Aga's Modern Interior in an Old Building

House Call

Name: Aga
Location: Warsaw, Poland

It has always been my biggest dream to haqve a modern interior in an old building. I grew up in one of these places back in Lodz and after few years in Sweden, I moved back to Poland, straight to Warsaw. At first I had just 35 square meters in a very boring apartment building from 1970s.

Once I was pretty much done with refurbishing the place and it was entirely redecorated few times, I started to lack space with opportunities to arrange. I was always arranging, rearranging, repainting etc. It was clear – time to move.

The search for a new place was long and exhausting as I knew in detail what I wanted. It had to be an old building – preferably from the beginning of the century, wooden floors, high ceilings, proper space. Warsaw has a great potential for this kind of spaces however the majority of these are still not refurbished and belong to the community which means no one makes any sort of investments there.

After 5 months of viewings I got to this apartment with no expectations whatsoever as it was not my preferred location. Its directly in the city Centrum. I entered and thought I was pretty much done after 10 seconds but then the charming wooden floors and great windows caught my attention and I started to sniff around. Took me 5 minutes to entirely fall in love. The building is from 1903 and it was entirely burned during the second World War however the shell remained and after the war it was rebuilt. The apartment is on the 3rd floor and there is no elevator : ))). The ceilings are 3,80 meters high and its 80 square meters.

The kitchen was basically a non-existing space. In the middle of an empty room there stood the stove and the sink fitted on top of a cabinet that remember the communistic suppression. Living room and bedroom were just empty rooms with absolutely horrible colors on the walls. But that was exactly what I wanted – empty space with light and potential to become something unique. After a few weeks of negotiating, I finally got it. And the fun begun.

With the amazing help of my father, in 10 days we managed to make a pretty extreme makeover I have only lived in Poland for three and my previous apartment was not spacious enough to collect furniture, so I only had a dining table and some chairs. Moving in here I had to get everything. Bless email auctions, second hand and IKEA. I love IKEA. Its the cheapest eternal answer to any interior desire and mood swing. Perfect for girls with compulsive decorational disorder.

I have only been there for 2 months now. And there is no single day that I would not work on something. For the moment kitchen is by far my most profound project. I’m more than pleased with it. The floor is brand new, the sink cabinet and shelves as well. All the walls repainted and new lights installed. As my friends say its very American and girlish, you tell me if they are right.

I’m living and consuming the space. It is an on going process and as you see I still need some furniture. But after the years in Sweden when you really get to live the Scandinavian minimalism, you realize you don’t necessarily need that much. In the bedroom the wardrobes and the bed were essential. The small bed side tables I got in a second hand store when I was 18. 14 years later they proudly present themselves in that great space.

I also realized that it gets quite empty and lonely with all that space and that is how Stanisław moved in. He is only 3 months and I’m trying to educate him to be a furniture lover too :)

Thanks, Aga!

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.

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