Eco Aga Design company was set up in response to my story and experience of the different homes I have lived in throughout my life. The contrast between two homes in particular demonstrated to me how the arrangement of domestic and residential space can have a profound impact on the general well-being of the people that live there.
My first home was a first floor flat in Wroclaw, a large city in Poland. It was an old, three storey building with high ceilings and large windows. Our family of eight lived in one of the rooms with many members of the wider family around us. Although it wasn’t very big it felt spacious and functional as it was used for many purposes and was well arranged. My parents managed to have a table in the centre of the room, three sofa beds around it providing both bedding and extra sitting space, and a big antique dresser that had an extra hidden worktop which could be pulled out when needed. I remember our family being always together and I was very happy there, despite the slightly crowded circumstances. My father, an artist and designer, was constantly developing photos or making toys and games for all of his children. I was able to watch him and his creativity has always inspired me.
Our second home was a large, ground floor flat with a small yard. It should have been an improvement but our family’s quality of life, to my surprise, worsened. This flat didn’t fulfil our need for being together and I always felt that this was one of the reasons for it. The flat was badly designed and built and was very unpractical: lighting and air circulation were poor, there was little privacy in some of the rooms as you had to pass through one to get to another and the walls and a long corridor separated us. I became aware of how much our immediate, domestic environment affects and can affect our health and happiness.
As an adult, wife and mother I have lived in many houses and flats. Despite the limits that come with renting spaces I always tried to make improvements. It’s been eight years since we got a house for ourselves, when we first got it the layout of the ground floor was impractical and we needed to do some serious work to improve our home. After receiving permission from the Council I planned, designed, amended and executed a new layout for the whole of the ground floor. It transformed the house and how our family lives in it. There is more light, more space and more storage for our family of five.
When I realised, through this experience, that I have a flair for planning and spatial design, I decided to go back to college. An Access course at City College in Norwich was followed by a degree in Interior Design at Anglia Ruskin University, which has given me the confidence I needed. I now have a good, broad knowledge of design principles, an understanding of the importance of a well-thought out and detailed concept, good craftsman skills and a passion for sustainable and practical design.