A Praga Apartment Gives Midcentury Style a 2021 Makeover

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For their pre-war tenement apartment in the Praga district of Warsaw, a couple with a small child wanted to channel 1950s style. Anna Bialobrzewska of the firm In Architekci helped add midcentury style to the space, along with some less traditional elements. "The clients really wanted to restore the original character of the interior, but not in a literal way," the architect says.

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Bialobrzewska gave the family an unexpected, never-before-seen accent in the kitchen, where she installed cabinets lacquered in shades of blue, pink, and green. "The color of the kitchen was quite a spontaneous choice," she says. "The clients presented a color palette that they feel good around."

With such a strong design statement in the kitchen, the architect toned the rest of the apartment down. The herringbone parquet floors were restored and Bialobrzewska also added floor-to-ceiling bookcases to the living room, study, and bedroom — another nod to the past. "The wall unit–type furniture (with the optimal use of the wall space to the full height) is also the leitmotif of our parents and grandmothers' apartments," she notes. From the colorful accents to the built-in furniture, the apartment is a fun and modern approach to 1950s style.

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Living Room

A vintage table and lamp from Yestersen add shine and a bit of glamour to the living area, which is outfitted with a navy velour sofa from Comforty.

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kitchen
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Kitchen

Bialobrzewska created a sleek color-blocked kitchen using a palette of blue, green, and pink. "The clients spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but they didn't like any design they had seen in a magazine or on the internet," says the architect. "They wanted something completely fresh and unusual."

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Study

A custom bookcase provides functional storage in the small study.

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Bedroom

The bed is tucked into a wall of cabinetry and outfitted with sconces and shelves above the headboard. The warm oak veneer adds to the midcentury feel of the space.

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Bedroom

On the opposite side of the bedroom, the architect installed simple bookshelves and covered the wall with an eye-catching Fornasetti wallpaper from Cole & Son.

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Kid's Room

A Karie Klum wallpaper is a whimsical touch in the kid's bedroom. A vintage sofa and bookshelf from Patyna create a stylish but kid-friendly reading nook.

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Elizabeth Stamp is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and CNN Style.