do not compete with the unique background of old pine logs and wooden furniture in natural tones that my dad used to set up. Deep in my heart I have minimalism, but in the cottage I have the opportunity to share something more. This is wabi sabi - the beauty of imperfection, acceptance of truth, respect for history, for what is here and now, respect for transience.... To a house consisting of centuries-old logs, with furniture made by a carpenter artist who shuns the use of nails (table, shelves), from antiques selected by my dad (sideboard, chest) I added from myself a modest kitchen (you won't meet a smaller one anywhere), ain it and in the bathroom new, simple faucets and a surprising sink - from a bowl - a figment of my imagination, which works and matches the enameled pots and crockery I filled the sideboard with... I took care of every detail of the furnishings.

nieduża kuchnia

small kitchen

© Jagna Badowska

Well, and especially for guests in need of a vacation (I like this word), I brought from the family collection a unique bed and soft sofa - white, on the one hand modest (in respect to the age-old elements around), and on the other hand with a touch of luxury, because with a canopy. Large and comfortable, in the color of freshly laundered, clean linens, as befits a hotel function. Next to the bed I squeezed in a closet found in a nearby village, for which a woodcarver friend had added a missing cornice piece, and as an icing on the cake I added the most delicate and symbolic element of the interior - a bedside table - a small work of art recalling the artistic activities of my family on my mother's side.

minimalistyczna rama łóżka nastrojowe wnętrze

moody interior

© Jagna Badowska

Just that and so much more. The Little House is both surprisingly minimalist and exceptionally spacious asylum for guests seeking respite in Kazimierz.

I wanted to create an interior soothing to the eye, good for the health, pleasant to the touch. I would like every guest to feel taken care of by the surrounding materials and be able to enjoy the art of simplicity at least for a while.

: You're talking about Little House, but the name MYdomek also appears on the websites through which the space can be rented - how did it come about and what does it mean?

Jagna: MYdomek, or "may house" sounds worldly, doesn't it? It's such a perverse joke. It's best if the name sounds good and is international, it gets valued.... and I care to value.... what is modest! Our humble street, the quiet here, so different from the hustle and bustle just around the corner from the market. Our social street life, meetings with neighbors, the daily "good morning".... Well, and our cultural life.

When I run MYdomek, the Little House in Kazimierz, I think not only about the typical tourist, but also about residents and friends eager for culture. Once in a while I block out the calendar and organize "OpenGate Events," events open to the street, vernissages, museum nights, poetry readings, concerts, meetings with artists and dance or capoeira workshops. The artists I introduce to a wider audience I don't look far for, they are close friends, family, people who live art, which is simply WE. Actually also YOU, because every recipient of the Little House becomes a part of it.

strefa wypoczynku przy domku

rest area by the cottage

© Jagna Badowska

Importantly, I began the creation of the Little House by reevaluating my own life and listening to the teachings of motherhood. Returning to work, I became new, not as independent as I had always been. The help of everyone cooperating to launch the cottage and presenting their work in it worked wonders. I shifted from thinking - I alone can do it - to WE. As a result came gratitude, which I gladly share with others.

"May house" call out those rushing along the sidewalk, while those who dare to enter it and feel it say, "MY house is a house with a soul."

MYdomek to azyl dla gości poszukujących w Kazimierzu wytchnienia okno domku

MYdomek is an asylum for guests seeking respite in Kazimierz

© Jagna Badowska

: To visitors, as you say, you want to infect them with the philosophy of wabi sabi. How do you want your guests to feel in MYdom?

Jagna: I write about myself as "Jagna Badowska architect, capoeirist, lover of the Vistula River and wild beaches, who was seduced by the paradoxically peaceful yet intriguing life of a small town. She abandoned the rush of Warsaw in favor of the slower rhythm of Kazimierz, which places social life and activity in nature on the top of the pyramid of values. Hosting visitors, she infects them with the wabi sabi philosophy reflecting a way of feeling focused on harmony and authenticity of what is simple, modest, mysterious and ephemeral."

Arriving at the cottage for a summer vacation or workshop is not just an overnight stay, it's an experience, guided by the gently suggested scenario guests receive just prior to arrival.

widok z antresoli

view from the mezzanine

© Jagna Badowska

Communing at the Little House involves sharpening the senses: smell (through the scent of beeswax, with which the walls are impregnated, and aromatic tea), sight (through the dancing rays of the setting sun and theselection of unique tableware), touch (through the muscling of the grain of the brushed table, stepping on the cool natural stone, wrapping your body in a thick down feather) and hearing (through the silence, the gentle stamping of wild rodents and birdsong).

I encourage visitors to take an active vacation, exploring not only well-known and well-loved sights, but also wild forests, damp ravines and mysterious beaches. I reveal local secrets. Because our Kazimierz does not end at the market square, although we have it under our noses. For us, Kazimierz is beautiful surroundings, charming places, committed people and fleeting moments of falling mists, red sunsets.... and much, much more.

Let's meet in the center, but on the sidelines - I urge you.

Ola: Thank you for this nostalgic conversation.

Ola Kloc

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