When DG Estudio was tapped to modernize an old apartment in Valencia, Spain, the local architecture firm eagerly accepted the challenge. Perched high above the city’s bustling Ruzafa neighborhood, the top-level dwelling housed a trove of historic elements, which the team sought to preserve while adapting it to accommodate "a more current way of life."

Of the home’s many notable details, the original moldings, doors, and colorful mosaic tile floors were given the most attention during the preservation. "The three original elements ... are the main protagonists of this intervention as can be seen in the images of the final result," says DG Estudio.

To add contemporary flair and tie together those circa period elements, the firm blended in wood, naturally. "This material provides warmth and uniformity to the entire intervention," say the architects. "Natural oak wood shapes the kitchen, the floor, and dressing room of the [primary] bedroom, and the transitional elements between the bedrooms and the terrace."

Though the preservation of the moldings, doors, and floors limited the firm from making significant changes to the interior layout, they were able to expand the flat by creating a "large day area" where the kitchen is integrated into the living room. According to the firm, this area was designed as a small space dedicated to "carrying out daily activities, such as reading and resting." A desk was also included as part of new built-in shelving units to allow the area to also serve as a small home office.

The layout of the rest of the home, which includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a terrace, remains the same. Ample sunlight touches nearly every corner in the 1,194-square-foot penthouse-dubbed Casa Cas 8-as a result of frosted glass lining the doors and newly installed picture windows. Tall ceilings enhance the home’s overall sense of space.

While the architects made minimal changes to the residence-one adjustment was the removal of a space divider between the kitchen and living room-the flat now provides a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. The medley of colors presented by the mosaic tile floors weaves through each room, providing the entire residence with charming built-in decor.