Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Out of the City (Part I)

To a quiet place

All images taken by me - Copyright 2012 CozyCity. Please cite if borrowed.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Color Blocking in Warsaw

I'm kicking off my coverage of Polish design with the fun, catchy interiors of MiTo: a cafe/bookstore/bistro/lounge/gallery/(whatever you want it to be, really) space located in the Mokotowie district of Warsaw.  

For a relatively small footprint, I'm impressed that they've fit in so many functions plus a wide assortment of seating options, while still maintaining plenty of breathing room. A clean white backdrop helps to visually enlarge the volume of the room, while black is used to define and partition sections. The rest is supersaturated, controlled chaos.

Though not exactly in line with my definition of 'cozy' (the whole place is probably best cleaned with a hose), there's still something so attractive about the space. Its bright, graphic quality is reminiscent of legoland or a comic strip. Makes you feel like a kid - a creative kid who's got stuff to do, and plenty of energy to do it (perhaps with some extra encouragement from that shiny espresso bar).

All images via domosfera.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Winter's End

On an early morning walk through the park, catching what was possibly one of the last frosts of the winter

Waiting in line at 8am for ... ?

An orange duet 

All images taken by me - Copyright 2012 CozyCity. Please cite if borrowed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Light Years

These lamps by Danish design company Light Years have been floating around in my mind for several days, and I'm trying to figure out why. What exactly makes them so memorable, aside from the beautiful styling and photography (by Yellows Photography, also Danish)? At first glance they're very plain and simple, no bells or whistles, nothing particularly striking or surprising.
But I'm thinking that's exactly the point. In the absence of distractions you get to see the 'soul', the essence of that lamp. The designer's intention and flawless execution are glaringly obvious, down to every detail. 

^ Ok, really, who can resist a mini version of something?

^ This one reminds me of falling asleep in class...

Oversized shiny black lamps make a pretty bold statement, but could fit gracefully into an industrial-style setting. I'd save the dreamy matte-finish cloche lamps for more homey decor. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Evolution of a Barn

Soglio, Switzerland
all images courtesy of Armando Ruinelli via designboom

Today I'm enjoying this very cool redevelopment of an old Swiss barn into a stunning minimalist home. The outside view is unassuming, maintaining the original roof and overall form, in perfect harmony with the surrounding mountain village. Movable wooden panels allow the residents to adjust light and air flow into their home. Internally, the material palette speaks for itself in strength and natural beauty.  

The whole 'bare concrete' thing has slowly been growing on me, as I see it being used more frequently in modern homes. My first reaction to a concrete floor is that it must feel cold under the feet, but I've heard that the insulation properties of concrete are good enough to prevent this issue. Concrete walls are next on the list of 'things that Justyna is learning to appreciate', and I think this house has just done the trick. With that awesome bubbly layered effect, I wouldn't even want to hang anything on those walls. Built-in wooden drawers and shelves are the icing on the cake (did you notice the subtle side-wall panel in the bathroom?).
However, I do wonder how bare concrete walls age over time, in particular if there are any downsides like dirt accumulation. Does anyone out there have first-hand experience or thoughts on the matter? Would you consider this material palette as the basis for your home?


Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Brisk Welcome

Dziendobry (good morning), Krakow!

All images taken by me - Copyright 2012 CozyCity. Please cite if borrowed.