In the style of a true fairytale, this cottage makeover story features a character that is a bit rough around the edges, a bit of a diamond in the rough, so to say. And like a traditional tale, the chapter that comes next is when our hero's potential is realized—in this case the fairy godmother that turns the pumpkin into a chariot is actually the architect duo Anatol Kuczyński and Anna Kuczyńska of Warsaw. And with the help of some magic, our lovely cottage undergoes a change. Finally the fable finishes with a happy ending, with the star home renewed and revamped.
It just shows how incredible the work of architects can be, especially when it comes to renovations.
This story is about an underwhelming country cottage set against the most beautiful backdrop of the Masurian Lake district in Poland. It's a tale of a house that has a makeover to keep it from disappearing in the background. This is a story that follows the transformation of an ugly duckling into the most beautiful swan. So let's start at the beginning… .
This fairytale home started it's life as an unused, rundown barn on a ruined farm in the picturesque Masurian Lakes area. Only after the investors bought the plot of land, did they begin to understand the actual state of the building. Despite the huge amount of work involved, they decided it was worth the extensive reconstruction, and prepared to salvage the building.
This old flimsy building that was once a cowshed would have it's whole skeleton strengthened and undergo a massive transformation to become habitable.
Except for the core of the house, the building was almost entirely rebuilt from scratch. Foil insulation was installed in between the walls meaning this was now an abode for all seasons, instead of being a fragile barn full of holes to let the wind right through.
During the demolition of the building, a large brick section was also discovered. After being saved by the architecture team, it now plays an important part in the final construction.
From this side you can clearly see how unappealing the original state of the building was. Small, uninspiring, half rotten, the lake side home was barely anything worth mentioning. To be honest it is just short of a miracle that this tiny rundown building has gone from what is in this picture to what we see below.
It's safe to say this building was little more than a stack of timbre ready to be used to make something more worthwhile!
Situated on a plot of land over 3000 square meters large, and bordered by majestic lakes, in an incredible fresh climate, the original building was not living up to the standards of it's surroundings. The location was definitely not the issue here.
So, with making the most of the beautiful landscape, the architects included an extensive, covered balcony with large wooden steps bordering the property. Now the impressive neighbouring nature be enjoyed come rain or shine!
This view from the terrace definitely makes it seem like this house is a part of a fairytale. The nearby lake is the perfect backdrop for casual meals, and makes this the ultimate al fresco dining experience.
The outdoor wooden table and matching wicker chairs keeps this dining area rustic, relaxed and totally dreamy. A world away from what the original property, it is almost too good to be true!
The original intention of this remodelling job was to try and keep as many elements as true as possible. Sadly this was an impossible dream, so instead, the integrity of the property remains, with everything juggled around and reimagined.
Unnecessary and unsightly plastered was removed, new tiles were fitted and everything given a fresh coat of paint. From this angle you really can see the extent of the renovation, and that this was one ugly pumpkin!
In a charming combination of the two different eras of this building, the entranceway is a beautiful blend of the old and new. The door on the left is made from wood and glass, and set in the original brickwork. Painted in a rust red, it pays homage to the building's former life as a rural barn.
A glass window mirrors the shape and proportions next to the front door, playfully commenting on the upgrade of the property. Aspects of the previous building, like the large wooden door have been kept, and it's that clash of materials and styles that make this an outstanding renovation.
The skeleton and foundation of the property, luckily, were strong enough to keep. But there is not much to say other than that—this old animal shelter was just that—a shelter for animals, and most definitely not a home suitable for people.
We are pretty sure the only thing that could have lived in this barn before the remodel were some birds, or perhaps some furry animals…
And post makeover, this is now what the interior looks like. Wow! It is hard to believe this is same place as the picture above. After being cleared of unwanted bricks, damaged wall or rotten timbre, the interior space becomes open and impressive.
Exposed wooden foundation beams and the ceiling are freshened up with a coat of white paint and large planes of glass are added to the whole of one side. This former depressing interior is now spacious, elegant and inviting. Furnishings have a Scandinavian feel to them: refined, practical and artisanal.
There is also the added bonus of a fireplace—just perfect for cosy rainy evenings in the countryside.
This room is a clear testament to the vision and skill of our architectural team AA S.C. ANATOL KUCZYŃSKI ANNA KUCZYŃSKA. What used to be a lumber room for storing wood, unused tools and even rubbish unbelievable becomes a part of the new house.
It's hard to imagine what the duo were thinking when they first saw the state of this room!
No country house is complete without talking about the heart of the home: the kitchen. And this Polish country cottage is quipped with a fully functional, modern kitchen, ready to be used.
With loads of stainless steel, this kitchen is ideal to whip up an amazing hearty meal in. It can withstand heavy use, is scratch resistant, and easy to clean. Robust, and practical, it is a perfect match for the rural life.
For more charming country kitchens make sure you peruse this collection.
The dining area really shows off the classic styling of the rejuvenated building. Brick walls are painted white to keep it rustic, but modern. Chairs are matched and chosen in white. The table made from reclaimed timbre to tie in with the rest of the house. And wooden shelving is added nearby to provide practical storage.
You wouldn't be a fool to think that this could be in any modern city apartment!
And no home would be complete without the bedroom. This one is a part of the wooden area of the house, and is similarly shabby chic. The wooden boards are stained white, the walls and ceiling are painted white, and all help avoid this bedroom feeling like a claustrophobic box. Bedlinen is also white in cosy, textured cottons. It's hard not to want to get comfy and cosy in here straight away.
If this project amazes you (and why wouldn't it!), then make sure you have a look at this Portuguese house that goes from ruins to ravishing.