Small house, grand designs: Couple build dream home from secondhand materials for just 6,000zł - complete with rustic kitchen, cosy fireplace and chic decor

Janusz and Karolina Gruchacz took just six months to finish their petite 35 sqm summer home. domzniczego/Instagram/Kasia Mikosz

A creative couple from Lesser Poland have completed their own ‘Grand Designs’ style project using materials collected from family and friends to create an impressively stylish home for only 6,000 PLN.

Starting their build during the March 2020 lockdown and doing the work themselves, Janusz and Karolina Gruchacz took just six months to finish their 35 sqm summer home which is set in a natural beauty spot on the edge of Dobczyce Lake, 30km south of Kraków.

The 35 sqm summer home which is set in a natural beauty spot on the edge of Dobczyce Lake, 30km south of Kraków.domzniczego/Instagram

Janusz, a driver in the construction trade and a self-taught construction specialist and his beautician wife, used only recycled materials and discarded items, meaning the total cost of building their home came to a fraction of the cost of a similar-sized Warsaw apartment.

One of the key features of the stunning log cabin style home, which is predominantly furnished and built from wood, are the large glass windows looking out over the imposing natural landscape in front of the house; something the couple were keen to capture and around which they developed the house’s design. 

Making creative use of the 35 sqm space, an unwanted wood burning stove from Karolina’s parents has been built into a stone wall.domzniczego/Instagram

Starting from scratch, the husband and wife team worked on the building project in their time off work and on weekends, a journey they documented through a time-lapse film they put up on Youtube and shared on their project’s Instagram page ‘dom z niczego’. Kasia Mikosz

domzniczego/Instagram

The whole house was built using secondhand materials.domzniczego/Instagram

Like everything else in the house, the window panes were second hand.

Proud Karolina told TFN: “A large part of the construction of the house came from an old wind shelter which was being dismantled by my parents and we decided to use that. 


“We took discarded wooden boards from a building site and sanded them and painted them and we also took things from skips and from searching second hand internet marketplaces. 

“One of the first items were the glass window panes, which we got for only 300zl, barely anyone could believe that we got them that cheap.”

The bedroom features two beds, one on a mezzanine.domzniczego/Instagram

Making creative use of the 35 sqm space, an unwanted wood burning stove from Karolina’s parents has been built into a stone wall, whilst the bedroom features two beds, one on a mezzanine.

Starting from scratch, the husband and wife team worked on the building project in their time off work and on weekends, a journey they documented through a time-lapse film they put up on Youtube and shared on their project’s Instagram page ‘dom z niczego’.

Janusz said: “Not many people believed we could build a house for almost nothing, I was speaking to my brother-in-law at the start of the project and he didn’t think it was possible, but we showed it could be done.”