Tag Archives: renovating old apartment

Our New Home Part II

It is done! The apartment is now ready for us. It took us just roughly six months to get a facelift for the whole mess in there. With some small amount proud I show these results as it was real hard to manage it this far.

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The living room with Marimekko curtains (done by my mom)

In April we started the renovation process and in the beginning I still thought it would be just a few weeks of work for us. How naive I have been. It took us already a week to get all the furniture of the previous owner out and another week to literally scrub the dirt from the roof and walls. To add to the horrors of renovating an apartment came the wallpapers, floor, bathroom, kitchen, windows, pipes and in between cleaning, cleaning and cleaning some more. But now we managed it, the DIY Project (okay, 85% done by us the rest by professionals) is finished. Our new home is done and we can move in.

 

Our new home offers us 90m² (968.75 sqf) of living space, which is more than double what we had before in Finland. Finally we have a separated kitchen, an own bedroom and even a room for little Nathan. Luxuries we dreamt of for the past years are now becoming reality.

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Bedroom with the infamous Ikea wardrobe

Right now I don’t even want to enter any hardware store ever again and with luck I don’t have to do so for some time now. Some furniture is still missing such as the dining table and the TV stand as it was broken when delivered yesterday…

 

I won’t show Nathan’s room yet, as it resembles more a storage room rather than a baby room and we still have some great ideas for it which I will post once it is done (It will be great, really great, at least for small children!). Here are some before and after pictures, I am myself still amazed just how much this apartment changed.

 

Our new Home

The renovation of our new home started in April during our trip to Germany. Perhaps new home is only a half-truth as it is on one hand our new place to be but on the other hand it is also a totally rundown apartment from 1972.

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Beautiful, isn’t it?

The previous owner lived there since 1976, tried to keep all useless junk in the apartment and to make matters even worse, he smoked there the entire time inside and in the end even up to 3 cigarette cartons a week! I believe now you may start to create a picture on just how messed up everything was there when we started. Sadly I don’t have pictures from before we started throwing stuff out but the several in the gallery might give you some idea how we struggled. These pictures were taken after most stuff had been thrown out and only some basic furniture was left.

 

I can’t give you any blueprint of the layout (sure I could draw one myself now but I am a bit too lazy for that) so I mention only the basics, 90m²/~968ft² with bedroom, children room, kitchen, bathroom, dining room, living room and most importantly for our little bunnies: a balcony.

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Every room is full of junk

In April we managed only to remove all the old stuff including furniture, wallpapers, carpet flooring and tiles in bathroom and kitchen. Especially the wallpapers proofed to be very hard work as nearly every room was decorated with Ingrain wallpaper, a nightmare glued to the wall…

Mother-in-law and my wife also helped a lot during the renovation process by cleaning the old radiators (there are several old cast iron ones!) and repainting them several times until they reached once again a nice white surface color. As the ceiling was very yellow due to all the smoking for so long time we had to prepare it before painting. This preparation meant we had to “scrub” the ceiling several times with a brush and washing soda until we could paint on few layers of special anti-nicotine color. At least my wife had some fun already by choosing the new wallpaper for each room with special focus for the baby room. Sadly we had not time to start put new wallpapers on the room for little Nathan as some guy still needed to fix a huge crack in the wall! (40 years ago the roof was leaking water in and that part of the wall settled a bit resulting in a crack in the wall…)

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Bathroom after I ripped everything out and had fun with the tiles for several days

Now during our time back in Finland some professionals are installing new windows and water pipes as those two things are the original setup from 1972 and not working anymore as intended. In September we will then finally move to Germany but we will have to stay with my parents for at least a month as the apartment is far from ready. Tile and wood flooring are still missing and not to forget that there is no bathroom or kitchen yet. After all that we will have some busy time buying new furniture as we are selling most of our old stuff here in Finland to make the whole moving process a bit easier to handle.