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Apartment like a changing stage set

15 of June '23

We visit the center of Krakow, where the apartment of Natalia Horak—co-owner of the design studio Lessness, who is also a set designer by profession and education. She has designed sets for film, television and theater. All these experiences and passions are evident in the interiors of her ever-changing apartment. Here you will encounter a lot of art, unusual solutions, design of the 80s and 90s and a fair amount of artifacts collected on film sets.

I also have a few works by friendly artists, such as a welded sculpture—a wheel, from Kristof Krane or raw prints from Michał Tokarz. A few of my works from the period of my studies also lived to see an exhibition," says Natalia Horak.

Ciekawą ozdobą jest manekin w salonie Ścianę w salonie ozdabia rzeźba Kristofa Krane

In the interior you will find unusual decorations, such as a mannequin or a welded sculpture

Photo: Migdał Studio © Lessness

The color base of the Kraków apartment, which Natalia Horak designed herself, is formed by graphic combinations of black and white and transitional grays. Wood, metal and glass as well as color accents and textures inspired by nature add to the atmosphere. There were also plenty of plants. For inspiration, the designer also drew from a trip to Iceland, where she traversed its central part on foot.

The Icelandic landscape is a bit like on another planet—open space, a narrowed color palette, a somewhat depressing but monumental aura. A very soothing combination," Natalia recalls.

Mieszkanie to połączenie atmosfery kojącej i monumentalnej

The apartment is a combination of soothing and monumental atmosphere

Photo: Migdał Studio © Lessness

Living in a historic building, the apartment is a place where the basement walls remember the Middle Ages. There are no right angles, and each wall has its own distinctive texture. This history the designer tried to expose—leaving the raw, sand-colored walls in the living room.

Wyspa kuchenna to jedno z ulubionych miejsc właścicielki

The kitchen island is one of the owner's favorite places

Photo: Almond Studio © Lessness

This apartment matured with me ," says Natalia, "It's a very personal space. Not only because each object or piece of furniture is accompanied by a story, but also friends and relatives helped in each subsequent renovation. It had many roommates, where everyone contributed in some way.

Wnętrze mieszkania w krakowskiej kamienicy, rzut

floor plan of the apartment building

© Lessness

interview with Natalia Horak

Dobrawa Bies: You invite us inside your apartment. How do you design for yourself, is there a deadline? Is it more of a challenge or pure pleasure?

Natalia Horak: The challenge is precisely the lack of deadlines. I managed to complete the process after ten years, and still my friends doubt whether this is the real end. Being a designer, it's a bit of a curse. You are constantly designing something, redesigning it, improving it. An important factor is my collecting, or basically searching for unique objects or furniture. Many of them, I „met” on my way and they later influenced the space around me. Therefore, my apartment is less a project and the result of a process.

Wnętrze łazienki utrzymane jest w kojących kolorach natury Wisząca w salonie lampa ma 36 żaróweczek i jest rzeźbą samą w sobie

the author used scenic solutions

Photo: Migdał Studio © Lessness

Dobrawa: What were your goals during such a long design process? What kind of atmosphere did you want to create?

Natalia: Soothing and monumental. Soothing because that's how a home should work. Hence the natural textures and colors, lots of plants, soft fabrics, wooden and raw metal elements. Monumental, because this is imposed by the interior in the townhouse, where there is 3.6 meters to the ceiling. Here, scenic solutions push themselves. The hanging lamp in the living room has 36 bulbs and is a sculpture in itself.

Lustro na całej ścianie powiększa przestrzeń i jest eksperymentem Widok na wyspę kuchenną

The main materials in the interior are wood, metal and glass

Photo: Almond Studio © Lessness

Dobrawa: À proposing scenography -attention in the living area is drawn to the wall all covered with mirrors. Where did this decision come from?

Natalia: I can say, of course, that the idea was to reflect the light from the windows, so that the living room was more illuminated, but the truth is that I was very curious, as it were.... and I had to check it out.

 Za regałem schowane są drzwi do kolejnego pokoju Pokój do pracy projektowej

The apartment is also a place to work

Photo credit: Almond Studio © Lessness

Dobrawa: Favorite place in the apartment and favorite object is?

Natalia: I have three such places. The right side of the couch, because all the household members, led by the dog, fight over that spot. My place by the kitchen island, because that's where I think best, and the table on the balcony, because there's a view of the rooftops of townhouses and domes of churches—like in Florence.

Salon to miejsce relaksu z widokiem na stary Kraków

The living room is a place to relax with a view of old Krakow

Photo: Migdał Studio © Lessness

Dobrawa: Do you treat the apartment as an ongoing project, subject to change, or is it already a closed form?

Natalia: As I mentioned before, opinions are divided. I insist that it is finished, but everyone who knows me well is of a different opinion.

Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview.

interviewed: Dobrawa Bies

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