A Renovated House Gives Nod to 1970s Polish Modernism

In Katowice, Poland, a house from the 1970s has undergone quite a renovation, thanks to architect Grzegorz Layer. Spread across 225 square meters (approximately 2,422 square feet), this terraced house has been meticulously redesigned to embrace a contemporary, open-plan layout while paying homage to the classic aesthetics of 1970s Polish modernism.

The comprehensive renovation involved a myriad of changes to the structure. A new staircase was integrated, the ground floor’s level was lowered, internal walls were completely removed, windows were enlarged, and the roof was raised. The result is a spacious and versatile interior that can be easily configured to accommodate various functions.

side interior view into modern kitchen with wood cabinets, black island, and wood bar table with pink stools

The expansive ground floor encompasses an entryway, dining room, living room, and a kitchen featuring an island with an extended bar table for casual meals. The only enclosed spaces are a pantry and bathroom, cleverly hidden within a built-in structure painted a vibrant green color.

view from kitchen looking into living room with green modular sofa and wood cabinets

interior view into modern living room with two green sofas surrounding tv.

interior view into modern living room with two green sofas surrounding tv.

Large furniture pieces, reminiscent of the iconic meblościanki or “furniture-walls,” keeps the layout organized while emphasizing the home’s geometry. Warmth is infused inside through the use of wood finishes and fluted decorative details, subtly nodding to the wood paneled walls that were popular in the 70s. Light concrete floors provide the perfect canvas for the curated pieces of furniture and accessories.

interior view of partial living room green sofa and partial dining room with black chairs

The color palate on the main level combines white walls and black elements, with soft green details used in moderation.

view of modern open dining room with black chairs

view through modern home interior down hallway past wood shelves and staircase

Steel columns and beams remain exposed to visually suggest the division of spaces on the main level into zones. Lighting plays a pivotal role in enhancing the atmosphere throughout with arranged technical fixtures coexisting with design-driven lamps that echo the time period that the home was originally built.

view through modern home interior down hallway past wood shelves and staircase

view through modern home interior down hallway past wood shelves and staircase

view of modern switch back stairs made of wood steps that extend to side to form shelves that hold plants

A new staircase is flooded with natural light while providing access to the upstairs and rooftop terrace.

interior view of modern house's hallway with white walls and open wood stairs in distance

The second floor is designated as a private area, housing bedrooms, bathrooms, and an office. The redesign of the open staircase, complete with a glass ceiling, allows the spaces on both floors to blend seamlessly, creating a harmonious flow throughout the house.

modern bedroom with built-in wood headboard wall and bed with attached tables

side view of modern bedroom with built-in wood headboard wall and bed with attached tables

partial angled view of modern bedroom with wood wall and built-in storage table and floating bathtub

view into modern open bathroom with glass walls, wood cabinets, and white floating console

angled partial view of modern bathroom

view of modern kids room with house shaped bed frame and wallpapered wall at back

modern bathroom

Photography by Grzegorz Layer.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.

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