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Effective design does not always go hand in hand with big budgets, just like spaces meant for renting don’t have to be grey and dull. Designed by Mistovia, the interior of this 1970s apartment in Katowice, Poland surprises with its vivid colours, textures, and creative exploration of vintage furniture.

The modest flat, meant for short-term stays, is located on the 11th floor of a 1970s apartment block in the centre of town. Nestled in-between the quickly-developing district of Bogucice, and the popular region of Koszutka, the area is a cultural sphere within the city.

The designers engaged in the ‘Airbnb’ challenge of creating an effective space meant to catch the eye all while fitting into a modest budget.

“Looking through offers listed by popular booking websites, most commonly kept in sensible greys and neutral whites, we knew that in our interior, we wished to showcase the possibility of juxtaposing materials that are completely different. The use of daring colours was somewhat of an extension of the climate we found in the flat upon starting the cooperation with our client. At the same time, we had to remember to stick to the financial spreadsheet,” explain the designers.

 

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By modifying the functional layout of the apartment’s cosy 35-square-metre floorplate, the designers created an illusion of a bigger space. Removing the majority of partition walls and converting two small rooms into a bright and spacious living room and kitchenette, the compact flat became bright, functional, and fully adjusted to contemporary needs. Second-hand elements have been prioritised and existing elements, such as the exposed reinforced concrete wall have been kept to retain the integrity of the modernist building.

“Taking inventory of the flat, we found perfectly conserved furniture polished to the point of shining – no doubt remembering the times when the block of flats was constructed. We decided to use them, giving them new, surprising functions – the chest of drawers from the living room has become a kitchen cupboard, a cabinet is now framing the television,” explains the design team.

 

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Glass blocks framing the circular corner of the bathroom wall pays a subtle tribute to modernist architecture, while practically filtering the apartment with much-needed daylight. The terrazzo tiles decorating the floor in the antechamber, kitchenette and, in a different shade, the bathroom, draw on the trends dating back to Poland’s communist times. They were designed by Giovanni Romanelli for the Fioranese brand. The intensely blue bathroom door made of stained plywood is a definite touch of colour, contrasting nicely with the brick-red curtain separating the bedroom from the bathroom.

Finding an intelligent solution for storing and saving space for a cleaning closet was important. All of the functions have been “hidden away” in the wardrobe with a mirror surface, which not only beautifully reflects the light, making the space seem bigger, but also fits inside it all of the flat’s equipment — dishwasher, fridge, washing machine and cleaning closet.

An antithesis to the sensible and neutral rental apartments filling up Airbnb and the like, Mistovia has balanced aesthetics with usefulness in this vivid design. Unconventional solutions and textures were championed in this eclectic 1970s apartment that feels truly unique.

 

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