Modern Love: A Contemporary House Updated with Antiques

Having written several stories about Colombe Design’s projects, I am now quite familiar with Founder Marta Chrapka’s talent for creating stylish, luxurious and traditional new Old World homes with a twist. So I was surprised to learn that this lean, modern house (no graceful moldings or large fireplaces in sight) in Podkowa Lesna, a Warsaw suburb, is also his work.

Upon closer inspection, I spotted his signature touches – dramatic doors, punchy display of color, sculptural lighting, artful antiques, and an emphasis on craftsmanship – throughout the project, albeit this time designed for a more modern and refined aesthetic.

“Of course, that posed a challenge,” says Marta, of the unadorned bones in the house. “We didn’t have the proportions I’m used to, the nobly aged floor, and all the elements I usually focus on to reveal their beauty – just the empty spaces. But the real challenge was an attempt to create an interior with a design reminiscent of the functionalist / modernist interior but in today’s version.

It was a challenge she took on with confidence. Let’s take a tour of this unique house.

Photograph by Pion Studio, courtesy of Colombe Design.

A couple, both lawyers, hired Colombe Design to put their stamp on this blank slate of a house.  In the modern kitchen, Marta was able to insert Old World style in the form of hand painted blue and white porcelain tiles, to the right, from Majolika Nieborow, a family business founded in 8data-src =
Above: A couple, both lawyers, hired Colombe Design to put their stamp on this blank slate of a house. In the modern kitchen, Marta was able to insert Old World style in the form of hand-painted blue and white porcelain tiles, to the right, from Majolika Nieborow, a family business founded in 1881.
The kitchen has a sleek and sophisticated look thanks to stained ash cabinetry, black granite countertop, and built-in appliances.  The String Cone pendant lights are by Michael Anastassiades, from Flos.
Above: The kitchen has a sleek and sophisticated look thanks to stained ash cabinetry, black granite countertop, and built-in appliances. The String Cone pendant lights are by Michael Anastassiades, from Flos.
The bespoke glass and steel door leads to the pantry.
Above: The custom-made glass and steel door leads to the pantry. “That was the hardest part of the design: a pivoting hinge, high height and no frame. No one wanted to take the risk, but in the end we did, ”says Marta.
Inside the pantry, a surprise - a stubbornly old-fashioned pantry.
Above: Inside the pantry, a surprise – a stubbornly old-fashioned pantry. “It was the owner’s idea – he had an old table that belonged to his grandmother. So we created the space around this table, trying to recreate the atmosphere of 1930, ”explains Marta. The tiles are personalized. “It’s a typical Polish model that we find in every house in Warsaw. After the war it was almost forgotten, but we found a guy who knew how to produce it in the exact same way.
Above: “There were a lot of memories built around this table, and the owner didn’t want to get rid of them,” says Marta.

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