Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Apartment renovation: Before

This was the moment I felt the proudest: when I was finally holding keys to my first own apartment.

Note: All these pictures were taken with my old iPhone 5S. Excuse the poor quality. Although I don't think fault is entirely on that poor phone. The apartment before renovation looked so terrible, that not even a fancy DSLR could have made it look better!

As I promised on Monday, I'm here today with the before pictures of my apartment. Remember when I told you in that same post that when buying an old apartment (or house), you should forget the outside aspects, and focus on the bones? Well, I'm about to show you why. If I was judging the book by its cover, I would never have bought this apartment in the first place. It was as far removed from being move-in ready as possible. Creaky wooden floors, stained and worn out carpets, outdated and dusty light fixtures, sickly yellow walls, kitchen cabinets falling to pieces and the scariest bathroom I had ever laid my eyes on: this place had it all. Oh, and let's not forget the wasp nest in the kitchen pantry. That was a "lovely" added bonus. 

There was SO much to do before this place could become livable. But that didn't scare me off. I had my contractors lined up before I even received the title deed, and I knew that with their help I could turn this drab den into something fabulous and completely "me". But I also knew that before it could get better, it had to get a lot worse. And that's what I'm going to show you in my next post.

But for now, let me take you on a virtual tour of my apartment, from before the hammers and drills got involved. Ready?

Living room. Apart from the original hardwood floors, there was hardly anything to write home about. That fancy chandelier, maybe? Or the fact, that this room alone had three doors leading to and from it? That was completely beyond my understanding.

I knew from the get-go what I wanted to do with this space: brick in doors leading to the kitchen and bedroom, in order to get more wall space for the furniture, remove the old heating system and paint the walls bright white to optically enlarge the whole space.

Kitchen. Ehm. It looked pretty terrible in its original state: worn-down lino, cabinets in various states of decline, and a pantry that was installed somewhere around 1950s. But based on my three non-negotiables, the room itself was one of the things that sold me on this place: With its 14 square meters, it was by far the largest kitchen I'd seen in the apartments I had visited during my search, and I knew that it could house my kitchen unit, as well as the dining table for 6-8 people. And that was really big to me. I knew that once this ugliness was gone, I could get creative designing my dream kitchen. 

Entryway. Not much to look at in here, except that I realized that I'd never taken a picture of the second ginormous pantry that was sitting right behind that corner. I've never seen that much dust before. When I was peeking into it, I kept waiting for a bat, or a bunch of tipsy mouses to come out to play.

I was planning to use this huge space to strip down the lino, paint the walls white, and have a new, big pantry / closet installed there. 

Bedroom. This was probably the least terrible looking room of them all. But only because it was completely empty: no prehistoric heaters in here, no fancy paint jobs, no wooden monsters of a closet. Still, those sickly yellow walls... *shudder* I originally wanted to keep the wooden floors, but they were too creaky, and they were also hiding one very dark and disgusting secret (I'll show you next, promise), so they had to go.

What I wanted to do here was brick in the door that lead from the bedroom to the living room, and make a new one, leading from the entryway to the bedroom - so that each piece in my apartment would have its own, separate entrance. I also wanted to have one wall covered with floor-to-ceiling closet. I also wanted a big, comfortable and pretty bed, and a commode for added storage space.

Aaaand...drumroll please, now onto the worst of the worst. Please say hello, to my former bathroom. I'm not even sure I can call it that way.

Yup. I bought this. In my own free will. No one coerced me. It's hard to believe, I know. Looking at these pictures, I can hardly believe it myself.

But I had some big plans for this relatively tiny space. I wanted to fit the heating system, a washing machine, and a tiny beauty cabinet in there, while also having a bathtub - I didn't want to switch to shower only, since I love my bubble baths so much. And I can't wait to show you the results in one of my upcoming posts.

Well, what do you think, guys? Would you buy this thing, given a chance? Do you think you've seen the worst? Just you wait :) I'll be back with more, I promise :) Have a lovely Wednesday!

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