"In our studio we always set the bar higher ". Ida Mikolajska in the series "10 questions to an interior designer"

15 of March '23

"10 Questions to an Interior Designer" is a series of short talks inspired by the series "10 Questions to...". This time our attention is turned to interior designers. In today's episode, Ida Mikołajska talks about her approach to design.

Ida Mikołajska - architect, graduate of the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology. During a number of international exchanges and workshops, she had the opportunity to learn a variety of approaches to design. Among other things, she participated in the LOTUS international workshop on adapting space for the individual user. She studied at the Department of Architecture at the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. She has held internships at ATP Arkitekter in Oslo and Omega Smartbuilt, as well as a year-long internship at the design and development firm Diamond Module, where she worked on advanced modular architecture. She is a member of the UK's The Design Society and co-owner of the author's design studio MIKOŁAJSKAstudio, which she runs with her mother, architect Krystyna Mikołajska.

1. For me, home is...

A space of rest. A safe haven. A place where it is me and my family who set all norms and standards, without looking at anyone. The only one I can manage and shape without thinking about the needs and preferences of outsiders.

2. The key to a successful interior design is...

A successful project is all about consistency and good planning. Starting from the possibilities of the premises, as well as the needs of the investor and the appropriate setting of functions. In our studio we always set the bar higher. It is not enough for us to have a project that is only successful, but one that will really delight the recipient. The question of originality and giving the space a distinct character plays a big role here. Even if it was to be absolute minimalism.

3. I look for inspiration in...

In everyday life, in the surrounding world. I bring most inspiration from travel. Probably because then I focus on observing and absorbing new spaces. Both urban, rural and completely natural ones.

4. In cooperation with a developer the most important thing is....

Mutual respect and trust. Understanding the needs of the client. So as to be able to offer him better solutions than those he himself has thought of. Sometimes it is necessary to visit a concept, to explain why a particular solution may not be suitable for a particular person or situation. Sometimes it is also necessary to accept that the user knows better how he or she will function with a particular solution.

It is also important not to forget to establish, right at the beginning, some framework and boundaries for cooperation. Both regarding the scope, the way of working and the time. This can be very difficult, but ultimately serves not only us, the designers, but also the investor.

5. My favorite design style is...

I like good, timeless, consistent, but also characterful interiors. Any style adopted consistently can be good, depending on the architecture, purpose, preferences and ideas. That's why I'm glad that since the beginning of the studio we have undertaken projects in different styles. Thanks to our extensive portfolio, we are approached by more clients, who often have unique ideas for their spaces.

The style that personally attracts me the most (that is, the one in which, as clients say, "I could live") is difficult to define. Especially since it evolves over time. I love interiors intense in expression, teeming with deep, necessarily strongly broken, colors. Surprising, with a so-called easter egg for more or less patient observers. Interiors where objects that have their own story appear. Unobvious, sometimes surreal or avant-garde. Of course, all this craziness can be afforded, remembering to maintain full functionality and a healthy approach to practical aspects.

6. The most valuable item in my homeis...

I am not a collector. I have a few things I like, but I don't think I would call any of them particularly valuable. In my house, looking only at the material elements, the most valuable thing is the achieved whole, thanks to which we achieved a kind of unique atmosphere.

7. The most common mistake in designing interior  on your own is....

Acting without a plan. I conclude that deciding to work with an interior designer when finishing your own house or apartment is not for everyone. It is different with public or commercial interiors, where it is an absolute must have! Nevertheless, even finishing or renovating a tiny studio apartment is quite an undertaking, and in order to get the desired effect you need a plan. The more detailed, the better.

8. My favorite material is...

Wood - I love it for its unique texture and warmth. I also have a weakness for wallpaper. Few things like them give you the opportunity to add character to your interiors without going for expensive solutions.

9. A trend I wish would go away already is...

Low-budget washes of glamour styling.

10. Someday, I would like to live in....

I like to live where I live. In a comfortable, bright apartment close to the center of Cracow. It suits me just fine.

However, it would be nice to have a cottage in the middle of nowhere, but one with running water, electricity and internet access, where I could hole up for a few days to relax or work in peace at the home office. Unfortunately, my duties cannot be limited by a remote formula, so for now this idea remains a dream.

Want to see projects by Ida Mikołajska? Click HERE


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